My favorite discovery from the gift bag was Ina Garden’s gluten free Melba Toasts. They are crispy without being too hard or too crumbly and the flavor is great. What more could I ask? I put in an order for more Melba Toasts and bread from this gluten free bakery. I will report back once they arrive. (Ina Garden’s Gluten Free Bakery is not to be confused with my favorite Food Network star Ina Garten) UPDATE 2008: The bakery has rebranded as “Le Garden Gourmet Gluten-Free Bakery”
The Glutino pretzels were served with the drinks at the party. These were also just as good as their “gluteny” counterparts.
Foods by George gave everyone a gluten free brownie. It had a great chocolate flavor and fantastic texture and consistency, just a little flaky and crispy on top with a soft gooey center. My only complaint here is the number of calories. The one little brownie is considered two servings – each having 210 calories and 10 grams of fat. Yikes! I guess we can’t have it all…
The Bumble Bars are positioned as a healthy power/energy bar. They are primary sesame seeds, with a few cashew or almond pieces. They are soft, just a little bit sticky and slightly sweet. It’s not something I would crave after a workout, but they make a nice sweet indulgence (they aren’t low in fat or calories either).
The hand cream by Arbonne Intelligence skin care has a lovely scent but the cream was a little too light for my dry skin. (I may give it a second try during the summer. )
The Azna Gluten Free bakery provided the delicious scones pictured here. For the goodie bag they included a Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookie. While they both tasted great, they were so crumbly I couldn’t even get a photo of the cookies and the scones were falling apart. I would guess this is due to the fact that they are using “expandex” rather than the standard xanthan or guar gums used in most gluten free cooking. I hope they figure out how to improve the consistency in future product iterations.
The SoyJoy Bars are not something I would ever buy. They tasted like old school “health food bars” that used to dominate healthy and organic foodstuffs. At least they reminded me how far we have come.
One embarrassing snafu with the gift bag occurred when “GlutenEase” was included. This is a completely unregulated health supplement that posits itself as an gluten digestion aid. Unfortunately no such pill exists and those with Celiac need to avoid gluten at all costs. Alice Bast from the NFCA apologized to the group and warned everyone not to use the product.
So this brings my coverage of the NYC Gluten Free Cooking Spree to a close. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
Is there a restaurant or bakery you want me to check-out? A product you want me to review? Any other questions or feedback?
glutenguide at gmail [dot] com