Yes, this statement of the bleedin’ obvious is something I’ve “helpfully” been told by a surprisingly large number of people over the last 39 years… I still get it now, from time to time.
And, you know, I can even understand how using Ryvita as an aide-memoire for Kavita might help some people to remember my name more easily. Though I do wish they’d remember to switch back to Kavita instead of calling me Ryvita to my face.
Despite all that, Ryvita has a fond place in my affections, having been a sorta kinda namesake for so long!
Back in the eighties, the decade I associate most strongly with the modern obsession with diets, Ryvita was a key part of lunch boxes and light home lunches for many of the calorie conscious. I was (though I realise it must be quite a shock for those of you who know me now) quite a skinny thing back then but I quite liked the crunchy texture and enjoyed it now and again.
But I’ve not had it for years and years and years.
Chatting to a friend about nicknames recently, I was inevitably reminded about this crunchy snack.
Now that one can more readily find Swedish knäckebröd (crispbread) in the UK as well as the wonderful Peters Yard Crispbread (made in the UK in a Scandinavian style) I wondered how Ryvita would compare.
To my delight, when a PR friend learned about my long-time nickname, she arranged for some Ryvita to be sent to me for review.
We tried our two varieties of Ryvita – Sunflower Seeds & Oats and Pumpkin Seeds & Oats – with a picnic-style spread of duck liver paté, sliced Spanish chorizo, smoked mackerel paté and a satisfyingly liquid-centred Vacherin du Haut-Doubs Mont d’Or (cheese).
To my surprise I really, really liked both varieties, particularly the pumpkin seed one with the soft bite and flavour of the little green seeds. Pete enjoyed them too.
The best topping was definitely the vacherin cheese, spooned out of the container and smeared liberally over the crispbread.
I realised that, in the many years since I’d last eaten Ryvita, I had mingled my memories of Ryvita with a number of completely different styles of crispbread – one that has a texture more akin to edible polystyrene (do you know the one I mean?) and another that is essentially dried halved bread rolls.
In fact, Ryvita crispbread is very similar in taste and texture to the authentic Leksands Swedish crispbread I rediscovered recently.
I started off tickled by the idea of a post about my sorta kinda namesake and ended up happily finding myself falling for the product itself! It’ll certainly be making an appearance more regularly from now on.