Super Hill Food 4 – Nairn’s Rough Oatcakes

The staple of multiday walkers. If you can’t re-stock for lunches, this is one of the only cold options. Pastries and sandwiches will become highly dodgy on day 2 of any walk, and who wants to stop and cook during the day? Some do, and that must be the tastiest option. Personally I can’t be bothered. It’s a struggle to eat on a walk for me at the best of times, having to go to all that hassle means I’d live on Jelly Babies and Hob-nob flapjacks. Not that would be a bad thing. The oatcake, for the uninitiated, is a disc of  ‘oats’  manufactured somewhat in the same vein as fake diamonds, and with a similar outcome.


The rough oatcake tastes somewhat of nothing and is practically indestructible.  The cheesy version is a lot more delicate and always breaks up in the pack, so not overly practical on the mountain. The only practical way to cut the rough variety is to place between two rocks and to whack with a thin, but reasonably heavy piece of slate. It must, however, have a weakness to acid as it is surprisingly digestible by the human body as each tiny’cake’ of 11g provides 45 calories. So six of these would make a decent lunch, plus the nutrition taken from the toppings.

The oatcake takes the place of bread, and Primula is but one option for topping. If you can get some decent salami or chorizo, it makes an almost luxurious lunch! Tuna pate makes a palatable lunch, but don’t leave half a tub in your pack to fester on a hot summer’s day. If you look at Nairn’s website, then the choices are endless, even including sweet. If desperate, they can be eaten like normal biscuits by dunking in soup, but strictly for the desperate!

Summary – High in calories, decent ingredients. Toppings as varied as your imagination. Best option for backpacking. Can be used as mini-frizbee during long wild camp evenings. But they’re not overly visually appealing and this takes a bit to get over.

 

Dave Roberts

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader.
Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.

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