The winners of the 2020 Virtual Spurtle, the lockdown alternative to the World Porridge Making Championships, have been announced in a day-long video reveal online.
The 10 winning videos were shown on the Golden Spurtle Facebook page and website on the hour, every hour from 9am to 6pm today (Saturday 10 October).
Today’s date is particularly significant as it is also World Porridge Day, which celebrates the popularity of porridge and raises awareness and funds for the Scottish charity Mary’s Meals, who provide porridge to more than 1.5 million children in 18 countries every day at school.
Back in June, the organisers put out a call for video entries for a virtual speciality competition.
The competition attracted an international audience, with entries received from porridge fans from Lithuania, Catalonia, Scotland, England, Canada and Germany. The 10 winners included four from Scotland, four from England and two from Canada.
The judging panel marked the videos on five criteria including virtual taste (whether they wanted to taste the dish), appearance, execution, originality and flair.
The overall winner was Chris Young from Crieff in Perthshire who created Crunch sa Bheul (Gaelic for crunch in the mouth) a Scottish take on croquembouche, made with oatflour, sugar and butter, piped with cream and dipped in caramel.
Chris is the owner of Perthshire Oatcakes, and was the Speciality Porridge Champion at the 2018 World Porridge Making Championships.
The runner up was the current World Porridge Making Champion, Lisa Williams from Trimley St Mary in Suffolk, whose ‘Porridge of Hope’ featured ‘pinoat’ butter, honey bananas and chocolate, served with a rainbow fruit kebab.
Other recipes in the top 10 included:
Porridge pina colada
Blueberry cheesecake porridge
Oatmeal inspired duck confit taco
Golden milk porridge
Triple coffee oatmeal with Dalgona whip and mocca grande
Nanaimo bar oatmeal
Raspberry cranachan porridge
Scottish summer porridge
Charlie Miller from Carrbridge Community Council who organise the competition said: “While we were of course hugely disappointed not to be able to host the World Championships in Carrbridge this year, we’ve been delighted with the response to the Virtual Spurtle.
"Many thanks to everyone who entered, congratulations to our top 10 finalists, to our winner and runner up, to our judges, and to everyone who has watched the videos online today. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Carrbridge next October for the 2021 championships.”
Hamlyns of Scotland, the Banffshire-based producers of Hamlyns Scottish Oatmeal and Porridge Oats, sponsored the Virtual Spurtle.
Managing director, Alan Meikle, added: “The Virtual Spurtle was a great alternative to the annual competition in Carrbridge.
"We’ve seen some really fabulous recipe ideas in the top 10 videos and look forward to downloading some of the recipes from the Golden Spurtle website so we can try them for ourselves."
The videos and recipes are now available on the Golden Spurtle website.