Jamaican Porridge


 

THERE IS nothing healthier than a bowl of porridge each day. Most Jamaican porridge are very healthy, chock full of fibre and protein. It is so good that doctors usually recommend cornmeal porridge as the first food for babies.


The origin of porridge is said to have started in cold countries of Europe like Scotland and is often consumed by persons living there to keep their bodies warm during the long winter months.
It is also said that the origin of porridge dates back to Neolithic times as farmers cultivated oats and other crops for survival. Various types of grains were stewed in water to form a thick porridge-like dish. Porridge and similar dishes have spread as the staple of millions worldwide. Hence, the practice of making porridge is said to have passed down to the Caribbean by our ancestors and plantation masters during slavery.

African Origins
The variety of porridges that exists differs throughout various cultures. In Africa, for example, where ground provisions like cassava and yam are widely cultivated, porridges made from these tubers are incorporated in most meals. Porridges in Africa are often referred to as 'pap', a thick porridge made which contains a great proportion of pearl millet meal or sorghum. In some parts of Africa, finely milled flour is used in pap, whereas in other parts of the continent coarsely milled flour or a combination of both is preferred.
In Scotland, oatmeal is preferred, while wheat, barley and millet are popular in other European countries. Porridge also has various names in different parts of Scotland, 'lite' leetch-yuh is Gaelic for porridge 'milgruel' in Shetland, 'tartan-purry' is the thin porridge made with liquor in which kale (a vegetable) has been cooked.
Some persons have frowned at the thought of having porridge, yet operators of porridge selling outlets locally will say that it's a good business venture. For many Jamaicans nothing warms the body more or 'bus a bag a gas' in the morning than a hot bowl of porridge. 
Porridge Vendor
Street vendors can be seen in the morning as early as 4:30am selling a variety of porridges. 

Here is  a list of Jamaican Porridge
Peanut 
Hominy Corn
Cornmeal 
Green Plantain
Green Banana
Bulgur
Cream of Wheat
Oats
Pominy (Peanut and Hominy)
Rice
  

Porridge shouldn't be too thin or too thick. It should be thick enough to drink with a spoon. Porridge is usually milk-based, making it very creamy. My mom usually use three kinds of milk: ­ condensed, coconut and whole  milk ­ to make it creamy. I am not a fan of dairy so I use coconut milk or cream and malted milk
Spices are often used to enhance the taste of a bowl of porridge. Cinnamon leaves or sticks, nutmeg, and vanilla essence are the preferred spices among Jamaicans.
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