“ Brand: Sharpham Park / Type: Porridge „
Walking around my local Waitrose I sometimes see products I wouldn't normally buy due to their cost with reduced stickers on them, and sometimes these give me the opportunity for a treat.
Being a lover of porridge I spied a small brown packet on the shelf entitled "Sharpham Park Organic Spelt Finest Porridge With Chocolate and Walnuts". Normally a 500g bag would set you back a whopping £5.95 but this was reduced to £2.65- more than I would normally pay for porridge oats, but I actually thought it sounded like a lovely breakfast treat to have over the Valentines Day weekend. Hubby agreed and into the trolley it went.
If you are not familiar with spelt then a few words might help. It is actually an ancient cousin of wheat; it is higher in protein though and is sometimes more easily digested, so is ideal to try if you have irritable bowel syndrome or wheat intolerance.
This porridge is made by a company based in Somerset owned by Roger Saul who is the founder of the British designer label called Mulberry. I must confess I am not into designer labels and wouldn't recognise a Mulberry item if I saw one, but I am into porridge so this sounded perfect! Roger first experimented growing spelt when his sister who was suffering from stomach cancer was advised to try it as it was an easily digested food. She found it impossible to source in the UK and this was the start of his commercial production, and the first harvest took place in 2004. It is all grown organically and is made into all manner of cereals and biscuits.
So I took my little brown bag home and rose early one Sunday recently to make this for our breakfast. The bag is made of brown paper and is fully recyclable, and the contents are non gm, locally sourced, environmentally friendly, and have travelled the minimum number of food miles to keep the carbon footprint as low as possible. All sounds good doesn't it?
Now the porridge is made from 70% spelt, 13% cacao powder and chips and 6% walnuts and some demerara sugar.
To make the porridge you just put ½ cup in a small saucepan with either 1 cup of milk or water and bring to the boil, and stir for 5 minutes. This I did and at first I was a little sceptical as the contents of the bag looked surprisingly dusty. I was expecting some seriously obvious chocolate presence, but to be honest it looked a little like cheap guinea pig food. Still trying to remain positive I served up the porridge into two lovely blue and white Cornish dishes and breakfast was ready.
I am sorry to report it was truly and utterly horrid. The only thing you could taste was walnuts which were suspended in this horrid gruel like mixture, you could just about discern some kind of chocolate, but it was not pleasant and the whole thing made me feel quite sick. Now hubby is a dustbin and he usually mops up leftovers, and I gave him mine which he ploughed his way through before saying "I wouldn't buy this again!" It was just nasty and I can normally eat most things if I have to, but this made a very disappointing breakfast. I have just made up a flapjack recipe to cook the rest to use it up as I really couldn't face it for breakfast again.
It is 90 calories for a 25g serving so not too bad and 2.1 g fat so it won't turn you into a barrel if you can eat it that is.
My advice don't buy it even if it is reduced it isn't worth it. The other spelt products in the range may be worth a try if they are reduced but not this one, no never again!