Tuesday, March 2, 2021

What's New for Passover 2021

While COVID-19 is likely to again 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 Saturday, March 27 and ends the evening of Sunday, April 4. 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 there additions to the Seder table, though the pandemic has curtailed the roll-out of many more. Locally, many Passover 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 owns 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 and other varieties. Yehuda also has gluten-free matzo meal, cake meal and crackers.

This year, there are several new products under the Manischewitz label, including mini macaroons in coconut, chocolate and birthday cake flavors.

This year, also look for new Gefen-branded coconut S'mores, made with coconut, dark chocolate and tiny marshmallows.

Paskesz has two new gluten-free breakfast cereals for the holiday: Choco Fillos are crunchy cereal pillows that come in hazelnut and chocolate flavors.

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 cane 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, February 2, 2021

CHOP Virtual Celiac Education Day Slated for March 7

Each year, the Celiac Center at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia provides children with celiac disease and their caregivers with a state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary educational program. While the 2021 event will look a little different — it’s all virtual — it will contain the same, high-quality presentations for families.

The 16th Annual Celiac Education Day is open to CHOP families from near and far who want to:

• Hear evidence-based lectures about celiac disease research and advances from respected experts in the field

• Learn about how celiac disease presents in childhood and adolescence

• Understand the importance of adhering to a gluten-free diet – and where to access support and resources if needed

• Learn how to safely eat gluten free in school and restaurants

Event Details

Sunday, March 7, 2021*

8:30 a.m. – Noon

To register or learn more details about this event, visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celiac-education-day-2021-registration-123510700831.

After you register, a link will be sent to your email the week before the event. Please do not share the link with others.

* The deadline to register for this event is March 4, 2021.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact the Celiac Center at 215-590-3076 or email celiaccenter@email.chop.edu.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

I Ain't Afraid of No Ghosts

Shawarma spiced chicken with crisp eggplant
and schug from Shai Hummusiya
(Photo credit: Shai/Instagram)

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many restaurants to pivot in order to keep their doors open. Some owners are double-dipping, operating so-called "ghost kitchens" that have menus different from their better-known parents. These kitchens have pick-up options rather than table service and typically work with food-delivery services for delivery. (You can read more about this trend in the Philadelphia Inquirer.)

In the Philadelphia area, there are a number of such operations. I've compiled a list of some of the ones in the region offering gluten-free options (all of these listings can be found in the Gluten Free Philly app [Apple App Store / Google Play Store], and if you know of others, drop me a line at gfphilly@gmail.com:

  • Elevation Burger (Center City West Philadelphia) - sandwich buns
  • Shai Hummusiya (Center City West Philadelphia) - all menu items are gluten free except for pita bread
  • Pete's Place (Serpico, Center City Philadelphia) - beef and radish soup, soft tofu stew
  • Chopsey Pan Asian Kitchen (Veda, Philadelphia) - sweet corn soup, fried rice
  • Philly Burgers & Shakes (Top Tomato, Center City Philadelphia) - burger buns (request separate preparation)
  • Grilled Cheese Society (Top Tomato, Center City Philadelphia) - grilled cheese sandwiches on gluten-free bread (request separate pan preparation)
  • Agea at the Commons (Walnut Street Cafe, Center City West Philadelphia) - build-your-own bowls and platters
  • Ghost Chicken at the Commons (Walnut Street Cafe, Center City West Philadelphia) - chicken
  • Cluckwerks (Denim byob, Haddonfield) - sandwich buns, fries (request separate fryer)

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

The Pause That Refreshes

The award-winning Conshohocken Brewing Company has released its first gluten-free beer. The seasonal Semicolon (4.7% ABV) is a gluten-free pale ale described as "golden, crisp and pleasantly hoppy upfront with a smooth finish featuring notes of citrus and pine." The 2020 version is brewed with sorghum and made entirely with gluten-free ingredients. The brewery undertakes extensive equipment cleaning practices between runs and uses the R5 Competitive ELISA test to measure gluten at less than 10 ppm.

A four-pack of Semicolon sells for $13 and is available for curbside pickup at the suburban Philadelphia brewery's locations in Conshohocken (739 E. Elm St.), King of Prussia (3100 Horizon Dr.), Bridgeport (Puddlers Kitchen, 3 Dekalb St.), Phoenixville (Rec Room, 230 Bridge St.) and Havertown (Town Tap, 13 W. Benedict Ave.).

The beer can also be shipped to Pennsylvania addresses via Conshy Express.

Semicolon debuted last year as a non-gluten-free amber IPA; the liquid changes every year, but the name and mission are the same. A portion of the proceeds benefits the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Friday, October 30, 2020

Join Gluten Free Philly at the Pa. Virtual Gluten Free Expo November 7

The PA Virtual Gluten Free Expo will take place next Saturday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be accessed by going to www.glutenfreeexpopa.com.  This free, live online event will fill the void left by the cancellation of this year’s Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo in Oaks and the Central PA Gluten Free Expo in Camp Hill.  

The expo will allow for video chat with local and national gluten-free exhibitors, eight live-streamed educational presentations, and various giveaways.  Over 40 virtual exhibitor booths will be online for the event, such as Philadelphia-based Flakely, where Chef Lila Colello creates gluten-free French pastry, including brioche and croissants.  

Speakers will include Lisa Fahey, M.D., Clinical Director of the Celiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and yours truly.

In 2019, over 3,800 consumers attended the two in-person gluten-free events. Those interested in attending the expo can pre-register at https://glutenfreeexpo.live/Pre-register and enter to win gluten-free prizes. If you don't register in advance, you can simply go to the event homepage on the day of the event.

Businesses interested in exhibiting can email info@connectingglutenfree.com for details.

Follow the event through social media:

Twitter: www.twitter.com/@PhillyGFExpo                 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/PhillyGlutenFreeExpo

Instagram: www.instagram.com/@PhillyGlutenFreeExpo


Presentation Schedule on November 7, 2020:                                                

11:00 a.m.  “Three Steps to Gluten Free Living” with Melinda Arcara, author and publisher of glutenfreebebe.com

11:00 a.m.  “Gluten-Free Dining and Product Q&A” with Michael Savett, publisher, glutenfreephilly.com

Noon  “Gluten Free College 101” with Andrea Balzano Tucker, celiac advocate and podcaster, BaltimoreGlutenFree.com

Noon “Celiac session” with Beyond Celiac

1:00 p.m.  “Associated Conditions of Celiac Disease” with Lisa Fahey, M.D., Clinical Director of the Celiac Center, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

1:00 p.m.  “Navigating Social Settings and Eating Out When Gluten-Free” with Safiya Carter, allergy-sensitive/gluten-free food inventor, chef, consultant

2:00 p.m.  “Gluten-Free Road Trips” with Elikqite, publisher of the Travel Gluten-Free podcast

2:00 p.m.  “Cooking Techniques For Those New to a Gluten-Free Diet” with Melinda Arcara, author and publisher of glutenfreebebe.com

Current Exhibitor Lineup:

Presenting Sponsor: Wegmans

Platinum Sponsor: Aleia’s Gluten-Free

7 Muffins A Day


Aurochs Brewing Company

B.C. Brewery

Batimore Gluten Free


Ben and Jerry's

Chebe Bread Products


Dessert Crazy

Don't Go Nuts

Eban's Bakehouse

EpiLynx LLC

Every Body Eat®

Flakely, LLC


Freely Vegan

Full Flavor Foods

Gem City Fine Foods


Hodo Foods

Home Free Treats

Kay's Naturals


Mom's Place Gluten Free

Nomato by Norine

PASTA LIFE – Gluten-Free Pasta Straws

Red Plate

Savor Street

The Soulful Project

Undercover Snacks

Village Eatinghouse

Weis Markets

* This is a sponsored post *