Friday, March 16, 2018

News & Notes: March 16, 2018

Before digging in to the news of the day, I want to thank all of my readers - new and old - for supporting my passion in publishing this blog. Yesterday marked the 9th anniversary of my first post, which was a simple "Welcome." Since then, the gluten-free world has grown tremendously. It's so much easier now for my son to eat gluten free, whether in the kitchen or out of the house, than it was when I first started this endeavor. Though we've made much progress, our voices must continue to be heard.

Last week's Expo West gourmet and healthy foods trade show brought word of a number of new gluten-free products that are just out or will be soon. For starters, you can pretend you're back in college with Lotus Foods' rice ramen noodle soup. Organic brown rice noodles are blended with vegetables and spices to create three certified-gluten-free varieties: Masala Curry, Tom Yum and Spicy Miso.

Bobo's is adding to its line of gluten-free snacks with TOAST’R pastries, baked oat crusts filled with jams and nut butter. TOAST’R will launch nationally starting at Whole Foods Market in May.  Each box will retail at $2.49 and will come in four flavors: Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed, Strawberry Jam, Chocolate Almond Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter. Bobo's products are certified gluten free by the GFCO.

Quinn Snacks announced two new additions to its gluten-free pretzel line, Maple Oat Twists and Deli Rye Style Pretzel Rods. All Quinn pretzels use Kansas-grown sorghum flour.

Birch Benders is launching of a new line of frozen toaster waffles in four flavors, including a gluten-free Paleo variety made in Belgium.

Glutino has discontinued their gluten-free Milanos-like Italian creme cookies due to a supplier issue.

Puyero's Patacón Pisao plantain sandwich (PC: Puyero/Facebook)
At Puyero Venezuelan Flavor in Philly's Society Hill section (524 S. 4th St., 267-928-4584), the menu is all gluten free - arepas, patacones (fried sweet plantain sandwiches), cachapas (corn fritter pancakes) and yucca fries with the exception of the tequenos and mandocas (sides) and marquesas and churros (desserts). For the chorizo and chicken arepas, request pan-fried cheese. The kitchen maintains a dedicated gluten-free fryer.

All menu items except for the flour tortillas for burritos, hot dog buns and beer are gluten free at the recently opened La Roca Tacos in Manayunk (4161 Main St., 267-427-4692). That includes tacos, chips and guac, salads and sides. Nothing with gluten goes in the fryer.

Capitalizing on the pitaya and açaí bowl trend, Frutta Bowls is expanding into the Delaware Valley. Locations in Princeton (142 Nassau St.), Marlton (500 Rt. 73 N.) and Cinnaminson (190 Rt. 30) are opening soon. The stores will have gluten-free granola available as a topping.

Bellyrite Foods makes gluten-free buns for Shake Shack
Shake Shack's newest area location in Marlton (321 Rt. 70 W., 856-334-3679) is opening next Thursday, March 22. Burgers can be served on gluten-free buns or lettuce wraps, though avoid the fries due to shared oil.

In nearby Cherry Hill, Shangri-La (100 Springdale Rd., 856-428-5866) has gluten-free soy sauce and handles gluten-free orders (including rice-noodle dishes) separately.

Harry's Seafood Grill in Wilmington is under new ownership and has rebranded as Banks Seafood Kitchen (101 S. Market St., 302-777-1500), reports the News-Journal. Gluten-free items continue to be marked on the menu.

If you're in the Ardmore area today, your in-store or take-out purchase at Jules Thin Crust (149 W. Lancaster Ave.) will support The Rachel Way gluten- and dairy-free food pantry. Just mention The Rachel Way fundraiser when ordering and a portion of sales will be donated to the organization.

Snap Kitchen, the all-gluten-free to-go market with seven locations in the metropolitan Philadelphia area, is now delivering meals to select neighborhoods through its new online ordering plan; meals can also be picked up at the stores. Subscription plans - from paleo to low carb - and length - from three to seven days a week - vary. Each day's plan includes three meals and two snacks daily. New users can use promo code MAKEPLANS for $25 off their first order.

General-admission tickets for the third annual Greater Philly Gluten Free Expo, to be held on Saturday, May 19 in Oaks, Pennsylvania, are now available for purchase online; they'll also be sold at area Wegmans markets beginning March 20. (VIP tickets are sold out.) Kids 12 and under are free with adult admission. More than 90 vendors will be sampling and selling gluten-free products.

Registration is still open for CHOP's Celiac Education Day on Sunday, March 25. I'll be at the Beyond Celiac table; be sure to stop by, say hello and register to win tickets to the expo.

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!
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