Why Compromise On Taste?
Where to buy Gluten Free Products
Most large and popular supermarkets these days have ‘free from’ sections which offer a limited but welcome selection of gluten free food products.
In addtion to the sometimes over sweetening of some cakes and biscuits, the food can occasionally be nut free and dairy free as well (.which is very useful to a person who is intolerant to absolutely everything!) For example a packet of shortbread (which is traditionally has wheat flour and butter as its prime ingredients), might not have either ingredient, which can detrimentally impact on the final flavour and taste.
Gluten free food sold on 'free from' food counters is relatively costly, but it is also much more expensive to produce in terms of both ingredients and set up costs for bespoke gluten free factories, plus the addtional costs of certification and testing. The recipes are more intrinsic, meaning higher research and development expenses too..
On initially discovering I was celiac, i spent many months travelling from supermarket to supermarket in an endeavour to source basic and essential gluten free ingredients for my food cupboard. I discovered that what might be in one supermarket branch for example, might not necessarily be the case in another branch of the same supermarket chain. Each supermarket appeared to do its own ‘free from’ counter purchasing on a branch by branch basis, rendering confusion and sometimes fustration for the celiac shopper.
Another obstacle I came across was that after the joy of discovering a food I really enjoyed from a ‘free from’ counter, I would return to buy more of the same to find that the product is no longer on the shelf. This absence could be for many months or even permanent and there is no way of knowing if it is ever going to re-appear again or not.
As a consequence of the above paragraphs, i now stock pile my favourite 'freefrom' ingredients when out shopping or if necessary, source and buy them in bulk (which also saves on p&p) on the internet.
Bespoke gluten free stock cubes are expensive and in my opinion don’t have that much flavour either. I try to bring home stock cubes when on holiday in Spain which I purchase at the Hacendado supermarket. These are not only gluten free (and clearly labelled GF) but also are available in a large variety of flavours and are full of flavour.. However, in the UK, Knorr now produce a liquid stock pack in different flavours which is gluten free and marked gluten free too as well as a solid stock cube version. Thank you Knorr!
If you have the patience to to search, there are some processed foods which do not contain gluten which are mixed on the shelves with mainstream food. For example there are some excellent carbonara, Dianne, mushroom and peppercorn sauces available which often don’t always contain gluten but this is not necessarily advertised on the packaging (unlike dog food). Imagine how many more per year our supermarkets might sell if it this food was labelled clearer (eg with a small GF cross ed grain at the front of the packet)?
Some of the smaller foreign supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi sell sausages which are not labelled as containing gluten either. They have a high meat content, no artificial colours and are absolutely delicious! Some other supermarkets are following suit with Black Farmer Range of sausages and Debbie & Andrews Harrogate gluten free sausages which can be found on their mainstream sausage shelves. Look out for pepperonni, chorizo and other sliced processed meats too. Some packet risottos are both tasty and usually free of gluten. These are a good standby if you have nothing in your food cupboard.
Asian shops and supermarkets are great places to stock up on things like gluten free rice noodles, sauces, marinades and some of the unusual flours such as Gram flour The internet will enable you to source items you cannot find anywhere else such as gluten free hoisin sauce. Tiger Tiger make a gluten free and 98% fat free sweet chilli salad dressing which is delicious.
Morrisons sell a gluten free Yorkshire pudding mix which I think gives reasonable results (when the recipe is adapted with lots of additional liquid and eggs) . However,it is still necessary to add eggs and milk and blend everything together in the same way as if you were making your own from scratch if you had a good workable recipe which is gluren free at home.
Gluten free Condiments for the food cupboard
A list of basic condiments to consider keeping in your food cupboard which can be purchased in a ' gluten free ' format or sometimes on mainstream food counters (not necessarily labelled 'gluten free).
French Dijon mustard ( one brand made with wine vinegar which is widely available )
Tomato Ketchup: Available at most ‘free from’ counters
Soy sauce: Available at most ‘free from’ counters but also Japanese ones are GF too
Sweet soy sauce: Available from Asian shops.
Worcester Sauce: Available at most ‘free from’ counters
BBQ Sauce: Available at some ' free from' counters and some mainstream counters
Some salad dressings: supermarkets (though its easy to make your own)
Stock cubes: Knorr make gluten free versions as well as stock pots; widely available.
Hoisin Sauce: Available on the internet and some Chinese supermarkets
Cider vinegar: available everywhere
Balsamic vinegar: available everywhere
Wine vinegar: available everywhere
Horseraddish sauce; some major supermarkets on mainstream shelves
*It makes sense to go through your food cupboard and discard anything which contains ‘hidden’ gluten such as mayonnaise, pickles and chutneys or mainstream equivalents of the above list, so they are not used by accident. * Don't forget, you can always make or buy equivilents.
For organic bread which is naturally gluten free, xanthan gum free and yeast free, try www.artisanbreads-abo.com