I have never liked cereal for breakfast - far too much like chewing cardbooard - so have never been one for reading the back of a cereal box while eating. The rest of the family, though, are great readers of food packaging, and I often have to retrieve it from the bin where I have unthinkingly thrown it while cooking so that they, Tom in particular, can consider calorific values, producers' claims, and marketing hype.
But now I have my own favourite breakfast reading. Apart from the wonderfully old-fashioned graphic design on the paper bags of Flahavan's Porridge Oats, there's also plenty of text about Irish oats, family values, porridge history, and how to make it. It's all very warm and comforting, and these are indeed the best oats I have come across (the big brand names fail dismally in our informal taste tests) and they produce a really brilliant, creamy, tasty winter breakfast.
Simon makes his porridge with water, adds sultanas, and drizzles honey on top. This is far too puritanical for me, and I make mine with milk then sprinkle over golden caster sugar and finish with a small swirl of cream (who ever said breakfast had be to merely fuel for the day when it can be delicious, too?). And now, after years of wondering why my porridge didn't taste like the best bowl of porridge I ever had which was made by a friend, I have realised what exactly it is that makes porridge taste truly porridgey, and it's a pinch of salt. But I'm sure the health police would never allow that to be printed on the packet.
[Flahavan's Oats and text are available from Waitrose, Tesco, and Asda.]