Quaker has had a monopoly on rice-cake sales since the 90's and, as such, is my only basis for comparison when discussing the finer points of rice cakery. Koyo rice cakes come in these different varieties, but these consist mostly of textural variations. If you need wacky flavours or packaging designed to simulate the experience of eating potato chips then the Quaker cakes are for you. I have only tried the plain, salted versions of both.
Compared to the Quaker rice cakes, which are almost completely uniform, the Koyo cakes have a more textured surface with greater variation between cakes. They also have a crunchier, less "styrofoamy" chew and a stronger rice taste. Koyo cakes are irregular, however, and some packages may contain one or two very thin cakes. This may be disappointing to shoppers who demand a certain amount of rice cake per-dollar.
The Koyo cakes retail for about $1.99 a bag. I can't remember the price of the Quaker rice cakes but I seem to recall that they are only marginally cheaper, though they do often go on sale. Koyo rice cakes are available in health stores as well as stores selling bulk ingredients. The Koyo website has a "where to buy" section as well as an online store.
As a bonus, here are 5 more great things to love about rice cakes:
- Rice cakes are not unlike pop corn if you break them apart and eat them in little chunks.
- Rice cakes weigh virtually nothing, so it is not unreasonable to stuff an entire package into your purse or bookbag and walk around with them for happy snacking all day long. I am not ashamed to admit that I love doing this.
- Rice cakes are a crunchy, sturdy vehicle for peanut butter and jelly or your favourite melty cheese concoction.
- Rice cakes are loved by the animal population! If you run into a friendly sparrow, squirrel or duck you can feel free to share a snack. (Maybe not those freaky flavour-types though.)
- Rice cakes are only 40 calories a cake. Eat the whole damn bag!
Image from www.koyonaturalfoods.com