Tuesday, March 24, 2020

What's New For Passover 2020

While COVID-19 might prevent families from gathering in person to commemorate the Jewish holiday of Passover, they can still have seders virtually using Facetime and Zoom.

This year, Passover begins the evening of Wednesday, April 8 and ends the evening of Thursday, April 16. It's a time when many more gluten-free products are available at supermarkets. This grew out of the observance of certain segments of the Jewish population refraining from eating any wheat products during Passover. The packaging of many gluten-free products is expressly labeled as such, while others have a "non-gebrokts" notation. (As always, read the ingredient label before buying and consuming a particular item.)

I've been chronicling new gluten-free Passover items for many years (you can read prior posts here), and this year brings many additions to the Seder table. Locally, many of these products can be found at ShopRite markets, particularly the one on Route 70 in Cherry Hill (Garden State Pavilions) and Wegmans stores.

Kosher food manufacturer Kayco, which recently acquired the Manischewitz brand, will be introducing new gluten-free products under various brand names (you can find all of Kayco's gluten-free products here.) The best-selling gluten-free matzo brand, Yehuda, returns with Original, Everything, Egg, Onion, Unsalted and Fiber Enriched varieties. Yehuda also has gluten-free matzo meal, cake meal and crackers.

This year, there are several new products under the Manischewitz label, including gluten-free Sicilian-style pizza and cold-brew coffee and tea macaroons.

This year, also look for new Gefen-branded gluten-free granola clusters, in maple almond and honey pecan flavors.
Kayco also has gluten-free Passover rolls, made with potato starch.

Also check the frozen-food section of your local market for even more varieties of gluten-free Passover pizzas and pizza bagels, blintzes, knishes and other items.

About a week or two before the start of Passover, supermarkets receive their shipments of fresh gluten-free cakes and cookies from New York bakeries such as Oberlander'sLilly's Bake Shoppe and Schick's. Look for sandwich, black-and-white and rainbow cookies, cake rolls, decorative and layer cakes.

If you want to try "Mexican Coke" (made with sugar rather than high-fructose corn syrup), Passover Coca-Cola will be available in the Philadelphia area and other regions. Look for bottles with distinctive yellow caps.

Prices of some Passover foods tend to be higher than their non-holiday counterparts, so I suggest buying one of a particular item to see if you like it before stocking up. Keep an eye on Passover sections after the second night of the holiday, when markets tend to cut prices on whatever products are left.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo Returns on May 16

The 5th annual Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo on Saturday, May 16 is the premier area event for those with celiac disease or living a gluten-free lifestyle. There will be 80+ local and national vendor booths, as well as seminars, door prizes, samples galore, products for purchase and more. Spend a day in a gluten-free paradise as you learn, sample and experience new brands. Try and buy unique and artisan products and stock up on gluten-free goodies you can’t easily find.

The expo will again be held at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center (100 Station Ave. - Hall C) in Oaks, Pennsylvania with free parking available. Tickets go on sale this Thursday, March 12, at noon Eastern.


VIP 9:45 a.m. EARLY ENTRY (limited availability)
$28.50 + fees (All kids 6 and over must purchase a ticket; 5 and under are free)
This ticket includes early 9:45 a.m. entry into vendor area, guaranteed goodie bag, and VIP area with exclusive VIP gluten-free samples and treats. VIP registration and VIP area with goodies opens at 8:45 a.m.

10:15 a.m. EARLY ENTRY (limited availability)
$18.50 + fees (Kids 12 and under are free)
This ticket includes early 10:15 a.m. entry into vendor area (45 minutes before general admission) and guaranteed goodie bag.

11 a.m. – 4 p.m. GENERAL ADMISSION
$10.00 + fees (Kids 12 and under are free)

Buy tickets online, or purchase by phone at 717-248-6741 M-F 8 a.m - 5 p.m.

General-admission tickets may also be purchased in person at The Happy Mixer in Bucks County beginning March 12 (VIP and Early Entry are online or phone only). VIP and Early Entry tickets sell out very quickly so the best chance to purchase them is to order online as soon as they go on-sale March 12.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Gluten-Free Education Evening at The Pop Shop Collingswood Set for March 31

Learn more about living gluten free deliciously at The Pop Shop's Collingswood, New Jersey location (729 Haddon Ave., 856-869-0111) on Tuesday, March 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event will include a gluten-free buffet dinner, dessert by Bleu Bear Bakery, samples, coupons and more.

Yours truly will share tips for traveling and dining gluten free. Ravitz’s Family Market’s dietician, Ashley Cully, will offer advice and options for gluten-free shopping and cooking at home. All guests are encouraged to bring their favorite gluten-free recipes for a recipe swap.

This evening is excellent for people or caregivers with gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, and those who live with someone following a gluten-free diet.

Tickets are $26.95 per person and include tax and gratuity. Purchase them online at this link.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Step Beyond Celiac 5K Returns to Philly May 31

Lace up your running shoes, train, raise money and run (or walk) a 5K for research, education and early diagnosis of celiac disease to improve the quality of life for affected children and adults.

This year, the Philadelphia version of Beyond Celiac's Step Beyond Celiac 5K is scheduled for Sunday, May 31 at FDR Park beginning at 8 a.m. The event will raise funds to support research efforts and help the organization develop a global patient registry of people diagnosed with celiac disease who want to participate in research studies, including clinical trials.

All participants registered before May 1 receive a Step Beyond Celiac 5K shirt and post-race gluten-free goodie bag with treats and coupons from your favorites and some new-to-you gluten free organizations.

Early-bird registration (by March 31) is $30 and children 5 and under are free; use code 2FOR2020 and save $2.. Help me meet my fundraising goal by joining Team Gluten Free Philly at registration.

Friday, February 21, 2020

News & Notes: February 21, 2020

This month brings word of two new gluten-free breakfast cereals, for kids and kids at heart. Nature's Path has added to its Envirokidz line with Turtle Splash, a strawberry and chocolate flavored cereal. Post has a new variety of its famed Pebbles cereal that magically turns milk blue.

Woodchuck Hard Cider is releasing two new hard cider styles: Sippin’ Citrus and Mimosa. Sippin’ Citrus is a grapefruit hopped cider that pairs the juice of the common eating apple with grapefruit and cascade hops, while Mimosa features orange juice. Both styles are 5.5% ABV.

Sedona Taphouse has a wide selection of gluten-free food and drink
In Phoenixville, Sedona Taphouse (131 Bridge St. #5, 484-302-5714) has an extensive list of gluten-free menu items, from burgers to flatbreads, from crab cakes to chocolate cake. The kitchen's fryer is only used for gluten-free items like fries and the flatbreads are baked in a separate oven. There's also a dedicated pot for gluten-free penne. The bar has many gluten-free adult beverages, including Glutenberg beer and hard ciders. A second area location is coming to West Chester later this year at the 44 West Plaza development. The chain also has outposts in northern New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Connecticut, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The all-gluten-free Bleu Bear Market in Marlton (27 N. Maple Ave., 856-810-3456) will open its doors on Saturday, February 29 at 7 a.m. In addition to a full line of fresh baked goods, the market will offer made-to-order sandwiches, salad bar and much more. Meanwhile, Bleu Bear Bakery, the gluten-free bake shop in Haddonfield, has relocated from its original location on Kings Highway around the corner (14 Tanner St., 856-354-0006) to utilize the larger kitchen space there.

Speaking of expanding in South Jersey, Grubr Gluten-Free Kitchen in Medford, which sells prepared foods for pick-up and delivery, is opening a full-service cafe next door at 15 Jackson Rd. Grubr Sit & Eat is slated for an April opening.

Bhan Thai just opened a second South Jersey location in Marlton (1041 Rt. 73 S., 856-422-8424). The menu, which replicates the one at the original Mt. Laurel spot, notes many gluten-free options.

About half of the menu options at the recently opened Oori, a Korean fried chicken and ramen shop in Pottstown (2228 Pottstown Pike, 484-985-8071), are or can be made gluten free. All of the dry wings are gluten free, as are two of the wet varieties: sweet chili and white miso honey mustard. The wings are prepared with a rice flour/corn starch batter. Rice noodles can be substituted in several ramen dishes. Thanks to @glutenfreebebe for the tip.

Also in Pottstown, The Blue Elephant (152 E. High St., 484-949-9084) notes gluten-free choices on its Asian fusion menu. Be sure to request gluten-free modifications and preparation.

The Farmer & The Chickpea recently opened in Quakertown (1321 W. Broad St., 267-227-3895). The cafeteria-style restaurant lists gluten-free options on its menu, which rotates weekly.

Reader Corinna V. let me know that the oldest continuously operating inn in America, King George II Inn in Bristol (102 Radcliffe St., 215-788-5536), has gluten-free lobster bisque and crab cakes, among other items listed on the menu.

Peter McAndrews has reopened Modo Mio in the Queen Village section of Philadelphia (705 5th St., 267-239-2712) as well as Paesano's Philly Style, now in Fishtown (1429 Marlborough St.). Modo Mio has gluten-free pasta, while Paesano's will soon have gluten-free bread for sandwiches.

In Rittenhouse Square, Scarpetta (210 W. Rittenhouse Square, 215-558-4199) has an extensive gluten-free menu that includes pasta.

The adults-only Barcade in Fishtown (114 Frankford Ave., 215-634-4400) has gluten-free tacos, a house salad, deviled eggs, a pickle plate and several snacks on its current menu. A future location is coming to Center City at 1210 Chestnut St.

The Fairview, which recently opened in Fairmount (601 N. 21st St., 215-235-3500), has a dedicated fryer for fries and tater tots along with other noted menu options. Gluten-free hard cider and seltzer are available from the bar.

At the DECO Food Hall in Wilmington (111 W. 10th St., 302-300-4955), four of the pho varieties at Phubs are gluten free, as are the steak, chicken and shrimp rice and salad bowls.

Sweet Victory Bakery makes gluten-free bundt cakes, cupcakes,
cookies, pies and special-order cakes
Sweet Victory Bakery is a gluten- and dairy-free bakery based in Dublin, Pennsylvania. Owner Veronica hosts pop-up sales twice a month at 105 N. Main St. (Follow the bakery on Facebook for upcoming dates.) Her baked goods are also sold at area markets such as Kimberton Whole Foods, Altomonte's and other locations in Bucks County and Chester County.

Healthy Meals by Anna rotates its gluten-free options
twice a month
Chef Anna started Healthy Meals by Anna about a year ago, preparing gluten-free meals for delivery in the Philadelphia area and pick-up. Her menu changes bi-weekly and she also offers catering services. Orders can be placed on an a la carte or subscription basis.

Philadelphia Mead Well is the city's first modern-day meadery. Mead, known as honey wine, is gluten free. The meadery's tasting room, located in the Harrowgate section of North Philadelphia (3525 I St. - Unit 201, 267-454-5956), is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Upcoming area events include a gluten-free education dinner at The Pop Shop in Medford (1 S. Main St., 609-975-6888) on Thursday, February 27. The event includes a gluten-free buffet dinner, dessert by Bleu Bear Bakery, samples and coupons. Yours truly will share great information for traveling and dining gluten free. Ravitz Family Market’s dietitian, Ashley Cully, will offer advice and tips for gluten free shopping and cooking at home. All guests are encouraged to bring their favorite gluten-free recipes for a recipe swap. Tickets are $26.95 and include tax and gratuity (available here). Advance ticket purchase required.

CHOP will host its annual gluten-free education day on Sunday, March 1. Details and registration information are available here.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the always updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,800 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!