Everyone loved my frannycakes tshirts! Although, everyone thought that I owned a bakery. Maybe someday, once I have become internet famous and have written a cookbook with my mom. I founnd so many new treats to eat, some new flour blends to try and loads of new brands to keep my eye on. I got to meet the editor of Living Without magazine, “The Pamela” of Pamela’s Products and a woman who is starting up a gluten-free deal site (similar to Groupon). I have to say that even though I was only able to be there for a few hours Saturday morning, I had a blast and learned a lot.
Allergy-friendly eating is a big deal in our family. Dad, the food allergy king, is allergic to wheat, oats, teff, pork, beans, peanuts and cashews. Mom can’t have gluten or teff. My sister is hugely allergic to nuts. I have wheat and shellfish allergies for sure and have an allergist appointment coming up to find out the true extent of mine. My poor boyfriend recently found out that he is lactose intolerant and has IBS. Needless to say, we easily get stuck in ruts because we eat what we know.
Saturday I brought my parents to the Gluten Free Allergen Free Expo put on by Jen Cafferty. I went last year with my boyfriend (from here on out, he will be refered to as Blondie – the name my girlfriends gave him when we first started dating). Blondie and I went on the Sunday afternoon last year and were completely overwhelmed by the shear awesomeness of the event. Naturally, as soon as the date for this year’s expo was released, I made plans with my cooking partner in crime (my mom) to go. We donned franncakes tshirts and brought along the boys for a ride.
My entourage and I spent 3 hours eating and shopping my way through the event. There were new products from some of our favorite brands and lots of new brands that I had never heard of before. We all had different missions for the event. My mission was to scope out gluten free flours and talk to companies about how they got their start in the Gluten Free market place. My mom’s mission was to wear a frannycakes shirt (it was her idea to order them) and try as many different foods as possible. Blondie’s mission was to taste everything and make sure it tasted good to a normal palate. My dad’s mission was the most specific: find gluten free soft pretzels.
Pretzels are one of those things that are not too difficult to make at home, but it is just my mom and dad now, so making a batch homemade isn’t always the most practical option. Needless to say, dad did not wait long to accomplish his mission. The father son team at Allerenergy had him with one of their pretzel bites. Our group’s first purchase was at the third table in the door and it couldn’t have been from better people.
We passed a few more tables and there were chicken nuggets. Immediately after that were gluten free doughnuts (and gluten free sandwich cookies. We were drinking Woodchuck and Magner’s Irish Cider before noon. We found a perfect substitute for Ho-Hos. I found out that Costco sells a fantastic gluten free cracker. My favorite gluten free baguette manufacturer now has ready-made frozen pizzas. I FINALLY got to try Rudi’s gluten free bread. I got sour gummy bears (made with pectin) for my vegetarian cousin. I saw a couple of iphone/ ipad apps that look promising.
I will review individual products over the next couple of weeks, but for now, here are links to the companies that impressed me at this year’s expo and what product it was that caught my attention.
- Soft Pretzels from Allerenergy
- Sour Gummy Bears from Surf Sweets
- Chocolate dipped donuts from Kinnikinnick
- Vanilla Caramel Granola from Nonuttin
- Bagel Chips from El’s Kitchen
- Vegan Cheesecake from Cru Creations
- Pamela’s Cheesecake & mini cookies
- Shabtai Chocolate Cake (it tastes like HoHos! But they even have a swiss cake roll)
- Allerbling – allergy bracelets for children
- A new Gluten Free Grocery
- Quinoa Cookies from Andean Dream
- Enjoy Life crunchy cookies & mega chunks
- Gluten Free Deals from wergfree.com
- Rudi’s Gluten Free Multi-Grain Bread