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EL: Sweet & Savory Roundup

Continuing with my Everyday Luxury series of posts, I wanted to do a small round-up of both new and old favorite gluten-free products inspired by grocery shopping while traveling.

Having been diagnosed with celiac disease at a time where there was quite literally a single gluten-free bread on the market and if you wanted a snack you ate a plain potato chip and thought you were having a real treat. Okay, I exaggerate a bit (not on the bread though, that is 100% true) but I have to smile when I walk down a gluten-free aisle or find an entire dedicated gluten-free section. The amount of new (and new to me) product that I come across on each visit is truly remarkable I still feel like a kid in a gluten-free candy store.

I recently found myself in a Wegman’s (full-review of some of their own products soon), a store that always seems to have the most amazing gluten-free sections and decided to pick-up some old favorites and product that I have been meaning to try.

Let’s start with the new.

First up is Cybele’s Free to Eat Chocolate Chunk Brownie Cookies. I have been meaning to try Cybele’s product for ages but can never seem to find them locally and I am the type of person that sometimes needs a product to be staring back at him from a shelf in order to trigger my purchase instinct. These cookies are not only gluten-free but also free from the other top eight allergens: soy, dairy, shellfish, egg, peanuts, tree nuts and fish. That being said they also happen to be absolutely delicious. Soft but with just a bit of firm chewiness to make them feel more brownie than cookie in texture. The rich chocolate base is not overly sweet and allows the chocolate chunks to really shine without being overpowering. I am a complete chocoholic and these did not last very long at all — my only regret was not buying a second box.

Nairn’s Oat & Chocolate Chip Biscuit Breaks are next-up and this Scottish brand makes gluten-free version of one of my favorite items — oatcakes. I do not have an allergy or sensitivity to Avenin so as long as the oats used are GF purity protocol oats (something that is becoming harder to find in mass-produced products), I am good to go. Nairn’s thankfully uses GF oats and ensures that they are sourced from farmers that adhere to a purity protocol. The Biscuit Breaks are sweeter version of the more traditional oatcakes but still have that slightly savory undertone to them which I love. The rich oat base is the perfect complement to sweetness of the chocolate chips. These are wonderfully thin and have a nice whole grain texture making them a real standout.

Now for some old-time favorites.

Two of the most nostalgic snacks that take me back to my elementary school days were Cheez-Its or those Cheddar Cheese or peanut butter-filled crackers (which Lance is actually famous for). There is something about them that even as an adult still resonate and excite the palate. Enter Lance’s Cheddar Cheese Crackers and Cheddar Cheese Bite Size Sandwich Crackers. The Cheddar Cheese Crackers are probably the closest to their gluten-filled counterparts. Perfectly crisp, light and great cheddar flavor without being too salty. The Cheddar Cheese Bite Size Sandwich Crackers are tiny little pieces of cheese heaven. The crackers are rich and buttery — texture-wise they are really among the best out there. The addition of the cheddar filling makes these the perfect snack when you are looking to wax nostalgic. They also make a peanut butter-filled version that is equally as delicious as the cheddar variety.

Another brand under the Snyder’s-Lance umbrella is Snyder’s of Hanover (maker of the famous honey mustard gluten-free pretzels I adore) and their Wholey Cheese Smoked Gouda Crackers have become a fast favorite of mine. These are air-filled crackers that, well, look like bits of Swiss cheese. They are available in Swiss & Black Pepper, Mild Cheddar and Smoked Gouda. I love all things Gouda so these are my go-to. They have a really nice smoked Gouda flavor and are extremely light (Caution: So light perhaps that you don’t realize how many you are eating). Thankfully the are baked and free from any artificial preservatives, flavors and colors so that helps with any post-snack remorse.

Finally is an old favorite of mine that I have enjoyed since they first hit the market. Bella Lucia Chocolate Pizzelles. These are a traditional childhood favorite cookie of mine that remained elusive in gluten-free form after my celiac diagnosis. When I first tried them it was love at first bite and thankfully they have continued their success and expanded their flavor portfolio over the years. These are a perfectly crisp gluten-free version of the traditional pizzelle. Just a hint of sweetness allows the chocolate flavor to shine through making these perfect for dessert or with your morning coffee when you feel like something a bit different.

 


 

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