25 July 2009

Gluten Free Haven

Okay, if I have to relocate for job reasons, I want to aim for the Fort Collins/Denver area. Why? Well, let's see... Whole Foods Market, in both cities, has a large gluten free sections and even stocks items from local gluten-free bakeries in its bakery section (which I wouldn't have noticed except an employee mentioned it when I asked about finding a certain GF flour), there are at least three gluten-free bakeries (one in Fort Collins, two in Denver), plenty of GF-friendly restaurants, and a store devoted to selling only GF items (Granny's gluten-free, on the outskirts of Loveland as you head into Estes Park).

It was incredibly bizarre to walk into Deby's GF bakery in Denver and realize that I could actually eat anything in there that I wanted. She does use some soy, but that's all clearly labeled. Incidentally, this is the source for Beau-Jo's GF crusts, and apparently the reason they improved wasn't because the formula changed, but because Beau-Jo's employees got better at working with the GF mixes. As it turned out, Deby herself was running the cash register while I was there, and, not surprisingly, tried to get me to buy some of her own GF flour mixture. I asked if it made good white cake, as that was one item I had not been able to get to turn out well. She said that it would, and suggested adding a can of pureed canned pears to it, as well as beating the whites separately before adding them. I haven't tried it yet, and I already knew about beating the eggs separately to improve texture, but I'll be curious to see if it works. I can only assume that the pears will add moisture to the mix, as GF flours do tend to be a bit drier than whe*t ones.

Incidentally, King Sooper's, one of the more prominent grocery stores in the area, also stocks gluten-free items, though I did not go in to see how much variety they had.

So for celiacs, the Denver area is looking pretty good. If you ever take a trip down there, there's very little worry about finding stuff you can actually eat. Now, off in the Northeast Corner, there's more to worry about, but even there the Wal-Mart has a gluten-free section. I checked the Chubbuck Wal-Mart, and did not find one, but the two I went to in Colorado both had pretty decent selections.

I still don't want to relocate, but that area is looking awfully darn good right now. Maybe one of the GF bakeries needs another cook...

No comments: