Saturday, February 7, 2009

Puffed Rice Cakes - A Stigmatized Food?

Rice cakes are a stigmatized food in the U.S. They're the food a dieter forces herself to eat as a "healthy replacement" for chips or cookies. In Korea rice cakes seem to be a popular snack food. Street vendors sell them. You can hear the characteristic "thwack!" as a new rice cake pops out of the machine. E-mart sells them too: Surprisingly, no one is sampling the rice cakes. Usually you'll find several aggressive older Korean ladies huddled around a sample plate. Sometimes it seems they are eating a meal, not sampling.
Anyway, you can find plenty of variations, from grain type to size:
I heard that some Korean women follow a rice cake/popcorn diet to lose weight. Perhaps rice cakes are a 'stigmatized food' in Korea too. In my opinion, rice cakes are a waste of time to eat. They have empty calories, and, by filling your stomach with them, you won't eat nutritious foods.

7 comments:

Tia said...

I like em...

Trvlgyrl said...

Well, I kind of like them and wouldn't consider them a waste of time - they're kind of fun to eat and interesting to watch being made. Anyway, Evelyn Tribole, RD quoted them as "air food" in her book "Intuitive Eating" - it is easy to eat a lot of them (because they are light and airy and don't fill you up) and if you eat a whole package of them :o) the calories will add up.

steve said...

How are they made in Korea? We have Mi Xiang rice snacks in Taiwan but not sure if they are made the same way. We did a video the last time we saw them being made at the side of the road, would be interesting to know if it's a similar method:

http://www.lantern8.com/2009/12/03/making-mi-xiang-puffed-rice-snack-in-taiwan/

orenji-kiyoshi said...

How is it a wast of time? It's actually a healthy snack. It's a hell of a lot better than the rice crispy crap that's full of chemicals and food coloring.

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katrina said...

I'm late to comment, but they are perfect with dips -- whenever I put out crackers or veggies with dips, it's not the crackers or veggies, but these puffed rice cakes that disappear... and another merit, if you get flavoured ones (like onion) they are good to munch on when you feel like a bit of a munch, a healthier alternative to, say, potato chips...

Dominicana said...

I just bought them this week and love them! I am on weightwatchers, and one piece is just 1 point plus, which makes it a great snack. It is very satisfying.