[Sca-cooks] Riddle was oatcakes

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Tue Apr 7 21:29:36 PDT 2009

> Terry Decker wrote:
>> Interesting word.  A riddle is a coarse sieve used to seperate grain from 
>> chaff.  The two common forms of riddle appear to be a plate with holes 
>> drilled in it or a wooden rim strung with a coarse wire mesh.  From the 
>> usage, a riddle cake appears to be an oatcake made from coarse grain 
>> rather than from cut or milled oats.  And yes it is the source of the 
>> term, "riddle with bullets," from an earlier term, "to make a riddle of."
>> Bear
> This made me think of funnel cakes.  If you put a medium thick batter in a 
> plate with holes it would drop down in spots, making a thin, lacy, crispy 
> cake on a griddle.  The drops of batter should spread into each other.  I 
> have not read enough period oatcake recipes to know if this is plausible, 
> so I could be way off, but I am trying to think 'outside the box' of 
> modern cooking and to have fewer pre-conceived notions about how is 
> should/must be.  So it is just a thought I am throwing out there.
> Reyni-Hrefna

This particular dough isn't very batter-like, being too heavy to run 
effectively.  There is a variant of the riddlecake from the early 19th 
Century where the dough is forced through a riddle onto a board then 
transferred to a griddle to bake, so your speculation has merit.  On the 
otherhand, most of the few other descriptions I've seen make riddlecakes out 
to be a regular shaped oatcake.


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