counter on blogger
Friday, May 29, 2009
Joan's GF Great Bakes in the Washington Post
I am a huge fan of Joan's GF Great Bakes. Not only are they a Long Island company, but they produce delicious gluten-free products and have an awesome family and staff. Joan puts her heart into her products and started baking gluten-free goodies for her Celiac grandsons. I am thrilled that they are getting national press in today's Washington Post. Congratulations to Joan and her GF Great Bakes.

The Hole-y Grail: A GF Bagel Worth Schmearing

If you are on the gluten-free eating plan or live with someone who is, I bet there’s an empty space in your brunch buffet -- say, right where the toasted, chewy sesame seed bagel halves would be.

The staff here at AWCE has received enough samples of GF baked goods to tell that their overall quality is improving. Still, cardboard and sand come up way too often as accurate descriptors.

Leave it to a Jewish bubbe to fix things. Ten years ago, when Joan Popkin’s twin grandsons were toddlers, they gnawed on certain foodstuffs and got a little sick. The Long Island homemaker with a degree in health education felt like she was watching a rerun of what had happened when their father (her oldest son) was young. The symptoms stopped for all three once their diets were wheat-free.

Although Popkin had never been much of a baker, she says she began testing and developing breads, muffins, cakes and cookies that her family could enjoy. She quickly nixed the use of soy products (“hated the smell of them,” she says), and lots of trial runs went straight into the garbage can.

Now her grandsons are 12 (“they come and sweep the floor in the bakery!” she says), and Popkin’s an entrepreneur (“having the time of my life,” she says). Joan’s GF Great Bakes has its own commercial kitchen in Bellmore, N.Y., near her home in Merrick, but there’s nary a humming Hobart. She has a staff of seven who bake in small batches and use stand mixers like yours and mine to blend rice and tapioca and garbanzo bean flours; nonfat proteins such as whey powder; egg whites, and very little dairy.

Her bagels are her biggest sellers; six varieties that come in a package of five for less than $7. Even cinnamon raisin.

Popkin, 64, and various relatives attend plenty of food/trade shows these days. I met her at the Gluten-Free Spree in early May and tasted samples that suggested neither cardboard nor sand.

But what would a real connoisseur make of GF Great Bakes, I wondered? I presented Joan’s frozen bagels, English muffins and Sicilian pizza to Erin Hartigan, D.C.’s own Gluten Freebird.

“I was wowed,” she chirped. “The instructions are a bit more finicky than typical GF breads (microwave defrosting before toasting or baking). But I think the end result is more than worth that bit of extra effort.” All the samples I gave her passed Freebird’s texture/moisture/consistency test. She ate them hot and buttered, and also cooled. Her verdict: two snaps up.

The ’za was her favorite: “I don’t really buy frozen pizza, so I split it with my gluten-eating boyfriend. He was equally impressed. I was excited that the cheese had dairy ..... and that the crust had herbs in it.” Popkin uses a McCormick’s blend of Italian spices and some Parmesan cheese in the pizza dough (“one piece has 34 grams of protein in it,” she says).

Freebird did not quite sing a song of Joan’s English muffins, though their texture still made the grade. Our GF consumer missed a characteristic yeasty flavor and slight sourness she remembered from her days of eating regular English muffins. Popkin says hers are egg-, dairy- and soy-free; it’s tough to create lots of flavor with so much taken out (“put a little salty butter on it -- that’ll take care of any flavor deficit,” she says).

And so the GF empire grows. Popkin keeps testing a challah bread (“can’t get it to be consistent,” she says). Her egg-, dairy- and soy-free Italian bread will debut in six weeks (“it still tastes like Grandma made it,” she says).

Joan’s GF Great Bakes ships across the country and is sold in 80 stores; mostly small family supermarket chains. Looks like the closest local store to carry her products is David’s Natural Market in Gambrills, Md.

-- Bonnie Benwick

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Univeristy Researches Seek Adults with Celiac Disease
Adults that have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease are being sought for a study to identify factors associated with the development of Celiac Disease. The goal of the study is to find genes that may predispose individuals to develop this condition. The study has been funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health. Adults eligible to participate in this study must have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease through a small intestinal biopsy. Spouses may also be eligible to participate. Participants will be asked to provide a blood sample, complete a questionnaire, and provide medical records regarding their celiac diagnosis. There is no cost to participate. Necessary materials to have the blood drawn by the individual’s doctor, clinic, or lab will be sent. The study will pay for the cost of the blood draw, as well as overnight shipping to the lab.

Participants will receive free antibody testing.

For further information, please contact Maryam Mousavi, Study Manager, University of California, Irvine at (949) 824-5603 or toll-free at (866) 356-9962, or e-mail

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 11, 2009
Uno's National Dough Rai$er for Celiac Awareness May 25-31

Uno Chicago Grill will host a National Dough Rai$er for Celiac Awareness the week of May 25 - 31. This the perfect time to highlight the restaurant's gluten-free menu and for friends and families of those with celiac disease to try out the new Gluten-Free pizza! It was launched earlier this year to rave reviews. Check the map for your nearest location. Before you go, be sure to visit this site just for their friends in the celiac community. Watch your inbox for further details from the ACDA. Not on our mailing list? Sign-up Today!

Labels: , ,

Friday, May 8, 2009
Celiac Disease Foundation on Hasselbeck's Book
Although I got this information a little late in terms of being able to call into Larry King, I feel that it is an interesting take on Elisabeth Hasselbeck's new book "The G-Free Diet".

Celiac Colleagues:

I am writing to call your attention to the current publicity surrounding the new book, The G-free Diet, A Gluten-Free Survival Guide by Elisabeth Hassselbeck, co-host of The View. While it is important to call attention to celiac disease, the information must be accurate – the inaccuracies in this book are potentially dangerous and detrimental to celiacs and to those yet to be diagnosed if people self diagnose and start eating GF. Our mission is to assist in getting people accurately diagnosed and the message in this book could defeat this mission. It appears that this book is being marketed as a fitness diet – eat g-free and feel so much better. Celiac is incorrectly referred to as an allergy not an autoimmune disease.

The GF diet is the medically mediated prescription that controls the condition for a diagnosed celiac. Several items in the book are misleading and inaccurate and place further limitations on the GF diet. The gluten-free lifestyle is a lifelong commitment for the diagnosed celiac, not an option, not a fad diet – adhering to the GF lifestyle requires patience and persistence. This lifestyle can not be trivialized.

Elisabeth will be interviewed on Larry King Live this evening on CNN. PLEASE take the time to call in to the show or send an email to Larry King Live to help correct some of this misinformation.

Email Larry King Live at:
The phone number for call-ins to the show is 1-800-676-2100.

Thank you.

Elaine Monarch
Founder & Executive Director

Labels: ,

Tuesday, May 5, 2009
The G Free Diet

Yes, Elisabeth Hasselbeck wrote a book about having Celiac Disease and eating gluten-free. No, I don't plan on reviewing it any time soon. I am not a huge fan of EH, so if I happen upon a free copy perhaps I will read it. Otherwise, please visit the Watching the View blog which has some interesting comments surrounding EH's book and Celiac Disease. Thank you to David at Gluten-Free NYC for this link.

If you would like to see Elisabeth Hasselbeck talk about her book in person, she will be at the Park Ave. Borders in NYC this Thursday.

The G-Free Diet
May 07, 2009 7:00 PM

Manhattan - Park Ave - Borders
461 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10022

Elisabeth Hasselbeck shares her hard-earned wisdom on living life without gluten and loving it. She gives you everything you need to know to start living a gluten-free life, from defining gluten - where to find it, how to read food labels - to targeting gluten-free products, creating G-Free shopping lists, sharing recipes, and managing G-Free living with family and friends.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, May 3, 2009
Have your beer—and drink it gluten-free too
I had the pleasure of meeting Leslie Barrie, the author of this article, at our Chef to Plate Gluten-Free Dinner at Gustorganics tonight. This article is reprinted with her permission.

Have your beer—and drink it gluten-free too
Leslie Barrie

Love beer but can't tolerate gluten? Lament no longer. A growing number of breweries are offering gluten-free varieties. Drink up.

Ty Powers, a 43-year-old diabetic, has always been diligent about what he eats and drinks. But three years ago, a new diagnosis upended the normal life he had struggled to maintain. Powers learned that he has celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder aggravated by the gluten found in many grains, including wheat, barley and rye. Ingesting just a small amount of gluten can trigger a reaction, so Powers needed to become even more vigilant about his diet.

“It was very difficult,” says Powers, an advertising copywriter who lives outside of Nashville, Tenn. “I’ve been through diabetes growing up, and then to find out about celiac, it was just like ‘here we go again.’ ”

Social situations presented the biggest challenge. “My friends say, ‘Just try a sip of this new beer I got,’ ” says Powers, who loved to drink dark, full-bodied brews prior to his diagnosis. Because most beer contains wheat or barley, he had to decline. “There went my beer hobby,” he laments.

Or so he thought. As awareness of celiac disease has risen in the U.S. in the past few years, so has the availability of gluten-free foods—and now beer. “It’s become such a hot trend in the food market that it’s transferred over to beer,” says Lynda Calimano, who helps run the Spring Craft Beer Festival in New York’s Nassau County. The festival highlights beers from independent breweries.

That’s good news for beer aficionados like Powers. Since 2004, more than 10 craft breweries in the U.S. have started making gluten-free beer. In 2006, beer giant Anheuser-Busch introduced its own take on the variety, Redbridge, which sells in all 50 states. By 2007, gluten-free beer was taken seriously enough to have its own category at the Great American Beer Festival, the premier U.S. beer event, in Denver. In past competitions, gluten-free beer was relegated to the nondescript Specialty Beers category.

Gluten-free beers are made without the wheat or barley used in traditional brews. Most U.S. breweries make gluten-free varieties with sorghum, a grass originally from Africa. Other brews, like Japan’s Sapporo, use rice as the chief grain. Green’s, from Britain, mixes sorghum, buckwheat, millet and brown rice in its beers--all acceptable grains for those on a gluten-free diet.

About 3 million people in the U.S. suffer from celiac disease, and very few of the sufferers know they actually have it, according to the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Chicago. Those who are diagnosed often don’t find out until later in life—after they’ve already become acquainted with beer, says Dr. Peter Green of Columbia University’s Celiac Disease Center.

“For many people, beer has become their relaxation,” says Carolyn Smagalski, a beer writer and editor of BellaOnline, an Internet women’s magazine. “That’s hard to give up.”

Now they don’t have to. “We have been having trouble keeping up with the demand of the beers,” says Jordan Fetfatzes, brand manager of Bella Vista, a beer-distribution company based in Philadelphia. Bella Vista currently ships three gluten-free beers: Shakparo and Mbege, made by Sprecher Brewing Co., and Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist. New Grist, the only gluten-free beer among Lakefront’s 13 offerings, ranks as one of the Milwaukee brewery’s top three sellers, says Lakefront manager Dan Aleksandrowicz. Last year, the brewery expanded sales of New Grist to Israel and Ontario. It may soon ship to Ireland as well.

Bard’s Tale Beer Co. of Norwalk, Conn., has also expanded its gluten-free sales. The company, founded by two celiac disease sufferers, makes one beer—Bard’s, formerly known as Dragon’s Gold. When distribution began in 2004, the beer sold in 13 states. Now it sells in 30.

Celiac disease sufferers aren’t the only ones drinking the gluten-free varieties. “There’s a curiosity with beer lovers,” says Julie Hertz of the Brewers Association. “They’ll say, ‘Hey, I want to see what that tastes like.’ ”

But will they stick with it? On the Beer Advocate Web site, where drinkers can rate beer, one reviewer from Lexington, Ky., described Bard’s as “better than most and leaves a crisp, dry finish rather than the tacky residue.” However, this reviewer added, “Most typical beer drinkers won’t follow this one very far, but it was quite drinkable for the style.”

Perhaps knowing that it’s a gluten-free product affects a reviewer’s opinion. Smagalski, the beer writer, recently sponsored a blind taste test without even knowing it. “I brought home my Bard’s Tale the other day, and my son pulled one out of the fridge,” she recounts. “He said, ‘Wow, this is really good. It’s my favorite.’ And then I told him it’s gluten-free.” Her son doesn’t have celiac disease, but she said he’s a convert to the brand.

Will many other drinkers who don’t need gluten-free beer become converts? Richard Scholz, owner of Bierkraft, a specialty beer shop in Brooklyn, N.Y., doesn’t think so. “There are people who are regulars, who always come in to get their gluten-free beers,” Scholz says. “Occasionally, others will try it because it’s there. But the people who come back to it are those with celiac disease. People who can have other things move on.”


Labels: , ,

©2007-2018 Gluten-Free Fun