The Reality of Cauliflower Rice

Review: Zero out of 9 whole grains



Photographer Victor Protasio, Food Stylist Anna Hampton, Prop Stylist Claire Spollen

We appear to have become so aggressively bereft of the powers of insight as to passively accept the ever further egregious commodification of our own insecurities in conjunction with our diets, in spite of its easily spotted nature. Nutri-system, health shakes, calorie counting, paleo, keto, Atkins, intermittent fasting, liquid diets, detoxes, etcetera and ad nauseum- there is no diet fad that year after year and decade upon decade we increasingly physically unfit and mentally malleable apes will not succumb to.

This is all of the diet information you will ever need. I’m about to save you potentially thousands of dollars and hours for free. Here it is: show restraint, try not to eat late at night, eat less carbs, drink alcohol sparingly and if you do then gravitate towards wine or spirits instead of beer, eat plenty of vegetables, whole, clean foods and proteins, indulge in junk only every so often, hydrate well, exercise regularly, purposefully and diligently, and lastly and most importantly: make it a lifestyle, not a phase.

That’s it. I just told you every piece of dieting information you’ll require for the rest of yours or anyone else’s life. Heed it or not. Do it or don’t. I really don’t care. You can be miserable with the body of a Greek demigod; you can experience endless joy with the body mass of a Hungarian basilica. It doesn’t matter what shape you take, all that matters is that you’re happy, and ideally healthy. The rest is just bullshit and snake oil pitched to you by interchangeable sets of abs that can speak to you through social media or your dumbass friends.

What I DO care about is something at play that I find not only insulting, but sinister. An insidious tumor that must be surgically removed before it metastasizes into something that we can no longer control. I am referring, of course, to cauliflower rice.

I take umbrage with a dizzying array of insignificant things, I’m aware of this. At times I’m even more passionate about the aforementioned than the full-blown atrocities of the world. Perhaps it’s because I feel that while I am largely powerless to halt the systemic ills of existence, I do feel that the infinitesimal is something I can change. I have a long, storied history with pesto and how if it’s made with anything other than a basil base, then it ceases to be pesto. Is that correct? No? Well not with that attitude.

I think that people who vocally don’t like Game of Thrones are much more annoying than people who do; and though I haven’t watched the series in years, I was genuinely upset that so many people were so disappointed by its final season. Why? Because it’s heartbreaking when a story you’re invested in is massacred, and as someone who saw what was done to The Hobbit, my compassionate heart bleeds for Game of Thrones fans. That said I would be lying if I didn’t say that I was hit with a deluge of indescribable schadenfreude upon hearing about all of the parents who named their daughters Khaleesi, only to be absolutely devasted at the long projected plot “twist” where the woman whose thing  is owning flying iguanas that can set everything on fire went right ahead and set everyone on fire. I’ve found myself more surprised by a watermelon meeting its demise at the hands of Gallagher.

This brings me to cauliflower rice.

First of all: how dare we? Yes, we consume far too much carbs in America, but that’s hardly the fault of rice. It’s our fault. It’s our fault that we’ve run afoul of the staple grain that has sustained us a human race for tens of thousands of years; suddenly made a villain because a small group of horrible (likely) blonde people (likely) from Los Angeles deciding that this ancient fuel was now your enemy. To think of all of the incredible dishes that rice can and has given us over the years. Its powers are employed by people the world over in kaleidoscopically diverse usages. Can cauliflower do even a percentage of a percentage of what rice can, and this is how we treat rice? For shame. Cauliflower deserves better.

Secondly, putting cauliflower into a blender does not change the very plant that it is. You don’t put corn into a blender and get quinoa. When you blend cauliflower, all that you’ve done is butcher an ear of cauliflower and are now branding it as rice because it’s a familiar name that’s a far more attractive substitute than calling it, say, mush.

Yes, I have tried using blended cauliflower as a pizza crust; and then I realized something profound: what if instead of having a pizza with depression just about as often as I’d like, how about I have an actually delicious pizza every once in a while? Then, like a spore on a dewy morning my mind expanded and bloomed into a veritable pasture of sensible ideas. It was a clarity the likes of which had always seemed so distant as an American that, culturally, can only see things in terms of whatever Michael Bay project is coming out next.

Show restraint.

This review is a plea, ladies and gentlemen. Not just for the preservation of the dignity of rice, but for sanity to win the day whereas it pertains to our diets.

Don’t hate the grain. Hate the player.