Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gluten Free Philly News and Notes

Three hard-to-find gluten-free foods are part of Gluten Free Philly’s first product giveaway, which I announced on Tuesday. All you have to do is visit the site and sign up for an email subscription. If you already subscribe, just drop me a line telling me that you are interested in the giveaway. The deadline is Tuesday, April 21, 2009.

I also wrote this week about new gluten-free frozen entrees that provide alternatives to the many meals from Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice that contain prohibited ingredients.

Earlier this month, I wrote about Van’s new gluten-free pancakes and cinnamon French toast sticks. It turns out that the products contained barley malt extract as an ingredient. I wrote to and called the company asking about this, and initially Van’s responded that the amount of gluten in the products was less than the FDA-proposed limit. After considering consumers’ concerns, the company has decided to remove the malt extract as of the next production run. If you find these products at your local market or health food store, check the labels to see if the foods have been reformulated.

I now have more than 70 area eateries, representing a variety of cuisines, listed on my post of gluten-free friendly restaurants. Many of the establishments have dedicated gluten-free menus, links to which are posted alongside the corresponding restaurant’s name. Let me know if you’re aware of any other restaurants that have separate menus.

As a reminder, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness April Meet-Up will take place at one of those restaurants, Little Fish in South Philadelphia, on Monday, April 20, 2009 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Reservations are being accepted through the NFCA website.

Speaking of Little Fish, chef Mike Stollenwerk will be participating tonight (April 16, 2009) in a gluten-free cooking event sponsored by Drexel University’s Academic Bistro. The event will take place at the Academic Bistro, located on the 6th floor of the Academic Building at 33rd and Arch streets in Philadelphia, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $35.

Stay tuned for an announcement about a celiac awareness dining event, sponsored by several area restaurants, that will take place in early June. I also will be posting soon about my recent visit to the new Naked Chocolate Café near Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.

Have a great weekend everyone!
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