Thursday, April 23, 2009

Gluten Free Philly News and Notes

The big news this week was Starbucks' announcement that all U.S. outlets will start carrying a gluten-free cake on May 5. The orange-flavored cake will be individually wrapped to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.

On the restaurant front, I profiled the Naked Chocolate Café, which recently opened a new location near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia. Nearly all of their gourmet chocolates are gluten free.

Also this week, I posted the news that the Philadelphia Phillies have planned a celiac awareness night at their game against the Chicago Cubs on July 20. A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that Citizens Bank Park will be offering gluten-free food at all Phillies games this year. I have learned that the items are available at the South Philadelphia Market concession stand on the main concourse behind Section 128. I still haven't confirmed the breadth of offerings but I plan to attend a game next week and hope to find out by then.

Congratulations to readers Sonnie and Jodi, winners of Gluten Free Philly's first product giveaway! Thanks to all who signed up for email subscriptions to my posts.

The April 23 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer had an article about gluten-free dining in the area.

The Center City Philadelphia Whole Foods Market (at 20th & Pennsylvania avenues) will host a free gluten-free tasting and tour on April 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy gluten-free samples throughout the store while you're there, meet vendors, and speak with a registered dietician who will be available to answer questions. The tour starts at 6 p.m. Cheesecakes from Moondance Heavenly Desserts will be among the foods offered at the tasting. The Cincinnati bakery makes several varieties of brownies, along with cheesecakes baked on a homemade pecan shortbread crust, at a dedicated gluten-free facility.

All Whole Foods stores will soon be carrying Blue Horizon Organic's Seafood Bites. The appetizers, which are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, include Salmon Cake Bites made with wild Alaska salmon, Crab Cake Bites, Fish & Chip Bites featuring Pollock and Northwest potatoes, and Albacore Tuna Bites made with Sashimi-grade tuna.

Trader Joe's has begun selling gluten-free English muffins at local stores. A pack of four muffins sells for $3.49.

A new gluten-free microwaveable pizza is now available at area Wegmans markets. Angel's Touch Margarita Pizza, which retails for $3.99 each, is imported from Israel. Wegmans also carries several varieties of the company's gluten-free quiches.

Next month, Applegate Farms will debut gluten-free chicken nuggets in retailers nationwide. The breading uses a mixture of corn and rice flours. The nuggets are frozen fully cooked so that they can be heated in the microwave. The retail price of an 8 oz. box is $5.99.

Although the allergen information on the website of Rita's Ice is not updated as of this writing, a consumer service representative at the company confirmed to me that the new S'mores cream ice flavor is safe for celiacs. The product does not contain any graham crackers.

The Schwan Food Company owns the largest direct-to-home food delivery provider in the United States. On last week's Celebrity Apprentice on NBC, contestants were tasked with creating a new dish for Schwan's frozen-food LiveSmart line. The winning team created a gluten-free meal, the Triple Play Turkey Meatballs and Pasta Dinner, which is now available for home delivery.

That's all for this week - have a great weekend!
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