Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gluten Free Creations Bakery -- Phoenix, AZ -- Review

Recently, I had the occasion to sample the many foods at Gluten Free Creations Bakery in Phoenix, Arizona.

It was a quick trip to the Valley, so I hadn't had time to bake and pack an appropriate variety of traveling food. Thus, I needed GF food, fast.

I drove into the heart of Phoenix ( 2940-b E. Thomas Rd. · Phoenix, AZ 85016  ) to sample the wares.

The bakery's front room is small and crammed with glass-fronted freezers, which are in turn stacked with varieties of GF breads and baked goods. In addition, shelves are stocked with their own fresh dry mixes. 

 I picked up what seemed like "one of everything" from the weight of my bag but was actually a small sampling. As with everything, some are better than others. 

Buckwheat Bread -- Great for sandwiches. I ate the whole loaf in a couple of days.

Whole Grain Bread -- Dry and heavy like many GF baked goods. Crumbly for sandwiches. Fantastic for toast. The whole grains roast in the toaster and smell delicious.

Hamburger buns -- Dry and crumbly. Very white. Little taste. It's hard to do good white buns.

Cinnamon Bun -- Expensive for one bun. The outside ring was very bready and bland. Inside rings were nicely soaked with butter and cinnamon.

Chocolate Donuts with Icing -- Ah, donuts. I haven't had a donut for 8 years. These donuts more like a cake in texture than a donut, but it was the texture of a really good cake. I ate the whole 6-pack in a couple days.

To summarize, I can bake better fresh bread and some other baked goods, but this is a great bakery if you don't have the time. The baked goods and breads are substantially better, indeed orders of magnitude better, than any national brand you could find in the frozen case at the health food store.

They are also sensitive to other food allergies and label their goods if they are CF or egg-free, and a lot of them are.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Schar Fusilli Pasta is great!

TK Kenyon, the Celiac Maniac, is here to tell you that recently, Schar pasta began appearing in my health food stores and grocery stores. It was expensive, so I put off trying it.

Well, I tried it, and it's flipping awesome.

This is as close to "real" pasta as I've tasted in years. Other corn and rice pastas were gritty and/or slimy, but Schar came out absolutely wonderful: firm, toothsome, and actually tasted good!

It's made in Italy. Go figure: the Italians know how to make really good pasta.

While I still enjoy the soy-based Nutrition Kitchen's Green Soybean pasta that I posted about here, but Schar's Fusilli is a closer approximation of the real pasta thing. It was great with marinara, alfredo, and cold in pasta salad.

In addition, my local Walmart now has a Gluten-Free section, where I found the box of Schar Fusilli for $5 instead of the $8.50 that my local over-priced grocery store wanted. My local health food store wanted $7 for it.

I plan to try every Schar product out there.

Schar has a nicely informative website as well.