Product Review – ICA Cauliflower Rice (Blomkålsris)

ICA Cauliflower Rice (Blomkålsris)

ICA Cauliflower Rice (Blomkålsris)

Swedish supermarket chain ICA recently launched their “grönhydrater” range – the word being a Swedish portmanteau of the words for “green” and “hydrates”.

As well as zucchini / courgette and carrot “pasta”, they have started selling cauliflower rice, which we will take a closer look at here.

My first thought when I read about the introduction of this range of products was “what took them so long?”

Paleo may only now be starting to build up a bit of momentum in Sweden, but LCHF has been mainstream for quite some time now, two years minimum.  LCHF cookbooks have been detailing the virtues and the joys of cauliflower mash and cauliflower rice for so long, that you can’t help thinking that a more clocked-on business would have had brought something so simple as pre-packaged cauliflower rice to market much, much earlier.

It also has to be noted that the grönhydrater range just mysteriously popped up, mushroom-like, one afternoon in the salads section of our local ICA, tucked away almost apologetically in the corner of the shelf nearest the floor. No blurb, no “fanfare” as such, nothing to alert shoppers to it’s presence.

Paleovirtus Jr. commented at the time that it almost felt like store management had started selling it because they were told to, not because they wanted to, and that they expect and perhaps even want the product to fail.

There certainly wasn’t very many packets placed on the shelf – a mere handful of each of the products in the range. The cauliflower rice seemed to be most popular, those few packets had gone by early evening, with just a couple of packets of zucchini pasta and what looked like all of the carrot pasta left.

That was on the Friday, and disappointingly nothing more was put out for sale until the following Tuesday morning, when we bought our test packet.

We paid the princely sum of 5 Swedish crowns for our 250 gram packet of cauliflower rice, which isn’t a lot at all. Again, there was no information at the point of sale to tell us whether or not this was an introductory offer. As Paleovirtus Jr. said at the time, and others have said since, perhaps they just want rid of it, and are flogging it off as cheaply as they can get away with.

So, what exactly did we get for our 5 shiny Swedish crowns?

The contents of the packet

The contents of the packet

Well, according to the very informative packaging, which promised us “A tasty and green alternative to ordinary rice”, we got exactly what you would hope that you would get – nothing but grated cauliflower.

The size of the “grains” was pretty much in line with the results we would normally achieve at home using our hand-cranked rotary grater, if anything more evenly sized.

Using the ICA store-bought cauliflower rice as a base, I made up a batch of my egg fried cauliflower rice, just as I would with home produced rice.

In terms of consistency and taste, there was nothing to choose between the two versions of the dish – the ICA product performed just as well as the cauliflower rice we normally make in our own kitchen.

Egg fried cauliflower rice, Paleovirtus style

Egg fried cauliflower rice, Paleovirtus style

In conclusion, I suppose it comes down to two factors – the first one being how much of a nutritional impact will there have been in grating fresh cauliflower so long before it is actually used / cooked, and how much relevance you yourself place on this.

Secondly, assuming this product continues to be available in the future, what price will it ultimately retail for, and will that price make it viable just for the sake of convenience?


5 thoughts on “Product Review – ICA Cauliflower Rice (Blomkålsris)

    1. paleovirtus Post author

      Makes you wonder – the big supermarkets will surely be aware of the potential.

      My guess is that they think the size of the market isn’t big enough yet. Most people I knew in the UK (even at Weight Watchers!) were horrified by the thought of going Paleo, even when they’d seen how it had worked for me!

      Compare and contrast with Sweden, where Paleo is picking up speed because LCHF has been mainstream here for years now. You know a dietary regime is considered acceptable when cookbooks and ingredients special to it are easily available at your local supermarket… 🙂


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