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I've been searching for something with good shelf life having high caloric and nutritional value to pack as emergency rations in my Get Home Bag (GHB) and Bug Out Bag (BOB). A gent on another forum recommended Oatcakes as an alternative to the WASA krispbread and Sailor Boy Pilot biscuit I had been using.

Grocery stores here don't carry Oatcakes, but I have ordered some via Amazon from Walkers, Nairns and Wolley's of Arran to get a sampling of brands to try. These are new to me. Do you have a preference?

Suggestions for storage, shelf-life and use, and your favorite way of eating them.

I was thinking in terms of toasting them and spreading with jam or pouring hot milk over them in a canteen cup.

How are they used traditionally? How do you folks prefer them.

Please educate an ignorant Yank...
Good morning Charles.

Indeed oatcakes are good high energy, slow burn nutrition.

Walkers stuff is usually good quality although I have no specific experience of their oatcakes.

Why not make your own?

Here's a recipe from the BBC food website:

Preparation time less than 30 mins

Cooking time less than 10 mins

Serves 4-6

110g/4oz medium oatmeal, plus more for dusting
110g/4oz plain flour
55g/2oz lard, dripping or poultry fat
1 level tsp salt
cold water

For the glaze
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp sugar


1.Mix the oatmeal and flour in a bowl. Rub in the fat, add the salt and mix in just enough cold to form a soft but not tacky dough.

2.Roll out the dough on an oatmeal-strewn board. Cut out circles with a scone cutter. Alternatively, cut out a dinner-plate round, and quarter it.

3.Mix together the egg, milk and sugar to form a glaze.

4.Cook the oatcakes on an ungreased medium-hot griddle, without turning them. The moment the first batch are in place, brush them over with glaze - it will turn to a shiny coating as they cook.

5.When fully cooked, remove. Store in an airtight box.
I am going to try that recipe since I seem to be on a quick-bread obsession at the moment. However, I can not see it keeping for unlimited amounts of time as would be appropriate for a GHB.

Mine goes into the back of the vehicle and is forgotten for months at a time and I am certain the oatcakes would be crumbled and moldy by the time I dug them out in an emergency, since I have few of those that require use of the GHB.

I keep a can of B&M bread.

Not only does it supply bread with extended shelf life but once open you also have a useful container for boiling or cooking.

It is on the shelf at your local Kroger, usually at the end of the baking section.
I have some in my stores. IMO the difference in the brands is how sweet they taste and it depends on your palate. They do store a long time, and I've never had any go mouldy but I vacuum wrap everything before it goes away for long term.

I'd not say any particulat brand, even the expensive ones, are any better than any others.

I dunk mine in tea as a preference to eating them dry.
Some of the oatcake offerings available in the shops seems to gave a pretty good shelf life ( 1 year +)

I doubt that home made stuff would last anything like that long....but if good and tasty, it'd have been consumed long before then anyway.
Probably like beef jerkey and parched corn when my kids were at home.

None of it lasted long enough to get into the stores and was usually grabbed straight off the stove top!
Ever tasted them?

Acquired taste Smile
I have not tasted them, but Mum used to keep the B&M Brown Bread and we served that with the same B&M brand of Boston style baked beans with onions, brown sugar and molasses, which I much prefer to the Heinz white Navy beans and tomato sauce which are steamed and tasteless to me.

Will try the recipe. Acquired taste is to be expected. Me thinks that toasted with butter and jam would be fine, as would be butter and maple syrup or even bacon drippings and a poached egg with a bit of Texas Pete or Cholula!

I will report back for everyone's amusement as to the state of Yankee tastes...
You might also try granny's recipe for oatmeal cookies (these guys would call the biscuits)

Or check out the offerings from Little Debie!

Just kidding there but some of the use by dates on Little Debbies are in the ball park.
First package of oatcakes arrive today via Amazon. These were Nairns Rough Oatcakes, four cellophane packets of 7 oatcakes each in a 291g box, three boxes to the sleeve. Good crunchy texture, unsweetened, slightly nutty flavor, plain, but pleasant.
If hungry I'd be content to nibble them straight from the package, as I did the first two, but the remainder of first packet which I toasted were much better, enhanced the slightly nutty flavor of the next two.

Even better hot with with butter or jam, which I did with the last three.

One each plain buttered, then one each orange marmalade and strawberry jam.

Next round tomorrow for breakfast I'll try some in hot milk with a bit of brown sugar.

Vote is thumbs up!
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