Friday, October 17, 2014

Pumpkin Porridge with Honey - H-Mart: Cherry Hill, NJ

Pumpkin Porridge with Honey - H-Mart: Cherry Hill, NJ
Finally! The costume is done, and my boyfriend has landed safely in Las Vegas, so I can get back into my daily reviews!

When I was looking through my 2013 and 2012 pumpkin galleries, I noticed that almost all of my items were American, which is a little boring. I wanted to branch out and try a few pumpkin items from other countries, but they've been pretty hard to find. (Do any of you have suggestions or tips on where I might find some?) During my last trip to H-Mart I spotted this little container on one of the lowest shelves, and although this might not be a seasonal item, it's supposedly pumpkin flavored. Let's see what pumpkin porridge with red bean and honey tastes like!

The packaging for this container is very similar to those microwavable Chunky soups Campbell's came out with a few years ago. The outside is a white plastic-y substance, and the inside is similar to a pop-top canned good. Visually, the warm colors and the overall design give me a warm and cozy feeling, and the photo of the porridge makes this product look very similar to Cream of Wheat. (Which I enjoy.) Not only does this packaging look nice, but it's really functional and well thought out. See that little plastic tail sticking out? I thought it was a safety seal at first, but it turned out to be...


A little spoon! How cute (and functional) is that? Toss this container into your bag and you have a ready to eat meal with utensils! Admittedly, I haven't gotten more then 5 hours of sleep a night in a long time, so it might be the sleep deprivation talking, but I love this little spoon. The level of happiness I felt when I saw this thing is admittedly worrisome, but I was very excited to see this little spoon hidden under the lid. (I need to sleep more.)

The lid has instructions on how to open the container, which seems to be very straight forward to me, but I guess it's better to be safe than sorry.



I peeled the lid back, and my first impression wasn't that great. This porridge didn't smell or look all that appetizing. The orange soupy mixture has that weird pureed vegetable aroma that I associate with baby food, it's savory, but sweet at the same time, which isn't terribly off putting, but it didn't make me super excited to eat this either.

There's a lot of text on the packaging, and I can't read any of it, so I wasn't sure if this was meant to be eaten warm or cold, but the photo on the front showed steam rising from the porridge, and the container looks just like the Campbell's Soup-2-Go containers that are microwave-safe, so I took a risk and attempted to heat it up at 30 second intervals in my microwave.


It worked! (Well at the very least nothing blew up or exploded.) So I'm guessing this was meant to be eaten warm. (If I'm wrong, please let me know.) Once everything was heated up I gave it a good stir, and the texture seemed to have gone from a liquid to a sticky syrup-like substance. Kind of like a pumpkin gravy or sauce. Again, this didn't look terrible, but I wasn't super eager to eat it.

With my awesome little spoon I took a taste as it was...not good. I originally wanted to say awful, but it wasn't bad enough for me to spit it out, so I settled for "not good." This porridge has a thick, syrupy, consistency, with little bits of veggie pulp. I can taste purees pumpkin, but the texture is just so...weird. I searched for some red beans, to see if that would make it taste any different, and I found a few sunk to the bottom. This is like taking cream of wheat and pumpkin and blending it into syrupy, pulpy, oblivion. The taste itself was pumpkin-y and lightly sweet, which wasn't bad, but it was bordering baby food territory, and the texture made it really unpleasant.


I took a bite with the red beans, which added a slightly different, but still mushy, texture to this dish, but they weren't enough to salvage this item. After a few more bites I found some larger pumpkin pulp bits that made it a little less baby-food-like, but the texture and veggie puree flavoring just wasn't a good combination for me. I very VERY rarely throw food items away, I'm cheap not a wasteful person, but I couldn't finish this. After a few forced bites, I had to get rid of it. Even my very un-picky boyfriend noted that this was "near inedible."

That being the case, I wouldn't recommend this item to anyone, but for the record I might have had a bad container (maybe it sat on the shelf too long?) or maybe I was eating it incorrectly.

On a Pumpkin Scale of 1-5
(5 being the most pumpkin-y) I’d give this a 0, I am pretty open to new foods, and I love cream of wheat, but I consider this near inedible due to the flavoring and texture, but to be fair it does have a decent amount of pumpkin puree flavoring. 
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