Usually I like it when packaging of gluten free goods quietly whispers “I’m gluten free” in small text at the bottom of the back of the packet. It makes me feel ‘normal’. But I just popped into Waitrose and saw this new packaging for a 4 pack of my favourite Eat Natural bars.
There’s nothing subtle about this. It’s shouting at the top of it’s voice, “Hello lady, buy me, I’m gluten free!” but it’s fun and it made me smile after a long day in the office.
“Dear Eat Naturalists:
Some people think being on a gluten free diet is a really miserable life of unexciting and tasteless stuff to eat. Well, excuse me, but that’s just a pile of nonsense. Just take a little gander at the gorgeous stuff in this bar and tell me who’s “going without”.
Rich dark chocolate, juicy cranberries, crunchy macademias and brazils, coconut, honey….Compromise? Are you having a laugh?
Seems like there’s nothing to worry about at all. So why all the fuss? Come to think of it…it’s just a really delicious bar which everyone can enjoy.
Don’t know why we even mentioned the ‘gluten free’ thing in the first place.
Brilliant! Couldn’t have put it better myself!
Gluten Free Mrs D
Proving that goody bags happen to normal people (and not just A list celebs!) check out what treats the attendees of the Genius gluten free Claridges Afternoon tea skipped home with…
A very useful (Genius, even!) large shopper
So what lay inside?
A loaf of brown Genius bread, wooden spoon spoon complete with smiley face and copy of Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne’s book “How to Cook for Food Allergies”.
I had not seen Lucinda’s book
before but I really recommend buying it, it’s available on Amazon. The book is not limited to gluten intolerance, it also covers egg, soya, nut and dairy food allergies providing easily customisable recipes in accordance with specific dietary requirements.
The first thing I like about this book is that it has great sounding and looking recipes but which don’t involve masses of ingredients, despite the restrictions of cooking with substitute ingredients. Every time I open the book, it falls open at a recipe for Tarte Nicoise made with Lucinda’s cornmeal and potato pastry. If you read my post about Genius Afternoon Tea at Claridges you will know that tarts / quiches are something I really miss.
The other thing which is great about this book is that it’s a real reference book for gluten free living and I have not come across a book so far containing an equivalent level of detail. Lucinda explains ingredients, how to substitute them, and provides lots of information on how to live a normal life in a gluten filled world. It’s particularly strong on advice for gluten intolerant babies and children.
I think it’s a great book, and one which I will be referring to for a long time to come.
Once in a while something random, something very removed from your normal life comes along, takes you out of your normal everyday experience and knocks your socks off. Such was the case when a PR agency contacted me having found my blog to invite me to an event on behalf of one of their clients. Interesting, I thought. How random (but very cool) cyberspace is that they found me. When they sent through the details and I found out that not only it was Afternoon Tea at Claridges hotel (one of my favourite London hotels) and that it was organised by none other than Genius Bread. Well, I was beyond excited!
Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne is a trained chef, cookery book author and mother of 3 children, 2 of whom have food allergies.
All photos copyright David Munns photography
She explained the driver behind her search to develop a bread was her gluten intolerant son for whom she wanted to make a ‘normal’ gluten free loaf. One which her son could take to school in sandwiches and be just like his friends.
With advance notice, Claridges are able to serve gluten free afternoon tea as part of their regular afternoon tea service. Prepare yourselves for some seriously, deliciously knock out gluten free eye candy, people!
Here’s a photo before the Afternoon tea was served:
The selection included the following sandwiches all on Genius gluten free bread:
– Smoked salmon with horseradish and dill
– Egg and cress
– Organic chicken with lemon remoulade
The delicious sweet treats included:
– Freshly baked raisin and apple scones with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry preserve
– Raspberry and rosewater macaroon (which a fellow table mate dubbed “dessert burgers”!!)
– Chocolate Ondulay cake (one serious chocolate overload)
Oh yes. It’s gluten free SCONES!
More gorgeous sweet treats:
What I really enjoyed (apart from the utterly delicious food) was meeting the team behind Genius who were energetic, enthusiastic and motivated people who were passionate about their brand. They were keen to seek feedback on existing products and future product lines. A fellow GF blogger and I offered some suggestions of things we really missed eating and we’d love Genius to produce. These included a seeded brown loaf, the Claridges/Genius scones and quiche. Yum…gluten free quiche, now wouldn’t that be nice?! The Genius team explained their philosophy in developing products was based around “yummy and hooray”. The “yummy” test involved asking if the product was as delicious and good as its gluten containing counterpart and “hooray” because it’s gluten free.
It was a complete pleasure to attend the Genius gluten free Afternoon Tea at Claridges. Based on the passion and positive energy in the room, Genius are surely a brand going places. They have plans to expand both their product lines and also into mainland Europe and the US. Great news for anyone with a gluten intolerance, and not just those based in the UK.
Next blog post: The Genius Goody Bag!
The omens weren’t good. Two days before our TAP flight to Lisbon for the May Bank Holiday weekend I spent 40 minutes waiting on hold on the phone TAP customer services to request my gluten free meal. When I finally got through, they informed me I’d already requested it. Clearly I’m getting old since I don’t remember doing that at all! Then the day before our flight I had to call TAP 3 times in order to ‘check in online’. For some reason I could check my husband in online but not me. Was my special meal request the cause? Maybe.
So when we got onboard and the flight attendant told me my special meal request wasn’t on the passenger list I wasn’t exactly surprised. Luckily that’s where things started to improve. They had the GF meal, it just hadn’t been assigned to me on the passenger list.
Here’s a photo before opening (and yes that is a very generous glass of red wine!):
So what was on the menu?
The silver package contained a warm gluten free toasted sandwich! The filling was a very surprisingly tasty roast beef with tangy cheese. And guess what? It was actually really rather good. I’m not usually a fan of white GF bread as it’s too sugary for me but this one was nice. I don’t know what sort of GF bread TAP Airways use but I’m very tempted to contact them and find out. The bread didn’t crumble at all and was great toasted. Eating it made me remember my once much loved but now retired Breville sandwich toaster. Even the fruit salad was pretty fresh tasting.
Ever wished you could have the tasty, flavoursome meal the other passengers are eating? Well, spare a thought for gluten eating Mr D as the usual in flight catering roles were reversed. The regular meal was a pork and pineapple toasted sub. Perhaps this is a Portuguese delicacy but it reminded him of being a hungry student and raiding the cupboards only to find pineapple chunks to liven up an otherwise boring pork sandwich. I often look enviously at his tasty looking meal as I pick at yet another bland gluten free airline meal. Not this time!
I’m keen to do another trip to South America soon and on the basis of this experience I’d happily fly with TAP to Brazil.
Who’d have thought I’d enjoy a GF inflight meal so much?!
Gluten Free Mrs D