The range of gluten free products that are available now in the UK and Europe now is pretty impressive.
Over the past few months I have spotted more and more gluten free products in the shops in the UK, but also in Europe. It has made visiting friends in Europe and going on holiday much easier because I don’t have to worry about taking my own bread or cereal, and I can take more clothes instead!
Whilst visiting friends in Luxembourg earlier this year, I discovered a whole section in a supermarket that was dedicated to gluten free and other free from products. Browsing through the shelves I found gluten free Fociccia and gluten free Gnocchi. Both are made by a European brand called Schar. The company was set up in 1922 and originally specialised in making healthy food. In the 1980’s they started making gluten free products and arguably are now a market leader in gluten free food in main land Europe and USA.
I really enjoyed the Fociccia and thought that it had a good crumb structure and had a nice flavour. The shelf life on it is pretty good as well. I have had these in my cupboard for about 3 months and they still had another month or so left.
Other products that I have come across here in the UK and a flour that I have been using for several years is Laucke flour, which comes from Australia. This is available in most Lakeland stores in the UK. They make a white flour mix and a meals and grains mix. You can make bread based items and cakes with it. I must say that I am not keen on the smell of it when it is mixed, but the bread and cakes that I have made with it are very light and taste quite nice. The mix is very easy to use because all you have to do it put the flour into a bowl with tepid water and mix. Leave to prove and then bake.
Marks and Spencers are making more and more products that are gluten free. A friend of mine came back from town a couple of weeks ago and presented me with a tub of their gluten free crisp bites. He was so proud that he had found them. Having never tried them I was keen to. They are quite small, but provide that perfect afternoon chocolate pick me up. The rest of my work colleagues were also very keen to try them and a lot of them said that they did not know that they were gluten free. What I love about M and S is that things like sausage meat, fresh burgers and sausages are all gluten free. At Christmas they make ready made gluten free stuffings.
There is now a lot of great products available now, but there never used to be. Charities and bloggers are doing a great job at telling manufacturers that they need to do more, I don’t disagree, but I think the message is getting through slowly.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all manufactures made a gluten free and other free from alternatives along side their regular products? Maybe one day they will.
Happy gluten free shopping 🙂