Thursday, October 18, 2012

pumpkin cider

Before my diagnosis, I really enjoyed seasonal brews, so I was thrilled when I saw Woodchuck Hard Cider Private Reserve Pumpkin Cider.  (None of their varieties have ever contained gluten.)
But, as someone with multiple dietary restrictions (who learned the hard way from the Apple Cinnamon Chex), my first thought was, "This looks awesome, and it's gluten free, but there's got to be ginger."  I emailed Woodchuck's customer service and was elated to learn it is both gluten and ginger free :)

Despite the 6.9% alcohol by volume, it's not heavy.  (If you're a hard cider drinker, you know how folks tease, thinking it has a lower ABV than traditional beer and is a girly drink.  Wrong!)  According to the label, it pairs "perfectly with roasted duck, turkey, squash, ravioli as well as crème brûlée and cheesecake."  I bet,  and I really look forward to sharing it at Thanksgiving.  

Give your new option a try, and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

goodbye gluten, hello soft bread!

Happy World Bread Day!

When this amazing package arrived last month, I became speechless and bug-eyed.  Goodbye Gluten, a new brand out of Pennsylvania, came to the market on July 17 with two varieties: white and multigrain. 
I was fortunate to share this delightful treat with several gluten free friendies across Southern and Southwest Ohio.  A few comments from the taste-testers:
  • Thank you so much!  It was so good, we didn't believe it was gluten free.  I tried it, and my family ate the whole thing before I saw my gluten free friend!  We loved it!  Where can I get it?...Oh, Columbus and Cleveland?  I can do that!  Let me know when it's here! 
  • That was delicious!  When can I get it here?! 
  • Thanks sooooo much for the bread!! It's awesome!!!!!!!  It's excellent.  Hope it becomes available closer to here.  Tastes like real white bread.  Thanks again!
  • Wow, that is good!
  • I love the bread.  It was perfect!  It isn't like Udi's - that's hard and has big holes that your mayonnaise or whatever goes through.  This doesn't do that.
  • Oh my gosh, that's good!  Ooh, try this!  That is really good.  It doesn't taste gluten free, and it's soft!  It tastes real!
Unlike other brands I'd tried, it smells like the gluten-filled breads that I've missed, is unbelievably soft & squishy, doesn't have large holes, and - whoa - is shelf-stable!  It even says on the package, "Bread retains its best quality if stored at room temperature."  I'm not sure how long it stays good; everyone's gobbled theirs up well before it went bad.  Other bonuses: it's dairy-free, certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, and one slice has 2 grams of protein & 3% Daily Value of dietary fiber.

Goodbye Gluten made a fantastic turkey, bacon, and avocado sandwich, and easily the best peanut butter & jelly sandwich I've had in three years.  Until Goodbye Gluten, the only way I liked GF PB&J was toasted.
As the initial phase of the brand launch, Goodbye Gluten is available across the Midwest:
Hopefully they'll be available in Kroger stores in the near future!  The Cincinnati Celiac Support Group met with Kroger staff last night during our October meeting and shared our new-found love for this brand.  When it is, be sure to visit the Goodbye Gluten site for a coupon offer!

Monday, October 15, 2012

jungle jim's eastgate

Hello, Gluten Free World!

This post is overdue, but here it is!  Jungle Jim's Eastgate is a reality.  Tomorrow it will have been open three weeks, and I've been there four times now. 

Tip specifically for my readers:
Follow the beer/wine/cigar signs around the Danbarry Dollar Saver to pull around the back of the store.  There is a smaller express checkout area, and I have yet to wait more than five minutes to check out.
There is a wine bar with 25 cent tastings.  This is what was available when my mom & I visited on October 7:
At the entrance of the beer cave, the beer section includes a variety of ciders...
 ...and gluten free beer.
I refuse to ruin the experiences, so this only shows the pertinent landmarks as you navigate your way to the gluten free section.  This (often mobile) honey display is by the bakery, which is adjacent to the gluten free and natural food section.
To the right, is the first glimpse of the gluten free section: shelf-stable breads and baked goods.  I'm really pleased with the prominence the store is giving these Ohio-grown, small, gluten free businesses.

The first glimpse shown here includes items from Tina's Sweet Treats out of Franklin (on the pink shelves) and Eban Bakery of Grove City (on the top shelf).

Chef Braddock of Eban Bakery was there on October 6th, giving samples of their seeded, flax seed oat, and cinnamon raisin breads.  (The cinnamon raisin is so good, it was sold out, & I returned later in the week to get some for breakfast.)  He plans to be there on Saturdays as often as he can.
From the bread section, turn to the left, and see the start of the aisles.  Now, you still have to read the labels, but WOW.  I was thrilled.
From here, the freezer case is behind you.  Sonny Marie's (a Cincinnati-area gluten free bakery with pizza crusts available at the new Mac's location) and Moondance (a Cincinnati gluten free bakery with goods available nationwide now in Whole Foods stores)
So, this is in the international section not natural foods, but it made me happy.  On vacation in May, while on a layover in Chicago, I discovered Vosges Haut Chocolat (which I just realized is way overdue for a review).
Shown here: the variety purchased at Chicago's O'Hare Airport
Jungle Jim's has a great selection of it!  I'm not usually a chocoholic, but I am for this tastiness.
Do note, though, that not all flavors are gluten free.  Those that are that I've tried...mmm...
Have fun, explore, and let me know what you think of the new, long-awaited Jungle Jim's Eastgate!  Are there additional products I'd like to see?  Sure!  But in my opinion, this a gluten free foodie's delight.  It's an amusement park of food, and I'm hungry. 

Happy eating! :)