Friday, June 23, 2017

News & Notes: Hard Cider Edition

One of Germany’s best-known ciders, Bembel-With-Care has just landed in three U.S. cities, including Philadelphia. For the stateside launch, Bembel-With-Care has introduced three fizzy flavors: Apfelewein Pur, a classic all-natural dry apple cider; Apfelwein Kirsch, a tart apple-cherry all-natural cider; and Apfelwein Cola, a sweet caffeinated cider infused with cola. All are gluten free and made with 100% fruit and not-from-concentrate juice.

Bembel-With-Care can be found in Boston and New York City in addition to Philadelphia. Locally, it's available at Brauhaus Schmitz (718 South St., 267-909-8814) and at all three Tria Cafes in Philadelphia as part of their weekly Sunday School menu. The ciders will launch in additional cities and states in the coming months, including Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

Long known for its beer scene, Philadelphia is experiencing a boom in locally crafted gluten-free hard ciders. Later this summer, Original 13 Ciderworks will set up shop in the Kensington section of Philadelphia  (1526 N. American St.) offering Sir Charles American Pub Ciders and house brand heirloom ciders as well as perries (made from fermented pears) and meads (honey wines). The tasting room will have gluten-free food offerings.

Kurant Cider, currently operating a tasting room out of Free Will Brewing Co. in Perkasie (410 E. Walnut St., 267-354-0813), has designs on opening a cidery in Fishtown (436 E. Girard Ave.) in a few months' time.

Targeting the end of 2017, the owners of Hale & True Cider Co. plan to open a cidery and tasting room in the Bella Vista section of Philadelphia (613 S. 7th St.).\

Cinder doesn't produce its own ciders, but the Rittenhouse Square bar (1500 Locust St., 267-761-5582) offers a variety of domestic and imported brands. There are several gluten-free food options as well, including mussels, salads, and charcuterie and cheese boards.

The annual Pour The Core hard cider festival returns to the  Philadelphia Navy Yard on Saturday, October 21. Expect to sample ciders from many local and regional makers in addition to national brands like Woodchuck, Strongbow and Magners. Tickets are available for online purchase.

Have a great weekend!

- Michael

With the updated Gluten Free Philly app for iOS and Android devices, find more than 1,600 area gluten-free-friendly businesses on the go, search by cuisine or neighborhood, make reservations and more!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Chick-fil-A Debuts Gluten-Free Bun Nationwide

After a successful pilot program last year in several U.S. markets, Chick-fil-A this week added a gluten-free bun option at restaurants nationwide, While individually packaged and certified free of gluten, guests will be required to assemble their own sandwiches to reduce risk of cross-contamination, as Chick-fil-A kitchens are not gluten free. The bun is served in a clear wrapper.

Chick-fil-A's new bun is made with ancient grains like quinoa and amaranth and is lightly sweetened with molasses and raisins. (The full ingredient list is not yet posted on the company website). The bun has 150 calories and costs an additional $1.15. My son tried the grilled chicken on the gluten-free bun and thought it was excellent; the soft bread didn't crumble at all. Initial reviews posted by followers of the Gluten Free Philly Facebook page are favorable as well.

Included in the fast-food chicken chain's current list of no-gluten-containing options are the grilled chicken filet, grilled nuggets, Waffle Potato Fries, Grilled Market Salad and Side Salad and most (but not all) dipping sauces and dressings. Most outlets prepare the fries in dedicated fryers, but customers should speak with a manager about food preparation and handling of all items prior to ordering.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Sharing the Happiness

Tim and Lisa Mourer are adding The Happy Mixer
Bakery locations in New Hope and Newtown, Pennsylvania
Look for more places to get monkey bread, donuts, peanut butter delights - think Tastykake Kandy Kakes, but better - birthday cakes and kiffles (my fave!) in the Philadelphia region.

The Happy Mixer, the hugely popular gluten-free bakery in Chalfont, Pennsylvania (4275 County Line Rd., 267-663-7209) is expanding with two more locations in Bucks County. This summer, owners Tim and Lisa Mourer will set up shop in New Hope at the farmers market-style Ferry Market (32 S. Main St.). In the fall, look for another storefront at the Summit Square Shopping Center in Newtown, with on-premises baking.

Chocolate dipped raspberry filled cookies are among
the standouts at The Happy Mixer Bakery
The bakery is hiring bakers, cake decorators and counter help. Interested candidates can apply through the Employment page at the bakery's website.

Friday, June 9, 2017

News & Notes: June 9, 2017

General Mills has expanded its Chex cereal line with yet another gluten-free version: Blueberry Chex. As with the Chocolate and Cinnamon varieties, the flavored pieces are mixed with traditional Rice Chex. There are no artificial colors, flavors or high-fructose corn syrup. The new version got thumbs up from the cereal eaters at the Gluten Free Philly offices.

Less conspicuously labeled as gluten free is a new ultra-thin pizza line from Digiorno. Both the Four Cheese and Sausage Supreme varieties are made with rice and potato flours and starches.

(Photo Credit: The Impulsive Buy)
New on shelves at Trader Joe's are gluten-free crispy oatmeal raisin cookies. I thought these might be made by Tate's Bake Shop, which produces Trader Joe's gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, but Tate's doesn't list gluten-free oatmeal raisin cookies on its website.

The venerable Newtown bar and restaurant Isaac Newton's (18 S. State St., 215-860-5100) recently introduced a gluten-free menu that includes appetizers, salads, entrees and beer. The wings are baked, not deep fried.