Hey! Your name sounds like Ryvita!

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.

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15 Comments to "Hey! Your name sounds like Ryvita!"

  1. Foodycat

    I really like ryvita. Although once you've schmeared it with vacherin, you kind of have to give up the illusion that it is health food!

  2. Heavenly Housewife

    It's been a while since i tried ryvita, i need to try some of those cool flavours. To me though, Ryvita is all about what you put on it though, rather than the crisp bread itself.
    *kisses* HH

  3. Suelle

    The black pepper Ryvita is good too – it has quite a kick!

    Did you spread your goodies on the smooth or knobbly side? That choice is what makes it a healthy snack or not!

  4. Kavey

    FoodyCat, my aim precisely!

    HH, I'd agree but actually, I really liked both the texture and flavour the Ryvitas added to the cheese (and other toppings).

    Suelle, not tried that one. I think I spread it on the smooth side?

  5. Nicky

    A fine cracker with a sullied reputation as a result of its healthy connotations. I love it with cream cheese and piccalilli (sp?) – yes, really …

  6. Kavey

    Exactly! Neither the beautiful Peters Yard crispbreads nor the Leksands ones are mired with that diet label around their necks and yet Ryvita does seem to be.

    Needs shaking off, is what it needs!

  7. Celia

    Hey! Your name sounds like navy! Do you like blue? 😀

    I grew up on Ryvitas, many a teenage dieting day was spent eating Ryviats with Vegemite (no butter). Nice to know they've grown up a bit since then! 🙂

  8. CarolineS

    Really? People call you ryvita? I would never have thought of that 🙂

    Have the bog standard multigrain on my desk in the office, good replacement for a second (or third) choccie biccie!

  9. Kavey

    Celia, not hugely into blue! BUT it also rhymes with gravy, and I do like that!!
    Vegemite is just not RIGHT!!!!

    Caroline, I know, really! They do!

  10. miss south

    I love Ryvita. I lived off it and cream cheese when I first moved to London and was broke. I stuffed myself with the dark rye variety and cheap cream cheese for lunch in front of all my carb hating colleagues who were embracing Atkins and despite memories of semi starvation and feeling faint a lot of that time, I still love Ryvita.

    I recently got myself their tins and, ahem, colour coded them for different sorts. The fruit crunch is heavenly about 4pm with some strong tea and I second both the black pepper and the pumpkin seed type too!

    I'm hungry now…

  11. Lisa

    I love Ryvita. The dark rye one will always be my favourite though that has proved very hard to find recently. The sesame seed one spread with houmous is a most tasty lunch, though it is very hard to stop at two…

  12. wendy Wilson Bett

    It's an honour to be mentioned so positively! Crispbreads really are a well loved part of many people's daily lives and there's room for lots of different varieties and brands. Thanks for the kind mention! Wendy (from Peter's Yard)


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