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Bob's Red Mill searches for best porridge maker

Fresh off winning its second title in four years at the Golden Spurtle World Porridge Championship in Scotland, Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods is looking to crown a U.S. porridge-making champion to represent the company at the international competition. The purveyor of whole grain foods is calling on foodies and oatmeal lovers across the country to enter their best recipes in the company’s third annual Spar for the Spurtle U.S. Porridge Making Championship.

The competition invites oatmeal enthusiasts to submit videos demonstrating an original recipe that makes use of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats. From the entries, the company will select three finalists and fly them to Portland to compete in a live cook-off. The winner of that cook-off will travel with the Bob’s Red Mill team to compete in the annual Golden Spurtle World Porridge Making Championship in Scotland this October.

“We have had so much fun over the past few years, not only in Scotland but also at our own Spar for the Spurtle cook-off right here at our world headquarters,” said Bob Moore, founder, president and chief executive officer of employee-owned Bob’s Red Mill. “We just can’t wait to see what people come up with this year.”

The 2012 Spar for the Spurtle winner, Laurie Figone of Petaluma, Calif., competed spurtle-to-spurtle with the Scots and an international field at the world championship with her Italian Pinhead Torta and won the prestigious Speciality trophy, awarded to the competitor who prepares a creative “blending and harmony of porridge with other ingredients.” World-title winners also are selected in categories for Traditional Porridge (allowing for the use of only oats, water and salt) and People’s Choice.

This year, the Golden Spurtle is celebrating its 20th year of competition in the Scottish Highland village of Carrbridge. Bob’s Red Mill first competed in the World Championship in 2009, becoming the first American contenders to do so.

In that first year competing, Bob’s Red Mill won the World Championship and the highly coveted Golden Spurtle trophy, awarded in the Traditional Porridge category (a spurtle is a Scottish kitchen tool dating back to the 15th century that is traditionally used to stir porridge and prevent it from becoming lumpy).

Since 2011, the company has turned to its fans for representation at the competition, and its 2012 Spar for the Spurtle contest drew nearly 100 entries.

“We have just been blown away by the Spar for the Spurtle recipes we’ve received over the past two years,” said Matthew Cox, the 2009 World Porridge Making Champion and marketing director at Bob’s Red Mill.

“For our 2012 Spar for the Spurtle winner to travel to Scotland and beat the Scots at their own game shows just how creative our fans are, and we have very high hopes for this year’s entries.”

Anyone interested in entering the third annual Spar for the Spurtle should visit sparforthespurtle.com to submit a video demonstration of an original recipe that makes use of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (Bob’s Red Mill’s Gluten Free Steel Cut Oats also may be used in place of regular Steel Cut Oats). Videos can be no longer than three minutes and should demonstrate a creative use of the oats. Dishes can be sweet or savory — they just need to be cooked on the stovetop and able to be created from start to finish within 30 minutes.

All eligible videos will be posted on sparforthespurtle.com. The top three contestants selected by Bob’s Red Mill as the finalists will prepare their oatmeal recipes from scratch for a panel of celebrity judges in conditions that mirror those at the Golden Spurtle competition.

New this year, anyone entering the contest will receive a coupon that can be redeemed at his or her favorite retailer for a free bag of Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats (standard or gluten-free). In addition, anyone not selected as a finalist will be entered into a random drawing to win a year’s supply of Steel Cut Oats.

To submit a recipe, watch the videos, read the contest’s official rules, and learn more, visit sparforthespurtle.com. The deadline for recipe submissions is July 22.

For more information on all of Bob’s Red Mill’s products, visit bobsredmill.com.



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