From sushi to risotto, Flahavan’s Oats is leading the way in
developing innovative dishes utilizing gluten-free oats.
Tucked away in County Waterford, Ireland, lies Flahavan’s Oats, a family-run business with roots tracing back to 1785, making it the country’s oldest family-run business. Now in its seventh generation, the family is devoted to producing gluten-free oats in a dedicated facility and making many varieties of oats to be consumed in the most creative of ways. From traditional Irish baked goods to oat-rolled sushi to oat risotto, this naturally gluten-free item can be weaved into many scrumptious recipes.
Heading up Flahavan’s operation today is managing director John Flahavan, the great-great-great-grandson of Thomas Dunn, who took over the mill in 1785. Flahavan has spent many years researching his family history and uncovered records from the 1656 Civil Survey of two mills in the village of Kilmacthomas that are believed to have been Flahavan’s mills. John, alongside his son James, remains committed to keeping the family tradition alive, ensuring that they are utilizing the most sustainable milling processes possible. John believes that the Irish climate the world’s most conducive for growing oats and that it helps develop the oats’ natural creamy flavor.
“We respect the environment and countryside that we are in,” said James Flahavan while explaining why his family has always utilized the nearby River Mahon for its main energy source. “The boilers burn the husks because we roast our oats in the husk. There are no fossil
fuels used in our process.”
The Flahavans practice traditional milling techniques that result in small-batch oats. The process is simple: the oats are heated in the kiln with their outer shell intact to retain their natural color. Then the kernel is cut into three to four individual pieces and steam-cooked. Flahavan’s produces a variety of oat products found today throughout the United States and across Europe, including steel cut organic oats and quick-cook oats.
So Much More Than Just Oatmeal
While the most natural expression of oats might be oatmeal or porridge in its many forms, oats now have a place in a variety of dishes that can stimulate the most creative of culinary minds. The Flahavan family is fast at work developing new recipes, many of which are gluten free, to engage consumers and oat lovers alike to think outside the box when cooking and baking. It’s also a chance to utilitze oats in more savory dishes in lieu of quinoa or a rice grain, for instance. The family believes in mixing their tried-and-true tradition with creative ideas to consistently reinvent their product, their recipes and their own history.
Check out these scrumptious recipes courtesy of Flahavan’s Irish Oats:
Food writer by day, financial journalist by day-job, Kristen Oliveri is a career journalist with a passion for food, wine, nutrition and luxury travel. To view her body of published work, visit pastaskitchen.com.