Meet the Swede who makes the world’s best porridge

Meet the Swede who makes the world's best porridge
The porridge-making champions. Photo: James Ross
Swedes have proved themselves the global masters of porridge making with a double win at the 24th annual World Porridge Making Championships.

Ellinor Persson, from southern Sweden, travelled to the Scottish Highlands to compete for the 'Golden Spurtle' trophy, alongside porridge-makers from as far afield as Russia and the USA.

Competitors were challenged to cook up the best porridge using just oatmeal, salt, and water, and their creations were judged for consistency, taste, and colour.

Persson told The Local she was “thrilled” to have been crowned World Porridge-Making Champion.

“My whole family is so excited, and it's particularly an honour to have won here in Scotland, as porridge-making is such a deeply-ingrained tradition,” she said.

“It's great to show that porridge doesn't have to be just a plain breakfast – there are lots of crazy recipes out there,” Persson explained.

When asked her secret for world class porridge, she said: “I'd advise any aspiring-porridge makers to use good-quality oats and take your time in cooking it.”

Persson is no stranger to competitive porridge-making, having already won the title of Swedish Traditional Porridge Making Champion for the past two years in a row. In her spare time, she runs food tours around the countryside near Halmstad in southwestern Sweden where she lives.

A second round judged the best specialty porridge, and was also won by a Swede.

READ ALSO: Where to find the cheapest lunch in Sweden

The winning dish. Photo: James Ross

Per Carlsson’s flambéed Nordic porridge, featuring cloudberry liqueur, flambéed cloudberries, orange peel and whipped cream, impressed the judges, who were looking for “harmony of the porridge with the other ingredients”.

It was his third time entering the competition, and Carlsson describes himself as “an extremely devoted porridge maker who practises making porridge practically every morning making guests at the Steninge hostel enjoy happiness through porridge made with perfection and love”.

READ ALSO: Six real bonds between Sweden and Scotland

Porridge has been a staple of the Swedish diet since at least the 14th century, when the first written record of the dish shows it was served at the funeral of St. Bridget of Sweden's father. However, it is thought that it was eaten for centuries before and that the Vikings also enjoyed the oaty meal.

It is eaten both as a breakfast dish and dessert, and families across Sweden put out a dish of porridge on Christmas Eve to sate the appetite of the Christmas gnome.

The World Porridge Making Championships have been held in Scotland for 24 years, with organizers saying this year's event was a “closely fought competition with a real international flavour”.

By Catherine Edwards and Ellie Day

RECIPE: How to make Swedish rice porridge