Thursday, July 5, 2012

Review: Kozy Shack Cinnamon Raisin Bread Pudding

Bread pudding is something that I've come to later in my life.  In fact, I had never had it up until a few years ago and the first couple times I had it, I didn't really think it was all that great.  I thought it was okay, I guess, but it was nothing that particularly stirred any passion (positively or negatively) for me in any way.  That all changed when I went to St. Louis a year or so ago and went to the breakfast buffet at the Renaissance Grand Marriott in Downtown St. Louis.  On their buffet, they had some bread pudding that was one of the most unbelievably awesome things that I've ever had in my life and there is not a week that goes by these days where I don't think about it.  I'm aware it's kind of a ridiculous obsession, but it is what it is.

Anyway, after having had Kozy Shack products before, but never their bread puddings, and then seeing Junk Food Guy's review of their Apple Cinnamon bread pudding (which I had seen in the store before, but had never purchased), I knew I had to try this out and see if the Cinnamon Raisin flavor (one of my favorite flavor combinations) was better than the Apple Cinnamon version that he reviewed.  Just for review solidarity's sake, I picked up a four pack of these 3.5 ounce cups at Meijer on sale for $2.50.  Each cup is 150 calories.

First things first, I took out one of these cups and noticed on the lid that this can be eaten either warm or cold.  For this review's purposes, I'll try it both ways, although the picture you see above is prior to it being heated.  Since the appearance does not matter whether it is warm or cold, this looked pretty much like I'd expect bread pudding to look was bread stuffed into a plastic cup with raisins and cinnamon spread throughout.  The bread was also soaked in a custard to give it the soft and moist texture that you encounter in bread pudding and then was all topped off by a barely noticeable caramel sauce.  Smell-wise, it had a strong scent of both cinnamon and raisins and based on presentation, I was extremely eager to dive in and eat this.  The first cup I ate was warm and the second cup I ate was cold, so here's the review of each...

Warm version:  after heating this for thirty seconds according as per the directions, I was saddened once I pulled this out of the microwave.  What was a semi-stiff bread mixture turned soggy and runny once I heated it up.  When I scooped my spoon in, the bread just fell apart, kind of like a nasty baby food concoction.  Visually, I was not excited to dive into this.  Once I took my first spoonful, my excitement never rose because it basically tasted like a runny cinnamon raisin-like baby food.  What was a strong smell of cinnamon and raisins prior to heating had gone limp once it had gone through the microwave and eventually turned into a mess of a cup mushy custard/bread mix that had an occasional raisin lump in it.  It was essentially flavorless (the caramel was not noticeable AT ALL) and I was depressed and felt that I would never want to eat this again.  But, I knew I had to try it cold because perhaps the bread would hold together better that way, so that led me to my next attempt...

Cold Version:  obviously since this was cold and didn't have any heat to liquify it, it definitely held together better than the warm version did, so at least this was off to a good start.  After a good start though, it kind of fizzled out, although not as much as the warm version does.  This definitely held together better, but holding together did not necessarily make this a better product.  It still felt weird in my mouth as it was a gelatinous mess, but I could taste the cinnamon and raisin slightly better and since it held together better, it was a bit more chewy like a typical bread pudding would be.  I still could not taste the caramel, but I could taste the raisins, so at least it was delivering better on some aspects.

Buy It or Fly By It?  Overall, I have to give this a FLY BY IT rating.  Based on product name and description, this had so much promise going in, but it failed to deliver.  What Kozy Shack ended up with here was a substandard product at best.  The warm version was just not good and the cold version was just average.  In summation, this was below average and although I'm curious to try some of the other Kozy Shack bread pudding, I'm not nearly as anxious as I was previous to this one.


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