I Paid: $43.08 for 12 1-pound bags (prices may vary by region)

Taste: 5 stars

Marketing: 2 stars

SooFoo, a “Super Good Food” (as it claims) made from a blend of grains, brown rice, and lentils, sounds like something your overly earnest Californian uncle would push on you during a Thanksgiving visit. On first blush, it appears to be cutely packaged, irritatingly wholesome crap—the essence of unsustainable self-denial.

And yet, it’s actually delicious. An unseasoned mix of brown rice, three kinds of lentils, wheat berries, oats, barley, rye berries, and buckwheat, SooFoo is easily prepared by simmering in water with a bit of salt and olive oil or butter. And then: dang. It’s slightly crunchy; it pops with nutty, mellow flavor; and it recalls the best aspects of wild rice minus the difficulty in nailing the popped-/unpopped-hull ratio. A half-recipe of SooFoo (which makes a nice side for two people) tastes rich and well-seasoned after adding a bit of salt and butter—the stuff seems to have an almost magical ability to take on flavor.

It’s also adaptable, serving as an addition to soup, an accompaniment to curry, or a breakfast food when cooked with cinnamon and milk.

This stuff will be making appearances as a side dish at a relatively high percentage of meals around my house, and then I’ll look to my friends and family in California to send me more—while it’s sold online in big bulk lots ($43 for 12 one-pound bags), it hasn’t yet made it to storefront distribution in the rest of the states.

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