Food - Drink
Why Oatmeal Is Linked To Celtic Cuisine
By ELIAS NASH
You may not know that Celtic residents of Scotland are responsible for the breakfast staple we know as oatmeal. Oats originated around the Mediterranean Sea and Jordan Valley, but once oat seeds got mixed into shipments of wheat and barley, they spread across Europe, leading the Romans to embrace what was once considered an invasive crop.
One of the Roman Empire’s primary foes was the Celtic people of Northern Europe, and a Celtic tribe called the Gaels lived in what is now known as Scotland. The Gaels often raided the Roman settlements, and when Gaels brought Roman horses back to their land, the oats came along, and the crop flourished in Scotland's cold, rainy climate.
Oats eventually became the staple grain of Scotland, and became part of the warm breakfast porridge that is enjoyed all over the world today. The traditional Scottish way to enjoy oatmeal is to dip each spoonful in cream or milk, a practice that dates back to at least the 1700s; oats also play a role in the country's most famous dish, haggis.