The most popular grains used for porridge are oats, maize and semolina, and in some countries, the word porridge has become synonymous with a mixture made from one particular grain, usually because of availability and tradition. For example, porridge is almost exclusively made from oatmeal in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and maizemeal in East Africa. Speakers of American English understand the word porridge but generally do not employ it, referring to "hot cereal" when speaking generally, or using the name of the grain oatmeal, farina (semolina, popularised by Farina®, a brand), etc.
In Scotland, porridge made of oatmeal, boiled slowly ,stirred continuously with a spirtle  and seasoned with salt is a traditional breakfast. The first recorded occurrence of the word porridge dates from about 1760, in a children's rhyme: Pease Porridge hot/Pease Porridge cold/Pease Porridge in the Pot/Nine Days old. 
The Golden Spirtle World Porridge Making Championship is held annually in Carrbridge Scotland.
- Word of the week: spirtle The Times December 3 2006
- Scotland Food and Drink
- Pease porridge From The Original Mother Goose's Melody: As First Issued by John Newbery, of London, about A.D., 1760 (1889)
- Porridge-maker title returns to Scotland Guardian 10 October 2010
- Mary’s Meals "an international movement to set up school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hunger prevent children from gaining an education".
- World Porridge Day