Stamp Collecting and Culinary Arts: The Porridge Connection
On a particularly inspiring day, triggered by an amusing yet enlightening email from our dear Scottish friend, Iain, I found myself diving into the niche world of topical stamp collecting, specifically under the theme of Food and Beverage. Iain’s heartfelt correction of a porridge recipe mistake led me down this path, showcasing not just the cultural significance of porridge but also its commemorative journey onto a postage stamp.
In 2015, as part of a broader issue titled “The Island of Food,” a stamp was released, celebrating this humble dish. This stamp depicted a beautifully simple bowl of porridge, adorned with rasberries and blueberries, elevating the everyday porridge into a symbol of Irish food culture.
Iain’s correction on the porridge recipe – emphasizing the correct ratio of milk (or a milk/water mixture) to rolled oats as 2:1, rather than equal parts – might seem trivial to some. Yet, it underscores the personal connection and individual nuances that make food such an integral part of our identity.
His mention of using a little plastic scoop for measurement and the quirky reference to egg cups and PYREX bowls for serving sizes adds a charming touch to the narrative, highlighting the quirky and personal aspects of cooking that often go unnoticed.
The technical data of the stamp itself speaks volumes about the thought put into this commemoration. Issued on July 16, 2015, with a print run of 156,000, the stamp utilized offset lithography and a comb perforation of 13¼ x 13½. As a commemorative emission with a face value of 1.05 Euro, it became a sought-after piece for collectors, especially those focusing on Food and Beverage themes.
The series also included other elements of Irish food culture, such as local food (depicted on a se-tenant stamp with a face value of 2*70), a cattle breeder & steak, a dairy man & cheese, a fisherman & fish, and, notably, another version of the farmer & porridge stamp.
Each stamp in the series offered a window into the diverse and rich food heritage of Ireland, making “The Food Island” issue a colorful and meaningful collection for philatelists and food enthusiasts alike.
Food and beverage manufacturing is crucial for Ireland, underpinning the economy with a gross annual turnover around €25 billion. It provides over 45,000 full-time jobs directly, with approximately 230,000 people or about one in eight jobs in the economy, tied to agri-food when including agricultural and related employment.
The sector is responsible for half of the Irish goods and services purchased by the manufacturing industry and constitutes just over half of the exports by indigenous manufacturing industries.
Globally, Ireland is renowned for its high-quality food production, processing, and preparation. The country exports its food and drink products to 175 countries, with the export value exceeding €9 billion for the first time in 2012. Aiming for €12 billion by 2020, as forecasted in the Food Harvest report, this goal seems well within reach. Sustainability is a crucial focus, with major producers prioritizing sustainable supply chains.
Origin Green, initiated by Bord Bia – The Irish Food Board, is a national sustainability program aiming to position Ireland as a leader in sustainably produced food.
Designed by Zinc Design Consultants, the stamps showcase Ireland’s food production excellence. The series includes two 70 cent stamps featuring a beef farmer and a cheesemaker alongside their products, and €1.05 stamps portraying a fisherman and a tillage farmer with their quality produce, all part of the 2015 Ireland – Food Island Miniature Sheet.
THEMATIC STAMP COLLECTING
For all Food and Beverage topical stamp collectors, the porridge stamp and its companions in the “Ireland – The Food Island” issue are a celebration of culture, cuisine, and the stories that connect us through the seemingly simple acts of eating and cooking.
As I reflect on Iain’s email, the journey from a corrected porridge recipe to a stamp commemorating this staple dish encapsulates the essence of what makes collecting such an enriching hobby: the ability to capture and cherish the small, yet significant moments of life and culture.
For a delectable journey, begin your exploration of Irish Porridge by following this link -> McCann’s Irish Oatmeal – Traditional Steel Cut Oats
Let the taste of Ireland enrich your collection and your breakfast table.
Reviewed in the United States on December 8, 2023Flavor Name: Irish OatmealSize: 1.75 Pound (Pack of 1) Verified PurchaseI’ve tried many brands of steel cut oats, but none have the old-fashioned authentic flavor like McCann’s, in my opinion. Although it takes a long time to gently cook until thickened, it’s worth every minute because it ends up with a chewy texture instead of mushy.I cook double the amount given in the instructions and then store in zip bags in frig and it lasts all week. I eat a bowlful almost every morning with sliced bananas and/or blueberries topped with walnuts and then pour a little maple syrup on the top to sweeten, delicious (and keeps me “regular”).PS- At end of week if I have any oatmeal left in the bag, I mix in an egg, little flour, peanut butter, little melted butter, tad of honey or syrup and then scoop spoonfuls onto greased baking pan and bake as cookies. It makes a great, healthy snack.
FURTHER READING – FOOD ON POSTAGE STAMPS
Canadian culinary history is featured in a booklet of PermanentTM domestic stamps dishing up the origins of five delicious Canadians desserts and takes you on a tasty trip from coast to coast.
Discover Nanaimo bars, Saskatoon berry pie butter tarts, tarte au sucre (sugar pie) and blueberry grunt.
Sláinte and Happy Topical Stamp Collecting!
#TopicalStampcollecting #StampStories #PorridgeOnstamps #IrishPostagestamps