The Staffordshire Oatcake.
The Staffordshire oatcake is quite a mystery to anyone just outside the Staffordshire area and the heart of the Staffordshire oatcake is sunny Stoke on Trent, where you will find numerous oatcake shops selling breakfast delights wrapped up in the not so famous Staffordshire oatcake.
After doing some research on these local delicacies it seems that the oatcake originated as a result of some of the soldiers of the North Staffordshire Regiment that had been stationed in India, and during the early 1900s they had acquired a liking for chapattis so when the troops finally came home they wanted something like these Indian flatbreads they had become accustomed to, and so they gave their wives and mothers the task of trying to create what had become a firm favorite in their diet, and because they had no chapatti flour, the Staffordshire oatcake was born in all its various recipes, and the way an oatcake is cooked and prepared, is really not too far away from a chapatti.
I know not too long ago now the Hairy Bikers came to Stoke on Trent and fully indulged themselves in sampling the Staffordshire oatcake, and they appeared to be very impressed, actually attempting to make oatcakes and enjoying them in the same way that we have in Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire for years, you can see right here the recipe that the Hairy Bikers went by to make their own version of the Staffordshire oatcake.
Basically, they are a fine replacement for bread, and can be eaten hot, cold or fried, and can be filled, folded over or rolled, with things such as bacon, cheese, sausages and eggs, any of these items of food used in any combination is very typical of the use of the Staffordshire oatcake here in Stoke on Trent. At this point in the article I’m getting quite hungry.
Here in Stoke on Trent the locals will get through hundreds of oatcakes every day, after all the oatcake is a very popular delicacy in these parts and I’m sure you will all agree with that, but to people from outside the area they may not look as appetizing at first, but once its filled with nice lean bacon and an egg and maybe a bit of cheese, well, I’m sure it would convert most people. But, are they good for you? Do you care if they are good for you or not? Do you just love the oatcake for what people in Stoke on Trent take it for, the almost, if not the perfect breakfast?
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the nutrition of the Staffordshire Oatcake, Approximate amounts per Oatcake;
|Total Fat||3 g||Potassium||0 mg|
|Saturated||0 g||Total Carbs||22 g|
|Polyunsaturated||1 g||Dietary Fiber||2 g|
|Monounsaturated||1 g||Sugars||1 g|
|Trans||0 g||Protein||4 g|
They are low in cholesterol, they are high in Manganese (an important mineral used throughout the body) and they are high in Selenium (which has antioxidant properties, vitamin E and helps to regulate the thyroid to help with your immune system. So I suppose the million dollar question is, do Staffordshire oatcakes have a place in a healthy balanced diet? Of course they do, everything in moderation right?
Dan Jervis of INFERNO fitness, a circuit class that is held at Dimensions on Scotia Road, someone that helped me to get my nutrition plan right and taught me to count my macros in my food, says that he can’t see why the Staffordshire oatcake can’t be included into a healthy nutritional plan, and here’s the trick, providing you can keep it within your daily macros a Staffordshire oatcake is fine, now I'm sure Dan would be only too happy to help you out with that, INFERNO fitness is a complete package as far as circuit training goes, or any of the personal trainers out there could help you to squeeze an oatcake or 2 into your daily diet plan.
I managed to speak to one of the most popular oatcake shops in Newcastle under Lyme, Lynne at Castle Oatcakes very recently became a very proud Nanna, and has owned Castle Oatcakes for the last 27 years so she has plenty of experience in the subject of oatcakes, and has sold more of the Staffordshire oatcake than I have probably had hot dinners. Lynne tells me that the most popular filling for these is bacon and cheese, and that’s from somebody that knows her breakfast fillings.
One of the biggest names to come from Stoke on Trent, the world record holder and king of the deadlift, Britain’s strongest man, Eddie Hall goes to visit Lynne at Castle Oatcakes at least twice a month to tuck into the humble Staffordshire oatcake and they have even created a signature dish for Eddie, which he has every time he goes there, many have attempted this house special but very few have completed it.
The Eddie Hall Special consists of, 2 bacon, 2 sausage, double portion of cheese and a double portion tomatoes all stacked between 3 delicious, freshly cooked Staffordshire oatcakes made at Castle oatcakes. Apparently Eddie Hall has two of these!
In doing the research for this article I managed to speak to Eddie Hall and asked for his reasons why we should be eating the Staffordshire Oatcake, I should have seen the answer coming, this mountain of a man and he just grinned at me, winked and said, "because they make you into a beast of a god damn man".
Now, anyone may be hard pushed to finish that lot, maybe with a bit of brown sauce and a nice cup of hot sweet tea it’s certainly possible, but, do you think that we could put anything on the Staffordshire oatcake to make it a healthier option? Greek yoghurt perhaps? Maybe some blueberries? Of course you could, the Staffordshire oatcake is so versatile and delicious hot or cold that you can put almost anything in them and they would still be amazing but for me? I think I’ll stick to my favorite of bacon, sausage and cheese, the Eddie Hall special, like my deadlifts, I’ll have to build up to.