Quite simply

The best.

If we know each other in real life, I’ve probably told you about Anson Mills’ oatmeal. More likely, I shoved a pouch or two into your arms and insisted you make some yourself. Like the dekopon (which are now in Whole Foods and Eataly, marketed as Sumo mandarines) and really good sushi, once you have this stuff, you can’t go back. Nothing else is worth having.

They’re quick-cooking oats, and the Anson Mills people have worked out detailed instructions for the best results: tender, creamy, yet still retaining a little bite.

The butter, brown sugar, and salt are non-negotiable for me — I can’t believe I went most of my life without putting butter in my oatmeal! (For my parents, if we weren’t microwaving packets of Quaker apple-and-cinnamon-flavored instant in the microwave, the only real garnish options to consider were sugar and raisins.)

(Which reminds me of my friend Lillian’s story about how, when she was growing up, her family made oatmeal congee-style: savory, topped with pork floss and pickles. At some point, she stayed over at a friend’s house, and they were having oatmeal, and she was looking around for the pork but then was horrified and disgusted to see them putting cream and maple syrup in their oatmeal. I love that story.)

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