Friday, April 20, 2012

cake that turns a frown upside down

For tomorrow at Old Homestead Farm Market, mom made gluten-y and gluten-free pineapple upside down cakes.

<- Gluten Free

Made with fresh-from-the-farm chicken eggs, the gluten free version is so fluffy, I questioned whether it was really GF.  (It is.)  It has a nice sweetness that is complemented well by the crunch of the lightly drizzled icing.  I intended to only have a sliver, but the cake bested my self-control.  I ate half of it.  Come get one tomorrow...if I leave any :)

Gluten-full ->

For obvious reasons, I'm unable to comment on this option, but everything is the same except the flour used.  

Thursday, April 19, 2012

pizzeria precautions

Yesterday I asked LaRosa's about their cross contamination precautions.  I received two prompt responses:

First on the LaRosa's Pizzeria Facebook page:

Jessica - Sorry for the delay in getting back to you and that is a great question! We follow very strict cleaning and preparation procedures to keep our gluten intolerant Guests safe. For every GF pizza we prepare, we change gloves, use a separate clean set of utensils, clean the pizza making surface, and use sauce, cheese and toppings from supplies that have not been used on other pizzas. The crust comes on its own separate disk, so that it doesn't touch surfaces other pizzas touch. While we take every precaution, it’s still possible flour transfer could pose a problem for Guests with severe gluten intolerance. So, we let our guests know that so they can make an informed decision about eating with us.

Second, as a message from one of the administrators of the aforementioned Facebook page:

Hi Jessica- I work at LaRosa's and am one of the FB like page admins. We had more info about our GF certification process, but wasn't sure if it was too much. So, I'll let you judge: Our suppliers certified that our approved pizza ingredients (sauce, cheese, toppings, crust) are GF. As an additional precaution, we had all of our GF ingredients tested by an independent food lab to ensure our GF claim. Plus, we also had the lab test a fully prepared & baked GF pizza prepared in our kitchen to ensure no cross contact.

So, if you're wondering, that's why the gluten free option is only available in certain stores at the moment.  In their own words, "That’s why we’ve focused on 8 conveniently located pizzerias that we could “certify” in preparing and serving gluten free pizza. We hope that our Guests who choose gluten free won’t mind a little drive in the name of keeping people safe."

Happy eating! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

extra pep for a gluten free pizza

My excitement over a gluten-free pizza option that is delivered to my door is still palpable, more than a week after first trying it.  We'd gone yesterday, but the nearest location had sold out of the crust! 

I took photos of the signs before I learned they'd sold out.  It's even more popular than they planned, and it led to a discussion with our neighboring table about the gluten free diet.  Thank you, LaRosa's, for increasing options and awareness :)

Tonight, still craving pizza, we got our second one delivered.  Scott actually ate more of it than I did.  When I set a little piece down to grab some chips, he ate that, too!  It was such a relief not to have to worry about his pizza crumbs getting on me. 

The Cincinnati Celiac Support Group's email conversations over the last few weeks have shown just how fired up the gluten free community in the Queen City is to have a hometown favorite back on the menu.
Gluten free toppings (1.50 each)
  • Pepperoni
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Ground beef
  • Capocolla ham
  • Spicy sausage
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Mushrooms
  • Black olives
  • Green olives
  • Pineapple
  • Red onions
  • Green peppers
  • Spinach 
  • Extra cheese
  • Extra sauce

With gluten free pizza boxes and a small pizza pan (used to prevent cross-contamination), it really seems to me that the company understands all that offering a gluten free option entails.

Larosa's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 12, 2012

new pizza option in cincy

Starting this week, some LaRosa's locations now have a gluten free pizza option!  As of April 9, GF pizza is available at the following LaRosa's restaurants:
  • Anderson
  • Mason
  • Boudinot
  • Centerville
  • Beavercreek 
  • Kenwood
  • Alexandria
  • Kings Island
  • Oxford
It's available in Medium only (12").  Unlike most places with a gluten free pizza option, these are the normal prices for any of the other LaRosa's pizza crust choices & toppings.  That's awesome!  Plain cheese is 8.99, and each topping is an additional 1.50. 
(Note: If you have an egg allergy, this crust is not friendly for you.)

So...of course I ordered one the night I got the email from the Cincinnati Celiac Support Group!  My first delivered gluten free pizza!  (Thanks, Jenny!)
What's it like?  It's a thin crust, presented on its own silver platter.  It really seems the company understands cross contamination concerns.  The crust tasted like it is primarily rice flour, but it is less rice-y than some frozen options I've tried.  My boyfriend's mom liked it and compared it to "school pizza".  It passed the Scott test - he ate it cold the next day!

In Cincinnati and not a LaRosa's fan?  Check out BJ's Brewhouse, Uno's, and Donato's for their options.  Willing to make a drive?  I've heard great things about Sinfully Gluten Free in Centerville, and my personal favorite is Lloyd's Pizzeria in Waverly.