Sunday, October 4, 2015

Old Dog, New Tricks: Finding New Products

We were all invited to a goodbye party on Friday night. It was a super rare occasion where the host of the party is gluten free too, so there was a LOT we could eat. (mentally stole some great ideas for the next time we host a gathering!)

In hanging out, I also found another gluten free guest, and it was a very interesting experience. The guest has been gluten free since June, and the host went gluten free in the past two years. Having started the diet more recently, they were discussing products I had no idea existed.

As most followers of my Facebook page know, I try and share new products when I see them locally. I subscribe to many other blogs and newsletters to try and stay current on new research about Celiac and about new products. However, finding those products is sometimes not possible (as our stores may not carry them), or might not be easy as the cracker might be in the regular cracker section or it might be in the "gluten free" section and I'm not always on the lookout. If I don't know there is a new product out there, I will stick to my normal path through the grocery store, which doesn't usually involve going into the "glutenous" (ie regular!) grocery aisles, and I typically am brand loyal or product loyal to something we have liked in the past. This is typically a good practice, though, as I don't need to spend more money on food as our grocery bill is high enough, and I also don't like feeling sad over seeing all the products we miss or would love to have in our cupboards.

But sitting at that party, it was a very strange feeling. There have been so many gluten free products flood the market in recent years, I was totally feeling like the parent that has to ask their kid to program the DVR. There is a whole new generation of gluten free folks that have different go-to brands and staples, just as we do with ours. Back six years ago, there just weren't that many options - you wanted pretzels, there were two options. Now, just in ten seconds, I can think of six. So incredibly thankful for this!

This is one of my motivators to post to Facebook - if it's new to me, it might be new to you too. And when we are spending $6 for a loaf of bread, or several dollars for a box of crackers, we want it to be the best one out there. (and if it is on sale, time to stock up!)

So here are two new products from the party, with thoughts from those of us that were sitting at the kitchen table taste testing:

These disks of deliciousness took me by surprise. Very, very chocolate-y, which I love. I know of the Immaculate brand - but from the dry baking aisle. The cookies are in the refrigerator section and are pre-made, just pull apart and throw in the oven. I typically make cookies from scratch or use a King Arthur mix (that brand loyalty thing... great products so I don't look elsewhere often, though we just tried the Pillsbury ones with sprinkles in them and they were delicious), and the refrigerator section Pillsbury ones were good but I just don't make cookies often enough that I have visited that part of the grocery store lately. So to find these - perfect for that time when you know your child will need something to take to a party or school and you know you won't have the time to pull it together from scratch the night before. Or, just because!

Now these - were a shocker. I have been looking for them but have only found Pamela's small cinnamon and chocolate grahams locally (and had posted those to FB). The guest that brought these received these in her recent Green Bean Delivery shipment (which I am going to have to look into after our talk that night). When we opened the box and these huge crackers popped out, we were all surprised! Their taste was not quite graham cracker, but it was good. Another taste tester said it reminded her of Biscoff cookies. What impressed me was that these crackers were solid - you can see in the picture that the one that was split did not crack or crumble into bits. They would be excellent for making s'mores! Hoping to see these on local shelves soon - and if you see them, please as always, let me know where you spotted them. 

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