Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

brose one of the most basic words in the vocabulary of Scottish cooks, was used originally to refer to one of the simplest Scottish dishes, to wit a dish of oatmeal (see oats) mixed with boiling water or milk, with salt and butter etc. added. It differs from porridge in that the oatmeal is not cooked.

Depending on what was locally available, a brose could be made with barley meal or (for pease brose) peasemeal. Indeed, Marian McNeill (1929) relates that mixtures of several meals (for example, oatmeal, bere meal—made from certain kinds of barley—and peasemeal) could be used, and that beggars, who might be given small quantities of different meals, were apt to use this technique.