Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gluten-free Nirvana

I received another box of baked items from the supremely & ultimately decandent gluten-free
Everybody Eats on Thursday. Since then I have been sampling with great joy the new products they sent me. Oh my, the bagels! If you have ever had "authentic" New York style bagels from New know the kind where they boil them first and then bake them? And they have that chewy familiarity that only a "real" bagel can offer? Well, low and behold and stop the presses..........they do exist in a gluten-free form now!! The minute I looked at these remarkable little jewels I knew they were different from the brands of gluten-free offerings I had sampled in the past. This may sound absurd but they have a "real bagel" look to them......some of you will know exactly what I am talking about, and the rest of you will have to take my word for it! Now I sliced mine and toasted it and then assaulted it with BOTH butter and cream cheese! (Yes, I know I am a hedonist but sometimes that is exactly what life calls for.) These bagels are so chewy and heavenly delightful! They are the kind of bagels you savor and eat slowly and while eating you are already thinking what you will top your next one with.........of course you won't have another one until tomorrow.........??? These bagels are real gems and if I was to rate them I would give them 5 stars (and a schmere of cream cheese, of course)!

Next I tried their white bread. Now let me just preface this by saying I have not been impressed with most of the gluten-free white bread that is out there.........pretty tasteless and dull. But this white bread is different. There is something about it and I can't exactly describe it precisely, but I know that I like it. One thing I love about this bakery is that they don't slice the bread for you. They send you a whole beautiful loaf just like I picture it emerging out of their magical ovens. I love that little touch, because I can slice the bread any thickness I like.........of course I lean toward thick slices, but sometimes only a thin slice will do. When I get a loaf I slice it in various thicknesses and freeze them in ziploc bags. Then when I need a couple of slices for a sandwich or toast or some creation, they are ready to be popped in the toaster or oven and turned into a significantly, glorious experience. I made toast with it yesterday for breakfast with butter and blackberry jam. It was a perfectly enjoyable breakfast........almost sinful. I think many people with celiac have become accustomed to mediocre products and so when we have something that is really outstanding we almost feel guilty............are we secretly eating gluten and don't realize it? Can something this good really be gluten-free? You know the drill.

And while we are on the subject of loaves of bread from a corner bakery in Brooklyn, their Multi-Grain, High Fiber bread deserves a second nod. This stuff is so good!! And now I know that it also contains 4 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein in every slice!! I think that is some pretty awesome news. Most gluten-free bread is made with rice flour and is pretty much sans fiber or protein. Now this is a bread I can feel good about..........and do a little happy dance over, while I am at it!

Last but certainly not least is their banana bread loaf. I recently devoured a slice of it and I must say it was just amazing! Again the loaf comes whole so it is a good idea to slice it before you freeze it. I put a slice in the microwave and warmed for maybe 8 seconds and then slathered some butter on it. (Yes I can see your eyes rolling, but butter makes everything better!) It was warm and comforting, deliciousness that once again made me think of my childhood when you could smell banana bread baking in the oven and couldn't wait for your Mom to slice a piece of it for you to gobble down with a cold glass of milk! Now I am plotting other ways to serve these slices of paradise...........I am thinking banana nut french toast???? Little sandwiches made with cream cheese in the middle??? The mind boggles at the possibilities!

I must say one more time for the record........these guys are not paying me to wax on rhapsodically about their products. However, I can't seem to help myself. They have got this whole gluten-free baking process down to a science! Pure and simply they are what we have all been seeking for a very long time! Great taste and a quality product...............imagine that!

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