Being a Foodie, I’m always on the lookout for the “next big thing” in the food industry. Sometimes that is a new trend. Sometimes it’s a new gadget. And then sometimes it’s an innovation.
When I was contacted by Richard Cronk about product testing his new Slice of Rice™ product, I leapt at the opportunity. Preparing sushi at home has eluded me. It seems so simple but without the right consistency of rice, really the whole practice is futile.
The package arrived in the afternoon, very neatly packed and containing Slice of Rice™, Nori, a bamboo rolling pad, and instructional material. According to these materials, I received the product at the peak of its full flavor and texture.
I prepared haddock (imitation crab), avocado, radish, green onion, broccoli, and carrot, arranging all in easy reach of the work area.
According to Cronk , owner of RiceWrap Foods Corporation, “Sale of Slice of Rice™ for the first year… has been primarily through the Food Service industry to Chefs that range from Five Star resorts like Chateau Elan in Atlanta to the sky boxes of the major league baseball team Milwaukee Brewers. Numerous hotels, colleges, country clubs, restaurants, casinos all employ the convenience of Slice of Rice™.”
Okay. But those are professionals using a culinary product. How does this product stack up in the Retail Market where purchasers will run the gamut of skills?
I went to work first, then my husband, and finally our son, to see how “easy or difficult” the process really is.
Here are photos of our son who was not at all confident that he could do this. First, as per the written instructions and video from the RiceWrap website, we placed the bamboo rolling mat in a gallon sized plastic zip bag to prevent the Slice of Rice™ from sticking to the mat.
He placed the Slice of Rice™ dimpled side up, followed by a pre-cut sheet of nori.
We’re lucky that our kid loves vegetables and here he’s arranging his favorite green onions, radishes, and broccoli. The haddock was his special request so our dinner would “look like real sushi”.
Neat and ready to roll. This is where his confidence was really beginning to show.
Each step was so easy, and now, as he was starting to roll, he talked about how we should do this type of dinner more often. He did have to use his fingers to sort of hold the contents in while moving the bamboo mat up and over to form the roll.
“So easy even a kid can do it,” said he, over and over again.
And here is his result.
This is the finishing touch, Aji Nori Furikake, dried seaweed and sesame seed mix.
The final product.
In all honesty, I am surprised at how well the product worked. I expected it to be difficult to handle and somewhat tricky to roll. I also doubted the rice would hold its shape once it was sliced. Ultimately, though, it succeeded in these areas.
So once we all had our turns at using the Slice of Rice™, we were ready to dig in. What were the results of our Taste Test?
Observations: The taste and texture were quite delicious and the rice held its shape nicely. While it had a slightly different texture from the rice used to make fresh sushi in a restaurant, the pleasant hint of vinegar seemed to enhance the overall result. It could very easily have been from our corner Japanese restaurant.
Opinion: This product could change everything. I know that seems like an exaggeration, but think of this: it’s easy, it’s delicious, it will be found in the freezer section of your grocery, it’s flat and individually packaged (defrosting will take very little time and is easy to store in the freezer),and it’s Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Kosher making it a versatile product that anyone can enjoy.
In a statement by Cronk, “Slice of Rice™ is a game changer for Gluten Free folks, for vegetarians and for all who desire to eat healthier even though we live in such a fast paced environment. Slice of Rice™ is everyone’s healthy canvas for their own special food art and dietary needs.
No Cane Sugars
No High Fructose corn syrup
California sourced rice
Easy to roll
Great for using your leftovers – no food waste
So where can you find, Slice of Rice™? Well, RiceWrap Food Corporation has a Kickstarter as part of a “grass roots campaign” to get Slice of Rice™ on the shelves in grocery stores. Kickstarter will provide the funds that will make sure design and marketing are done professionally as well as fund the equipment necessary to realize the goal of Retail entry.