2014 Summer Fancy Food Show, NYC

Last week I attended the Summer Fancy Food Show, at the Jacob Javits Center, NYC, to check out new gluten-free products on the market. Given the plethora of gluten free vendors and my recent foot surgery I knew this would be a challenge. However, with this focus in mind, this mega show became a bit smaller to manage. So I started in one corner and the following are the memorable gluten free vendors that I came across in the short time I spent there.

As you may know by now, healthy gluten-free living is my focus, passion and interest, as well, I am a savory gal. When I am searching for ‘something sweet’ I tend to opt for a low-glycemic sweet treat. Here we go…

Nikki’s Coconut Butter: out of Jupiter FL. They are not yet certified gluten-free. Their ingredients are paleo and vegetarian, gluten and dairy free made with organic coconut and made with organic sweeteners. I had the vanilla cake batter flavor and went home after the event and made sautéed peaches and oatmeal and used this coconut butter – it was fabulous and as easy as it sounds! Comes in 5 flavors.

Cookie Sense: Another great product not yet certified. Cookie Sense is a power cookie that either comes in a 2”, 100 calorie cookie or a power bite. I love this product for many reasons. They are dairy free, and have 8 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. They are also sugar free with the sweetness from stevia and only 1 gram of sugar in one cookie! Comes in 4 flavors. I tried the chocolate chip and coconut almond. It has a great flavor and a chewy/crunchy texture.

Nib Mor: Not new to the market however, they have new packaging and a new product. I love the daily dose of dark. Organic, vegan and certified gluten-free by GFCO, this chocolate bar is sure to please when you need a fix! They’ve just launched their new 6-spice drinking chocolate packed with protein and fiber.

XO Baking Co: Last, but never least of the sweet treats, is XO Baking Co. With it’s founder and Chief Baking Officer, Lindsey Deitsch at it again, she continues to make our mouth water with her delicious mixes! Coming new to the market are the biscuits and scones, chocolate, vanilla, ginger and chocolate chip snaps, as well, a perfectly executed gluten free blondie. XO Baking Co has a line of about 22 products; from a cup-for-cup flour, sweet breads, pancakes…and cakes/frosting. I am always craving XO Baking Co’s product! They are all certified gluten free by GFCO, organic, kosher and non-gmo. It doesn’t get any better!

Rice Ramen by Lotus Foods: They are a small company with a big mission; sustainability being the core of their business. I first tried the Bhutan Rice – reddish-brown in color with a nutty earthy flavor. It is one of 9 organic /heirloom varieties. I loved the texture and flavor and made it with coconut oil, scallions, raisins and pumpkin seeds. Their products are made with non-gmo products and are gluten-free yet not certified. Super-impressed with all that I have mentioned they have rice ramen in 6 flavors as well as with miso soup. I have a sample of the Forbidden Rice Ramen, which is black in color, and look forward to trying it one day soon. This is a company to follow!

Earthly Choice: This company sells freekeh and faro, pastas, quinoa, powders, proteins and many more. Many of these are gluten-filled products. They have certified (with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness) the next products I will be showcasing. Chia crisp, golden flax crisp and quinoa crisp. All are high in fiber, nut free, gluten free, dairy free and non-gmo. They are a snack with 9 g of sugar per bar – and three bars per pack. If one eats the whole package, which is easy to do, it will be 27g of sugar that ultimately equates to roughly 6.5 tsps of sugar. This is where one needs to be careful when reading labels. Still looks like a tasty treat in small quantities.

Halfpops: Partially popped, crunchy and fluffy – halfpops come in two varieties – aged white cheddar and butter/sea salt. Delicious new way to eat popcorn that are certified gluten-free with GFCO, nut-free and no hydrogenated oils.

An important note: Many of the new companies in the marketplace say they ‘self-test’ for gluten. They are not yet ready (most due to certification being expensive for them) to get certified. One comment that I have for all of the companies that state on their packaging that they are gluten-free yet not certified:

As of August 5, 2014, a food product regulated by the FDA may be labeled gluten-free if:
1. It does NOT contain wheat, rye, barley or their crossbred hybrids like triticale (a gluten-containing grain) OR
2. It contains a gluten-containing grain or an ingredient derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

While manufacturers are not required to test for gluten in order to label a product gluten-free – - they are responsible for ensuring that the food product meets all labeling requirements. Manufacturers will need to determine how they will ensure this.

Posted in Celiac Awareness, Celiac Matters, Chocolate, Food allergies, GF Food Matters, gluten free labeling, Gluten Matters, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Fine Restaurant in Manhattan is Gluten-Free Friendly

41 West 57th Street
New York, NY

Per Everybody Eats: Two former colleagues from Eleven Madison Park – Bryce Shuman (right), who was an executive sous-chef, and Eamon Rockey (left) , who was a captain and involved in Atera and Aska – have teamed up to create Betony, a modern American restaurant. Chef Shuman was familiar with Everybody Eats’ gluten free offerings from Eleven Madison and is very much aware of the growing celiac/gluten-free concerns as his mother, who lives in the midwest, has celiac herself!

The Midtown spot they have chosen briefly housed Brasserie Pushkin, a two-story space with a soaring front area and windows overlooking West 57th Street. That brasserie, a Russian extravaganza, lasted only about nine months before its owner, Andrey Dellos, pulled the plug and went looking for something different to put there. He had dined at Eleven Madison Park often enough to get to know Mr. Shuman; so Mr. Dellos had him prepare a few tastings, and the project began to take shape. Mr. Shuman asked Mr. Rockey to help him find a general manager, and Mr. Rockey himself signed on.

“Andrey has given us a great deal of liberty to showcase our vision,” Mr. Rockey said. According to Chef Shuman: “The food that I know and love is inspired by the ingredients. I want to present familiar flavors in a really modern way.”

The menu will have a great deal of green, in dishes like an asparagus lasagna with cheese curds, and potato gnocchi with guanciale (an exotic Italian bacon), peas and mint. There will be 85 seats, some in the front bar area and the rest on two levels in the rear. The decor will include bare brick and some of the wonderful, rich Pushkin woodwork.`

Everybody Eats’ Egg Challah, Multi-Grain Loves, and Crusty Baguette will be featured in the cooking, but don’t count on always being able to identify the bread in your dish. Chef Shuman knows a million tricks and techniques to make original gluten free culinary masterpieces out of our raw materials.

Posted in Celiac Awareness, Celiac Matters, Everybody Eats, Food allergies, GF Food Matters, Gluten Free, Gluten Matters, NYC | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When Government and Food Intolerances Collide

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Justice Department and Lesley University Sign Agreement to Ensure Meal Plan Is Inclusive of Students with Celiac Disease and Food Allergies

The Justice Department today announced an agreement with Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass., to ensure that students with celiac disease and other food allergies can fully and equally enjoy the university’s meal plan and food services in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Food allergies may constitute a disability under the ADA. Individuals with food allergies may have an autoimmune response to certain foods, the symptoms of which may include difficulty swallowing and breathing, asthma and anaphylaxis. For example, celiac disease, which is triggered by consumption of the protein gluten (found in foods such as wheat, barley and rye), can cause permanent damage to the surface of the small intestines and an inability to absorb certain nutrients, leading to vitamin deficiencies that deny vital nourishment to the brain, nervous system, bones, liver and other organs. Celiac disease affects about 1 in 133 Americans.

“By implementing this agreement, Lesley University will ensure students with celiac disease and other food allergies can obtain safe and nutritional food options,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “The agreement ensures that Lesley’s meal program is attentive to the schedules and demands of college students with food allergies, an issue colleges and universities across the country need to consider.”

Under the settlement, Lesley University agrees to amend its policies and practices to:

· Continually provide ready-made hot and cold gluten- and allergen-free food options in its dining hall food lines;

· Develop individualized meal plans for students with food allergies, and allow those students to pre-order allergen free meals, that can be made available at the university’s dining halls in Cambridge and Boston;

· Provide a dedicated space in its main dining hall to store and prepare gluten-free and allergen-free foods and to avoid cross-contamination;

· Enable students to request food made without allergens, and ensure that a supply of allergen-free food is available;

· Work to retain vendors that accept students’ prepaid meal cards that offer food without allergens;

· Display notices concerning food allergies and identify foods containing specific allergens;

· Train food service and University staff about food allergy related issues;

· Pay $50,000 in compensatory damages to previously identified students who have celiac disease or other food allergies.

The settlement agreement was reached under the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities by public accommodations, including colleges and universities, in their full and equal enjoyment of goods, services, and facilities. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at www.justice.gov/crt . More information about the settlement with Lesley University can be found at www.ada.gov or by calling the toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

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