I was suprised to find Richard’s Heat and Eat Cajun foods in a grocer a thousand miles from Louisiana.
It’s not a big company, tho it is on its second private equity owner in a decade, so maybe they have a line on some distribution.
Richard’s is a pretty small company, in a pretty small town in Louisiana, Church Point, population about 5 thou, twenty mile or so NW of Lafayette. It started in the 80s, so it doesn’t have the longevity of its many competitors (there are over 200 small food companies in Louisiana), not even the legs of Savoie’s – a much larger concern, ten miles east in Opelousas. They’re about twice as old as Richard’s at least.
If you’re the adventurous DIY type, Richard’s has some recipes on YouTube.
I picked up their Etoufee and their Gumbo. Both are in microwave proof bowls with a cello covering, and should be ready from the microwave in about 5-6 minutes.
Given a choice of microwave, oven or stove top for products like this, I’ll usually opt for non-microwave, but I wanted to see how this worked. Spoiler alert? It didn’t work.
Instructions were to nuke for 3 minutes, stir, nuke for another 2-3 minutes, let sit a minute before consuming. After the first 3 minutes, still hard as a rock. After the second 3, no improvement. No, it’s not the microwave, it’s brand new.
So I plopped them into a sauce pan and for the first time, could see the contents. 90% by weight has to be the rice, which cost them about a nickel. A minimum amount of the required “holy trinity” of Cajun vegetables. A 2-3 shrimps in each dish. Small shrimps, maybe 60-90 size. The gumbo could pass for etoufee or jambalaya, as there was no liquid in it. WTF?
OK, you’re asking, where are the pics of the finished product, plated? I didn’t plate them. I had a spoonful of each and passed. Rare for me, I’ll eat anything.
You should pass to. Anytime you see private equity move into an industry, you can count on two things. Cutting costs, raising prices. I say that from experience, because not only have I had Richard’s product before and found it perfectly acceptable, but I’ve been in their factory and watched it being made (some years back).
So if you want frozen eat and eat Cajun meals, I have two suggestions. Go with Savoie’s if your grocer carries it, or ask them to get it or buy it online direct. I also like Chef John Folse’s products, which are available from CajunGrocer.com, a company I’ve used many times with great satisfaction.
There ya having it. No “mukbang” of Cajun tv dinners for you today!
P.S. I am a big fan, YUGE, of Savoie’s various smoked meats. Especially their andouille, tasso and venison. The pic below of their facility is deceiving. They started selling out of the little roadside market that you see there, and kept adding on and on and on, so out of sight there is a very modern USDA inspecting processing plant. Yo, Freddie!
Richards Cajun Foods Review
Richards Cajun Foods Review