Friday, January 21, 2011

News & Notes: January 21, 2011

If you didn't yet "like" the new Gluten Free Philly Facebook page, you missed out on posts about limited-time half-off deals at local establishments Sonata and Cupcakes Gourmet, which have gluten-free options, and one reader's experience at Kokopelli in Center City. Join the online community and contribute today!

Stay tuned for area locations where you can find the new vending machines from Snack Like a Local, which I wrote about this week. The machines will carry a number of regionally made gluten-free snacks and beverages.

Some tri-state restaurant info to pass along. In Wilmington, Domaine Hudson (1314 North Washington Street, 302-655-9463) can accommodate gluten-free requests. According to the chef, the kitchen has gluten-free crackers for cheese and charcuterie, and during prep and service all items are prepared and held with dedicated utensils. The restaurant also serves gluten-free beer and hard ciders.

Reader Daria D. recommends the White Dog Cafe in Wayne (200 West Lancaster Avenue, 610-225-3700), where she enjoyed gluten-free raisin French toast for Sunday brunch. For now, the bread is only available on Sundays and reservations are recommended so that the kitchen has notice of gluten-free requests.

The Ebbitt Room, located at the Virginia Hotel in Cape May (25 Jackson Street, 609-884-5700), can also cater to gluten-free diners with 24 hours notice.

I have two new bakeries to highlight this week. First, Aux Petits Delices in Wayne (162 East Lancaster Avenue, 610-971-0300) has a gluten-free pastry menu and can also prepare wedding cakes. The gluten-free items are made on a separate floor of the bakery using almond flour and potato starch.

Princeton's Moonlight Bakers makes a variety of gluten-free cakes and cookies. The company's chewy chocolate-nut squares are sold at Whole Earth Center in Princeton. Although the desserts are made in a shared commercial kitchen, the bakery's hours there are such that its gluten-free products are made when others are handling wheat flour. In addition, bakers Marilyn Besner and Piroska Toth use certain supplies and utensils just for the gluten-free items.

I'm not sure why Post Cereals didn't publicize this when it recently promoted the gluten-free status of Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles, but the company's Marshmallow Pebbles have been reformulated and are now safe. The new boxes proclaim that the cereal is "new and improved," so check the label at the store, as the old version (with wheat) is still floating around.

Reader Eve B. let me know that our family's favorite gluten-free Italian pasta, Le Veneziane, now comes in farfalle. It's available online from U.S. distributor Quattrobimbi.

With Chocolate Dips, Jelly Belly bean flavors of Very Cherry, Raspberry, Strawberry, Coconut and Orange have been drenched in chocolate. Another new product, Peas & Carrots mellocreme mix, is revived from the company's antique candy molds. The "baby carrots" are mellocreme candy in orange sherbet flavor and the "peas" are green apple flavor. They will begin to ship to stores nationwide by February.

The Giant supermarket in Kennett Square is celebrating the expansion of its gluten-free and natural foods section with samples and an information fair on Saturday, January 29 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A basket filled with gluten-free products will be raffled off.

The next Supper Club dinner will be held on Monday, February 7 at Joseph Poon Chinese Kitchen in Chinatown, where the group will celebrate the Chinese New Year with a multi-course feast. Seating is at 7:30 p.m. For more information about the club or plans for the dinner, e-mail reader Adriana Z.

Finally this week, I wanted to let people know that registration for Camp Celiac in Rhode Island opens on Tuesday, February 1; the camp will run this summer from August 7-12. For parents interested in a Jewish sleepaway camp, several New Jersey Y Camps in the Poconos will have a separate gluten-free kitchen beginning this summer, according to a recent article in the New Jersey Jewish News (thanks to Gluten Free Fun blogger Erin for tweeting this story). In fact, registration is now open for the camps' two-night Celiac Family Weekend on June 10-12. If the sample schedule is any indication, lots of fun activities are planned. The cost is $250 per adult; kids under 18 are free.

Have a great weekend!
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