Waterford sows wild oatlets to cook biggest bowl of porridge


WATERFORD WAS the place to be for any would-be Oliver Twists yesterday as the city broke the world record for cooking the biggest bowl of porridge when locals boiled up over a tonne of oatlets.

The previous world record had been set by the residents of Tula, Russia, who cooked 865kg of porridge in 2011. But yesterday Waterford locals went 500kg better when they made 1,380kg in a massive pot.

The world record attempt was the brainchild of the Waterford Harvest Festival which joined Waterford City Council and local porridge producers, Flahavan’s, in an effort that saw them exceed their own target of 914kg.

“We are thrilled that this record success has been brought to Waterford and Ireland for the first time,” said John Flahavan, chairman of the porridge producer. “A great deal of planning and organising has gone into the event.”

The bid began at 7am yesterday when teams began bringing 1,200 litres of water to the boil in a stainless steel pot 1.4m high and 1.7m wide, set on a frame over three gas burners.

“It took us almost four hours to bring the water to the boil before we added the oatlets – if we had added the oatlets to cold water and then tried to boil it, it would have stuck to the bottom of the pot and burned,” said Mr Flahavan.

Working in relay teams of seven, the cooks added 160kg of Flahavan’s Progress Oatlets before adding 50 litres of milk, stirring with huge paddles to create a giant pot of porridge that was weighed using a crane and scales.

“It’s great to capture the world record,” said Mr Flahavan.

“We couldn’t leave it to the Russians – we don’t know how long it will be before someone else tries to capture it but it belongs to Waterford for the moment, and we’ll enjoy it.”