Make us your home page
Instagram

Taste test: Ready-made rice pudding

Few treats are as flexible as rice pudding. The pudding can be eaten hot or cold. It can be made with fresh or leftover rice. It can be cooked with water, milk or a variety of added flavors and textures, including cinnamon and raisins. Even easier, consumers can choose from a selection of ready-made rice puddings in local grocery store refrigerators. Our tasters recently tried five brands of the thick and tasty treats.

Kathy Saunders, Times correspondent

Product/Score

(out of 100)
Kozy Shack 73El Viajero 53Hannaford 51
Judges'

comments
Bright, white color and bold vanilla flavor gave this pudding the edge over the competition. Judges liked the "generous helping of rice" in each serving, along with the sturdy texture of the treat. "It's silky, creamy, vanilla-flavored and just what rice pudding should look like," one judge said. "The rice really shines through, which is a big plus," another said.Judges were a bit divided on their affection for this brand of rice pudding. Those who preferred a lot of cinnamon and texture raved about the sample. Others craved a plainer version. "This tastes just like mom used to make," one panelist said. "It's got lots of great cinnamon but it kind of overwhelms the pudding," another said. A couple detected an artificial sweetener in the blend. "I think it's got a bit too many additives and too little rice," one said.Sweetbay's store brand of rice pudding had plenty to offer our tasters. It wasn't doctored with any sweetness other than a healthy taste of vanilla. "It's soft and not too lumpy," one judge said. Another said the serving tasted like vanilla ice cream, adding, "I would like this by the fire while I'm skiing through Yellowstone." Judges suggested this would be good as a base for adding fruit, coconut milk or nuts to create a fancier dessert.
Would

they buy?
Three of the four judges said yes.Three of the four judges said yes.Two of the four judges said yes.
Shopping information$2.78 for a six-pack of 4-ounce cups from Walmart.$2.98 for a four-pack of 4.5-ounce cups from Walmart.$2.58 for a 22-ounce tub from Sweetbay.


Also Sampled: Senor Rico (96 cents for an 8-ounce cup from Walmart, 50 points); and Jell-O ($2.18 for a four-pack of 3.6-ounce cups from Walmart, 29 points).

Panelists: Nan Jensen, registered dietitian; Kay Hodnett, personal chef; John Hehn, owner of All Brite Lighting & Power Design Inc.; and Laura Reiley, Times food critic. All foods were tasted blind.

Send suggestions for product testing to: Taste section, Tampa Bay Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731 or email them to jkeeler@tampabay.com. Please put TEST SUGGESTION in the subject line. To read past Taster's Choice columns, go to

tampabay.com/things-to-do/food/tastetest.

Serving size4 ounces4.5 ounces4.5 ounces
Calories120140130
Fat/Fiber2g / 0g2g / 0g2.5g / 0g
Sugars/Sodium14g / 125mg17g / 70mg16g / 150mg
Carbs/Protein21g / 4g27g / 3g24g / 4g

Taste test: Ready-made rice pudding 02/24/14 [Last modified: Monday, February 24, 2014 1:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28

    Events

    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  3. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach

    Travel

    GRAND CAYMAN ISLAND

    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  4. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires

    Stage

    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 27

    Events

    Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: The Barenaked Ladies will headline this festival with opener Cowboy Mouth. Enjoy more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks including a Sriracha strawberry, a bacon rita and even a jalapeno Cabo rita. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. Noon, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N …

    istockphoto