Like most great products, Rice-A-Roni began as a well liked family recipe…
The DeDomenico family all enjoyed an old Armenian dish consisting of rice, vermicelli pasta and chicken broth. The rice and pasta were sauteed in butter before the liquid was added, giving the dish its distinctive taste.
In 1958, Vince DeDomenico decided to take this recipe and produce it for sale in grocery stores. He placed the rice and pasta in a box, and added a dry seasoning mix in place of the liquid chicken broth. Because this product was made up of half rice and half pasta, he decided to call it Rice-A-Roni.
Chicken Rice-A-Roni was first introduced in the northwestern states in 1958. With it came the first Rice-A-Roni commercial, featuring San Francisco’s Cable Cars and the now famous jingle. Created in San Francisco, Rice-A-Roni would soon be known to all as "The San Francisco Treat®!".
The product was an immediate hit. Over the next couple of years, Rice-A-Roni spread across the United States and by 1962 was available for all of America to enjoy. Building on the success of the original Chicken flavor, several other varieties were added. Beef, Spanish and Fried Rice-A-Roni came along next and also became very popular.
In 1964, Vince DeDomenico and his wife Mildred traveled to Rome. They dined at Alfredo's Restaurant and enjoyed a dish called Noodles Alfredo. Vince was inspired to bring this dish to America, and went back to San Francisco to develop it. He called this new product Noodle Roni. The first Noodle Roni flavor was called Parmesano, named for its Parmesan and Romano cheese sauce. Like Rice-A-Roni, Noodle Roni was also successful, and additional flavors including Romanoff, Stroganoff and Fettucine Alfredo were soon added.
Over the years, Rice-A-Roni and Noodle Roni continued to grow as Americans added more and more rice and pasta to their diets. Golden Grain kept up with this growing demand by introducing new flavors to provide variety for families.
In 1995, Noodle Roni changed its name to Pasta Roni. With many products now featuring pasta shapes like Angel Hair, Shells and Corkscrews, Pasta Roni was a better description for this line.
Today, Rice-A-Roni and Pasta Roni are both leading brands in the grocery store. We still make our classic flavors like Chicken and Beef Rice-A-Roni and Angel Hair Parmesan Cheese and Fettucine Alfredo Pasta Roni, along with new favorites inspired by more worldly cuisines. We are also continuing to develop new products to meet the developing tastes and needs of our consumers, including products like Nature's Way, which is made with all natural rice and pasta with no preservatives and no artificial flavors, or Whole Grain Blends which provide nutritious whole grains and are a good source of fiber. With over 30 Rice-A-Roni flavors and over 20 Pasta Roni flavors available, there's something for everyone!