La Fermiere Riz au Lait au Rhum-Raisin

Cole Porter’s song has a few things right. Paris is great in the springtime, yes. Romantic in the fall. Sizzling in the summer, attractive in the winter. However, we encounter a loophole of dastardly clever proportions when he casually brushes over the ever-generic and wide range of “drizzling.” What kind of drizzling, Cole Porter? Because right now, in Paris, it’s definitely not the kind of liplocking drizzle featured in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or even A Perfect Storm. It’s spastic, cold and drives people indoors. If you tried to kiss, your lips would bleed profusely from the brush of friction against chapped, dead exposed body parts. 

Which is why I picked up this pudding. Fumbling its glass jars in my gloved, frozen fingers, I realized I needed some sort of summery diversion to distract from the slow transformation from Paris to dark Gotham City at 10AM. Recently, for reasons yet unexplained, La Fermiere has released its new Negrita rum-spiked rice pudding in the middle of winter. Intrigued by the bright packaging and summery motif, I decided to give it a try.

I’ve written about La Fermiere before. They make a solid quality pudding with some of the best, if superfluous, packaging I’ve ever seen. I hadn’t had the opportunity to try their new rice pudding line, so I figured this would be a good one to cut my teeth on, so to speak. To my surprise, it was spiked with a healthy dose of booze, its sharpness softened by the milky pudding base. In turn, the deep flavor of the rum, almost molasses-tinged, ensured that the pudding would not be too sweet. A very symbiotic combination.

The pudding, looser in texture than your average Kozy Shack, felt more homemade and rustic than the starchy puddings of home. It had less rice to cream, making it more like a soupy creme anglaise, but was still very pleasing. The coup de grace was the addition of raisins– they absorbed most of the rum and were plump, adding a bright burst of flavor to the base. It was a clever take on an old classic– something that I imagine might be fun to whip up for the family at home, grandma included!

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