Product Reviews, Restaurant Reviews and Recipes: All GLUTEN FREE!
This week is GLUTEN Awareness week with a whole push from Celiac UK campaign to raise this important issue. Many shops are participating and this week I’ve already attended a GLUTEN FREE TALK at Wholefoods Market. The Food tasting was in the store yesterday (just before I attended their Evening GLUTEN FREE WORKSHOP.
On the ground floor as you walk in, passing their in-store bakery, they had a B Tempted stand offering GLUTEN FREE & FLOUR FREE cakes. I tried the “Flourless Brownie cake” which I regularly purchase as I love it as well as trying a “Raspberry White Chocolate & Pistachio miniature cake” which was crunchier than the brownie cake (from the nuts) and well flavoured with the raspberries.
And in the main ground floor food hall, against two pillars they had Bounce products for tasting and Clearspring had a stand as well. Interestingly I have received “Bounce” balls before but never tried them so enjoyed the opportunity to taste the “Cashew & Pecan Ball” which was very enjoyable: a bit like a cereal bar and very chewy. They also had the “Coconut & Macadamia Ball” which did leave a strong coconut aftertaste (and bits stuck in my teeth!).
The Clearwater stand had a selection of crackers ( “Organic Japanese Brown Rice Cracker: Black Sesame” and “Organic Japanese Brown Rice Cracker: Whole Sesame”) which I tried. The darker Black Sesame has a more distinct flavour. These were rather tasty. The presenter was well informed and excited about his products. I also tasted some GLUTEN FREE nuts which were very crunchy.
Going downstairs, in the kitchen area, Amy’s Kitchen had set up a stall. The chap was heating up “Medium heat GLUTEN FREE Chilli” and offering it out. It was really tasty with a mild kick of chilli but not too hot. It tasted really meaty until I again spoke with Mr Amy’s Kitchen and he advised me that it was a vegetarian dish and contained soya. I was most surprised as it was really good! I have already reviewed her Rice Crust Pizza so I always expect good things from Amy’s Kitchen.
Further around the corner, another chap was cooking up GLUTEN FREE Rice Noodles (Kabuto) which you could smell. Unfortunately for me, he had just finished off a pot and didn’t offer to make another one up so I missed out whilst there. However, in my “freebie” Wholefood bags, I have a MISO flavoured Rice noodle pot to try. Unfortuantely they look like “posh” Pot Noodles!
Upstairs (again) on the ground floor, they had two stands in amongst the wine, beers and spirits. The first was offering a Gluten Free “Celia Premium Czech Lager“. I did try this having not had a lager for many years. It was refreshing and fruity and really quite light; not as I remembered as some lagers can be quite gassy. The chap told me that they are selling it at Wholefoods, Ocado and GBK (Gourmet Burger Kitchen) so I will have to look out for it. They were also proud to have won Free From Food Award: Best Beer 2013! And I think I know why!
And finally, a stand with a GLUTEN FREE Vodka and a GLUTEN FREE Rum. These I didn’t try but they looked enticing: I was heading upstairs to the GLUTEN FREE WORKSHOP.
REVIEW OF GLUTEN FREE WORKSHOP:
The workshop was held upstairs in the restaurant area of Wholefoods Market and there was a wide selection of foods to taste (fresh from the shelves of the shop) as well as discussion on wider products that are GLUTEN FREE. This workshop was presented by their in-store food specialist Maura who was well informed for customers with dietary requirements. She was good in talking through some alternative products to use that are GLUTEN FREE as well as cooking methods for some of the more unusual beans and pulses. Yes it was a selection from the shop downstairs but it prompted some useful discussions around different flours and different cooking techniques from the dozen attendees. A handout of GLUTEN FREE recipes was distributed including one for “Sweet potato brownies with coconut flour” although I learnt instead of coconut flour, I can use an alternative and “Quinoa with balsamic mushrooms”. The evening cost £11.25 and I think it was value for money. I learned about some seeds (like Chia and Quinoa) which I may try and introduce into my cooking and tried both in the store and in the workshop, new GLUTEN FREE products.
And the “freebie” bag