#FACTS Oatmel comes sliced, chopped and flattened, Here’s the low-down on three major types:

Old-Fashioned Oats: These oats are the ones that probably pop into your mind when you hear the word “oatmeal” and are most often the least expensive variety. They are made by flattening the grain into a flake. The thickness of the flake determines the texture of your oatmeal-the thinner the flake, the softer the oatmeal. This is why a bowl of quick-cooking oats may seem even softer and creamier than regular old-fashion oats. For quick-cooking oats, old-fashioned oats are rolled even thinner and cut into small pieces so that the oats will indeed cook more quickly.

Steel-Cut Oats: In this case, the oats have been chopped into tiny pieces and not rolled out. They have a harder texture, so they take longer to cook. They do tend to be more expensive than old-fashion oats, but some people may prefer the chewier texture of steel-cut oats. Steel cut oats are also known as Irish Oatmeal.

Instant Oatmeal: This is an even thinner, more finely chopped version of the old-fashion oats that is individually packaged for convenience and quick-cooking. They can easily be microwaved.

Oats has also been the root of a long-running dispute in the U.K. Samuel Johnson’s 1755 dictionary defined oats as “A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland appears to support the people.” The Scotsman’s retort to this was, “That’s why England has such good horses, and Scotland has such fine men!” LOL

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