When Rocky Rice got in touch and asked me to review their new rice cake bars I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting to like them. I mean, rice cakes, aren’t they just Styrofoam pretending to be food?
With that in mind I decided I’d better get some help so that I could give a balanced review. As luck would have it my family were happy to step up and help me eat food, so on the review panel today we have Grumpy Mum, mid 30’s doesn’t like rice cakes. Grumpy Dad, late 30’s indifferent on rice cakes. Grumpy Teen, usually communicates in grunts so I’m not sure what he thinks about rice cakes and Grumpy Child, doesn’t know what a rice cake is.
Before we got started I asked everyone to look at the packaging. To me the packaging is pretty standard for a cereal bar type product and very similar to other products I had bought. On the bright side that means they wouldn’t look out of place on the shelf, the downside is that they wouldn’t jump out at you either. I also think it could be clearer that this is a gluten free product as that may well appeal to a lot of buyers. Grumpy dad was of the opinion that the packaging was a little budget looking and that more could be done to make it look attractive.
That being said, we all agreed that the packaging was very clear as to what the bars are and the key message that they are under 100 calories and so a healthy choice for a snack.
Dark Chocolate and Orange Bar
Out of the four of us only Grumpy Dad actually likes dark chocolate so this was going to be interesting. We were all able to agree that once the packet is open you are hit with a strong, sharp smell of oranges. The rice cake was coated top to bottom in a thin layer of chocolate with the center appearing to be a nice puffy rice cake.
Grumpy Mum: The chocolate is very smooth and works well with the crispy center. The taste is a lot more subtle than I expected but in a good way. Considering I like neither dark chocolate or orange, I quite like this.
Grumpy Dad: Sniffing at it suspiciously Grumpy Dad informed us that he didn’t think he would like the rice cake before nibbling at a corner. “You get an initial crunch then it goes chewy and disappears. The inside doesn’t taste of much but when it mixes with the chocolate in your mouth it tastes a lot better.”(Apprehensively nibbles the rest of his piece)
Grumpy Teen: Grumpy Teen sniffed the rice cake and exclaimed “This had better not poison me” before taking a bite. He deliberated for a moment and then mumbled “Quite good” and popped the rest into his mouth.
Grumpy Child: After chewing for far longer than is normal and staring at the corner of the ceiling said “Hmmm… I like it, I would eat more, it tastes chocolate orangy!” then scoffed the rest of her piece and begged for the crumbs from the cutting board.
Milk Chocolate and Strawberry
Next on the agenda was milk chocolate and strawberry. I’m a big fan of chocolate strawberries and again was hit with a strong fruity smell when the packet was opened. I was looking forward to this one.
Grumpy Mum: It smells really inviting, like a strawberry cream but unfortunately I couldn’t taste much strawberry in the chocolate which was disappointing. The bar isn’t unpleasant but it just tastes like a high cocoa chocolate rather than strawberry chocolate.
Grumpy Dad: Grumpy Dad once again started by suspiciously nibbling and informing us that he doesn’t like strawberry in chocolate. “The strawberry is very subtle which isn’t unpleasant but I would rather eat the dark chocolate and orange bar.”
Grumpy Teen: Sniffing his piece longer than can reasonably be deemed necessary. “It smalls of strawberry far away but not up close” then inhaled his piece.
Grumpy Child: Nibbling nervously at the edge before scoffing the lot “I don’t like strawberry stuff but you can only taste chocolate not the strawberry”.
By the last bar every one was getting into the swing of things and reaching for their piece.
Grumpy Mum: This has a very chocolatey taste, similar to the strawberry bar but smoother and more tasty.
Grumpy Dad: Eating his piece without hesitation “When you try this one you can tell that the strawberry one was different.”
Grumpy Teen: Dismissively throws his piece into his mouth “It tastes like the strawberry one”
At this point we had a short interlude while Grumpy Dad and Grumpy Teen argued about whether the Strawberry bar and the Milk Chocolate bar taste the same. No consensus was reached.
Grumpy Child: Nibbling the corner before engulfing her piece “I like any type of chocolate (Grumpy Dad “She’d eat cardboard if it was chocolate coated”) I can taste the chocolate because of the coating, the middle doesn’t taste of chocolate”
We all agreed that the Rocky Rice cake bars were really tasty and over the next day or two all of us at some point chose to eat a Rocky Rice over the other chocolate or crisps in the house. I’m even eating one as I write this!
The final question I asked my taste testers was, which was your favorite bar?
Grumpy Mum: Milk Chocolate without a doubt.
Grumpy Dad: Either Chocolate Orange or Milk Chocolate. Because rice cakes don’t taste of much you really need the richer taste of these two to make them tasty.
Grumpy Teen: Chocolate Orange, the other two tasted the same. They were nice, but not as nice.
Grumpy Child: Chocolate Orange.
Where can I buy them?
Rocky Rice is a brand new product finding it’s way and so can currently only be purchased online at Rocky Rice, in health food and farm food shops or on Virgin trains. I very much expect to see these hitting the shelves in supermarkets very soon and will definitely be adding them to my shopping trolley.