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.

Friday, May 26, 2017

News & Notes: May 26, 2017

This week's Sweets & Snacks Expo in Chicago brought word of some novel twists on traditional gluten-free favorites. This December, Skittles and Starburst are spicing things up with Sweet Heat versions of their classic candies.

Just Born's Peeps brand is set to expand with more premium Peeps Delights. Look for maple brown sugar marshmallow with white fudge, sugar cookie marshmallow with white fudge, and peppermint bark marshmallow with dark chocolate later this year.

Locally, Station Taproom in Downington (207 W. Lancaster Ave., 484-593-0560) has gluten-free burger buns and can recommend other items on its rotating menu that are gluten free. (Thanks Kaitlyn M.)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Gluten-Free Standouts at the National Restaurant Association Show

Many of the 36 award winners at the recent National Restaurant Association in Chicago are gluten free - not surprising given the marketplace's growth. The 2017 Food and Beverage FABI Awards recognize innovative food and beverage products that make a significant impact in the restaurant industry. Some of these are sold in supermarkets, while others are only available at restaurants.

Gluten-Free Biscuit Sandwich from Kiki’s Gluten-Free Foods: The first frozen gluten-free biscuit sandwich now available in foodservice is a breakfast or lunch option for gluten-free consumers on the go. Individually wrapped in plastic to prevent gluten cross-contamination and available in a variety of options, these biscuit sandwiches can be microwaved from frozen or quickly baked and kept under warming lights for over an hour without getting soggy. You can order Chicago deep-dish pizza, ravioli, pita bread and lava cakes through the company's website.

Brazi Bites from Franz Bakery: Brazi Bites Brazilian Cheese Bread are crispy outside and fluffy inside. And because it uses cheese, eggs, milk and tapioca flour, it’s naturally gluten-free.

The Beyond Burger from Beyond Meat: The world's first plant-based burger that looks and cooks like fresh ground beef, The Beyond Burger is non-GMO, soy free and gluten-free, providing a way for consumers to reduce their red meat intake. Although completely plant-based, it cooks through like a regular burger with a better nutritional profile than ground beef,  including 20 grams of protein per serving.

Gluten Free Dough; Pizza & Hoagie Rolls Ready to Bake from Wild Flour Bakery: Artisan, small-batch and 100% yeast-raised, Wild Flour Bakery has created the only gluten-free pizza dough in the industry able to take the 900+ °F temps of wood, coal, gas or infrared ovens without parbaking or burned edges. The bakery's fresh, soft hoagie rolls are used at area Jersey Mike's shops.