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A Quest For Tasty Oatcakes

Jo McGarry
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Wednesday - February 23, 2005
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She felt it was an insult to her palate and that the baristas somehow thought less of her as a person. Why she cared what he thought was beyond me, but that’s the sensitive human spirit for you.

So, it was this little story that came to mind the other week when I was standing in the aforementioned coffee shop nibbling on one of their oatcakes as I waited for my drink.

I suddenly struck me. The oatcake I was eating was on par with the most bland, boring, tasteless items of food I have ever had.

Now, I’ve spent a lot of time in my life eating bland foods. I was a non-meat eater throughout my college years. I have espoused a diet high in fiber and low in fat, and I come from a country where oats are so much a staple that cooked porridge used to be made and kept in dresser drawers (remember it’s cold enough not to need refrigeration) and slices cut whenever someone needed a breakfast cereal. Proof enough, I think, that I know a bad oatcake when I taste one.

So before damming them all, I thought it only fair to try to find a good one.

I traipsed through coffee shops and bake sales and sought out the opinions of friends and family. And here’s what I found. Some of the oatcakes in the non-national chain coffee shops are even worse. There’s a lovely neighborhood place, which shall remain nameless, that should really just stop baking oatcakes altogether. Rarely have I had such a sloppy, tasteless mess crumble before me on a plate. One place reheated its cranberry offering in the microwave. By the time I got to the car it was just a soggy lump in my napkin. The other thing I discovered was that people think the national brand coffee shop oatcake is somehow the benchmark of how oatcakes should taste. Eating something you could break a window with is not my idea of a treat.

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