Regardless of whether you enjoy eating it or not, you'd have to agree that rice pudding ranks right up there as one of the most boring foods ever created. Good for a quick nutritious snack, most people (like me) just pick up tubs of Kozy Shack at their local supermarket whenever its put on sale.
Well, this being New York City, it comes as no surprise that someone has come up with a better mousetrap. Rice pudding has gotten a makeover, thanks to the folks at Rice to Riches (http://www.ricetoriches.com). As you've probably already guessed, they sell one thing and one thing only - rice pudding - but in 21 different flavors! Sounds like a silly concept, but judging from the crowds on both of my visits, it's all the rage.
First, the hip-looking storefront in Nolita with the cylindrical-shaped window allows great views into the brighly-lit and colorful store, attracting passersby to come in and sample the goods. They did a great marketing job as well, giving the different flavors fun-sounding names, ranging from the playful (Chocolate Chip Flirt) to the romantic (Take Me to Tiramisu) to the Jimi Hendrix throwback (Sex, Drugs, and Rocky Road). Moreover, the pudding is served on colorful (e.g. orange, green, etc) disposable cups that look straight out of the Ikea catalog.
On two separate visits, to the detriment of both my wallet and waistline, I tried four different flavors: Pistachio Protest, "Category 5" Caramel, Chocolate Chip Flirt, and Coast to Coast Cheesecake - and I had to admit all were pretty good. Among them, my favorite was the Pistachio Protest (but then I love pistachio ice cream). I asked the two baby boomers eating at the same communal counter what they were having, and they raved about the Sex, Drugs and Rocky Road (although they might just have been nostalgic about their youth LOL).
A few flavors as also available in take-out packs (see picture) - in case you don't want to consume all the sugar in one sitting - they make a really great breakfast (trust me) and makes you forget that at the end of day, what you're eating is just rice pudding.