Thursday, February 28, 2013

Pronto Cornmeal Cinnamon Porridge

My husband brought this home with him recently, just on a lark. I don't know what possessed him to pick this up, especially because he said it was specifically for me and I've never indicated any love for porridge, or even cinnamon for that matter. I'm not very creative when it comes to breakfasts, especially every day. I have cold cereal with milk, and that's usually it. Mostly because I wake up quite ravenous and just want to eat as quickly as possible. No time for all that frying and toasting, filling things up to lines, waiting three minutes for something to cool down...and that's why I only got around to trying this porridge as an afternoon snack.
I don't know much about Jamaican convenience food, I have no clue what sort of candy or junk is produced there! I'm curious to know more, even if my experience with this porridge was...not so great. This powdery substance was going to take 3 minutes to 'cook' after pouring boiling water up to a fill line. Certainly convenient, and quite befitting of the brand name Pronto. Not much else they can make under that name, huh? Instant noodles, self-heating coffee cans, minute rice...Anyway, I poured in the boiling water and waited.
Aw jeez, it looks like one of those lotus pods so popularly photoshopped on to otherwise pleasant things. Blergh, not looking forward to this one bit. It smells okay at least-- like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or an otherwise sweet, powdered cinnamon product.
It tastes pretty horrible. As you can see it is lumpy. I don't know if that has to do with the way I prepared it (added hot water, stirred, waited) or if that is just the nature of cornmeal porridge. Inside the lumps were drier clods of sweet cinnamon flavor and powder. The rest of it was a slurry of cinnamon sugar paste, that at least technically provides sustenance. I definitely felt like I was not only at a hospital, but I was at a hospital that had ran out of all food except for powdered baby formula. Fact is, the taste itself isn't really the issue, it tasted a lot like any cinnamon was the texture. It had one of the more gruesome textures I've ever forced down... the powdery lumps covered in applesauce-smooth goo. I don't think I'd ever eat this, or any other cornmeal porridge again. It sort of reminded me of Cream o' Wheat, except with added lumps where Cream o' Wheat is unrelentingly smooth slop. I don't like either of them, give me a cereal crunch any day of the week.

Maybe porridge just isn't for me. This one is too lumpy, this one is too smooth, and this one is being eaten by bears. You know how it goes!


  1. Hey Chelsea,

    I just came across your post and had to comment.

    Firstly I would just like to point out that the kind of candy or junk that is produced as convenience food in Jamaica is what has helped to produce the fastest man in the world i.e. Usain Bolt. I bet you love a sweet potato!! lol!

    Secondly it was the way you prepared it. The instructions are more of a guideline and if you use less water, mix a little milk into it, heat and stir heat and stir you would notice that the consistency would have smoothed out into a nice paste to which you could add some chopped bananas.

    Thirdly I hope I am not being biased as Jamaica is my background and I was raised on cornmeal porridge (made the oldschool way in the pot by Grandma). I have never been able to make it myself without the lumps so I found this was fantastic as the lumps smoothed out easily for me.

    1. Oh, nice! I'm sure that if the consistency was improved (which I could've done, you're right - I was just following the guidelines exactly)the flavor would actually be quite tasty - the cinnamon & sugar is great at breakfast. Add bananas, and it would be lovely! Thanks for the tips, Sara - I may actually give this another try if I stumble across it, because I'm a big fan of cinnamon which you don't get much of in the UK.