Gruel is a type of preparation consisting of some type of cereal, wheat or rye flour, and also rice, boiled in water or milk. It is similar to porridge, but is more often drunk than eaten. Historically, gruel has often been an important part of the human diet, especially that of the working class. The importance of gruel as a form of sustenance has been lessened in the more modern times.

Maize gruels were once one of the main food sources for many Mesoamerican peoples, such as the Maya and Aztecs. "Atole" was a preparation of ground maize that was often flavored with chili and salt. It could be consumed or drunk both as an important calorie source and as a refreshing thirst quencher.

In Sweden, gruel is often given to small children, but is rarely eaten among adults.

In the Western world, gruel is remembered as the food of the child labour slaves in Charles Dickens' Industrial Revolution novel, "Oliver Twist". The eponymous character asks the master of the workhouse for some more, and is struck a blow to the head for it. Also, in The Simpsons episode "Kamp Krusty", Bart and some of the other children are forced to eat "Krusty Brand Imitation Gruel" as their only meal, punctuated by the comment "Nine out of ten orphans can't tell the difference."

A counter example of literary reference to gruel can be found in Jane Austen's "Emma", wherein the title character's well-off father, Mr. Woodhouse, is depicted as most fond of it for sustenance, health and good character.

Congee is a popular Asian preparation of gruel made with rice.

External links

* [ Gruel page] , from Ask Mr Breakfast site

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gruel — de arroz, llamado congee en el este y sureste de Asia. El gruel es una receta consistente en algún tipo de cereal (harina de avena, trigo o centeno, o también arroz) cocido en agua o leche. Es una versión más clara de las gachas, que a menudo se… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Gruel — Gru el, n. [OF. gruel, F. gruau; of German origin; cf. OHG. gruzzi groats, G. gr[ u]tze, As. gr[=u]t. See {Grout}.] A light, liquid food, made by boiling meal of maize, oatmeal, or flour in water or milk; thin porridge. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gruel — Nom très présent en Seine Maritime. En ancien français, le mot gruel signifie gruau (au départ grain grossièrement moulu). Il s agit en général du surnom donné à un meunier ou à un boulanger. Autres formes voisines : Gru (56, 80), Gruau (72, 49) …   Noms de famille

  • gruel — late 12c., meal or flour made of beans, lentils, etc., from O.Fr. gruel fine meal, from Frankish *grut (Cf. M.Du. grute coarse meal, malt; M.H.G. gruz grain ), from PIE *ghreu to rub, grind (see GRIT (Cf. grit)). Meaning thin porridge or soup is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Grüel — Grüel, Vogel, so v.w. Brachvogel …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • gruel — ► NOUN ▪ a thin liquid food of oatmeal or other meal boiled in milk or water. ORIGIN Old French …   English terms dictionary

  • gruel — [gro͞o′əl] n. [ME < OFr, coarse meal < ML * grutellum, dim. of grutum, meal, mash < Gmc * grut, hulled dried grain, akin to GROATS] 1. thin, easily digested porridge made by cooking meal in water or milk 2. [Old Brit. Informal]… …   English World dictionary

  • gruel — noun Etymology: Middle English grewel, from Anglo French gruel, of Germanic origin; akin to Old English grūt grout Date: 14th century 1. a thin porridge 2. [from to get one s gruel to accept punishment] chiefly British punishment 3. something… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Gruel — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Personnalités Guillaume Gruel, mémorialiste médiéval. Henri Gruel (1923 2007), réalisateur de cinéma français. Brigitte Gruel (née en 1957), actrice de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • gruel — [[t]gru͟ːəl[/t]] N UNCOUNT Gruel is a food made by boiling oats with water or milk …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.