Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Product Review: Soyatoo's Rice Whip (Whipped Rice Topping)

Who doesn't love whipped cream? Everybody, right?

Well, that's partially true. Most of us love whipped cream, but cream and the milk of the cow is not everyone's friend. Several companies have come up with various alternatives for cream, the most notorious are those made from soy. But as those of us who are body sensitive know, soy is not for everyone either. Soy, along with wheat, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs are the top 8 allergens across the board - which is why you see them listed as potential allergens on every single FDA-approved label on the market. Soy is a problem for many of us.

So, what's a girl to do? Can't have soy, can't have cream. No whipped delight on top of our pies and sundaes then, right?

Well, put away the hankies kids, Soyatoo has created a rice version that is ultra-allergen friendly. With the exception that it is packaged in a plant that uses the same equipment to package milk and nuts, it really is a marvelous feat of consumerism.

Made primarily from rice milk, coconut oil, sugar from rice and a few other standard ingredients (all easily pronounced and I know what they do and why) with several ingredients even made organically, this new concocotion is quite exciting.

So, how does it taste?

Well, that is answered in a multi-layered response. The texture is creamy and absolutely reminiscent of our dairy-filled standards you find in any spray can at Safeway, but the taste, is well, sort of different. Nothing is ever the same and anyone who loves food will tell you cream is cream and soy is soy and rice is, well, rice. But Rice Whip is definitely making headway on a soy and cream-filled monopoly. For me, vegans and dairy-free eaters all over the globe, Rice Whip is definitely something to savor. On its own, it has a slightly bitter, ricemilky aftertaste. Consumed with something like cookies or pie, the flavor completely intermingles and you wouldn't be able to tell it was Rice Whip or Reddi-Whip, the regular kind. The coconut oil gives it a nice creamy and slightly smooth mouth-coated feel without any coconut flavoring or aftertaste. It really was quite nice, if you're only sort of expecting Reddi-Whip. Be open. That's my advice whenever trying something new.

My second and final criticism to the makers of Rice Whip is the issue with the can. I saw it on the shelf at Whole Foods and immediately dropped one in my basket. It wasn't cheap at a mere $5.49 a can, but neither is Soy Whip. The alternatives just aren't cheap, but for those of us searching for some sort of pre-made relief, we're willing to ditch the few extra bucks to give it a try.

The can looks like any other whipped cream spray can with a nice label and pretty lid. I didn't bother to read past the ingredient list until I was secretly sitting in my car and itching to try it. A little pop of the good stuff in my mouth would give me all the information I need to know, right?

Well, wait another twenty minutes and then you can. What?

Since I purchased the Rice Whip out of the dairy case, it was cold, as it should be. However, the can states that because of the type of propellant they use and the design of the can (and I'm sure because of the various types of ingredients that must be used without chemicals as used to make standard spray whip), which happens to be relatively natural and for that I am grateful, the steel can and its contents must be at room temperature to work right.

They aren't kidding.

I punctured the seal to see if it would work (I just had to have a taste!) and followed the directions to shake it up and loosen the inner goodness. I hit the nozzle. Nothing. I hit it again. Some gas came out. No whip. Disappointed, I set the can onto my car seat and drove home knowing the fifteen minute drive would just about work out right.

Finally getting home, I drop the rest of the groceries and bust out the can again.

It's been awhile since I've had whipped cream. Can you tell?

After following the clearly labeled six steps (yes, six steps to freeing my creamy delight), I was able to finally squirt some onto my fingertips and taste the first safe faux cream in a can I've had in years.

Sweet, creamy, nice mouth-feel. Pretty good. Slightly weird aftertaste, like burned rice.

Okay, try it with a cookie. Ah, better. No aftertaste.

The next interesting feat was that the can has to be stored in the fridge upside down and you are supposed to clean the nozzle each time you use it. Coconut oil will clog up the workings. I am guessing also that the type of propellant used is not strong enough to push out the gunk that clogs up the nozzle, unlike what they use in the chemically-laden store brands. It's been a while since I looked at the back of a package of Reddi-Whip so I don't remember what propellant they use, but I can tell you the list of ingredients on the back have some rather unsavory things in there. So, I was willing to go to the extra effort for something a little more body-friendly and natural. Well, as natural as fake whipped cream in a can can get.

I continued to use the can and its contents over the next day or so, not really using very much, but wanting to really see what I thought of the flavor and the complicated can maneuvers. And to my surprise, it was empty after only a few uses. I could hear liquidy stuff rolling around inside, but for the most part, I knew it was empty. Maybe the gas ran out. The can is still sitting on my table as I write this review and I shake it hearing the cream slosh around inside and there's no way for it to get out.

That is a disappointment. I kind of thought I'd get more for my money here. The label states that you can get 66 tablespoons out of one can at a mere 5 calories per tablespoon (which is quite nice), but there is no way my can produced that much. I can't prove it, but I can tell you I was disappointed. Maybe there are twenty or thirty tablespoons still inside the can.

This part was actually the biggest let down. If I was having a party and wanted to offer this as an option for a topping, I'd have to buy several cans. And at nearly $6 a can and the fact that I'd have to leave them on the counter upside down not knowing how much each one would produce, I doubt I would even bother.

I appreciate the effort Soyatoo, but I'm not sure I will go to the effort. It's just not that good. If the flavor was remarkable, maybe. But with the aftertaste issue, the can craziness, and the small amount you get, I think I'll just settle for going cream-less.

Unless come Thanksgiving, I just can't stand not having some for my pie. Or maybe Christmas with Mom and the D. We'll see.

Happy eating!


  1. Sorry to hear about your whipped topping disappointment. No fun! Have you contacted the company about your complaint? Sometimes they appreciate the feedback so much that you might even get a coupon or a replacement item out of it. =) {It's worked for me before.}

  2. I will have to remember that! Thanks!