As you might recall, a few weeks ago I posted about the preponderance of steel-cut oats I discovered in our kitchen cabinet.
This morning I thought that I should use some of these oats, so I made myself some nice oatmeal with the John McCann steel-cut irish oats (the ones that come in a metal can). If you have ever made steel-cut oatmeal, you'll know that it's a much longer process than usual oatmeal. You can't make them in the microwave. You must boil 4 cups of water, add 1 cup of oats, and stir until they start to thicken...and then simmer for 30 minutes.
When I took the oats out, I thought I detected a slightly rancid odor, but I thought it was probably my imagination or the can. I was wrong.
After eating a whole bowl of oatmeal that didn't taste quite right, I googled "steel cut oats rancid," and sure enough, discovered that they can indeed go rancid!!
There was no expiration date on the tin, so who would have known? But obviously, we have had them for a long time--they are such a hassle to make, plus they were buried back behind all the vases and I forgot we even had them!
Most web sites advise keeping steel-cut oats in the refrigerator to prevent this from occurring. Already, we keep our flour in the fridge (to prevent mealy bugs), so I guess this will free up more cabinet space! And yuck--I think I need to go eat something else to get rid of that taste!! They weren't inedible (and I had put pieces of chrystallized ginger and dried apricots in them, so they masked the flavor somewhat), but the knowledge that I ate rancid oatmeal bothers me more than anything!