Archive for the ‘Awareness’ Category

GF offerings at Crema Cafe in Harvard Square

July 16, 2009

I went to Crema Cafe on Tuesday and was surprised to see that two of their pastries were labeled (labeled!) as gluten free.  They had a coconut macaroon, and some nebulous bar type thing that was labeled as a “cranberry pistachio” bar. It looked like it was made with oats, but it was very difficult to tell.

And what follows is a lesson to cafe workers on how NOT to treat someone with a gluten intolerance:

“That cranberry pistachio bar, is that made with GF oats?”

“Let me check. (to other cashier) Is that made with GF oats?”

“No, I think it’s made with Rice Krispies”

Me: “I’m sorry, so it’s made with Rice Krispies?”

Cashier 1: “Here let me ask the person who buys them. (to manager looking person) Are these bars gluten free?”

Manager: “Yes.”

Cashier to me: “They are not made with oats. They are completely gluten free.”

Me: “…but if they’re made with Rice Krispies, they are not gluten free.”

Cashier, in an extremely snippy tone with I’m-smiling-but-I’m-really-annoyed-with-you smile: “I just asked, and I can assure you they are completely gluten free.”

Hmm, they told me the same thing at Kickass Cupcakes not too long ago.  I ordered a macaroon instead.

Bottom line, people:  if someone asks you about the GF status of a product, unless you have a certificate in gluten free food preparation, give them ingredients.  Or list them somewhere in case people ask.

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Boston: Participate in GF Website Research

June 15, 2009

A friend found the following on a LiveJournal site.  If you live in a respectable distance to Kendall Square and want to participate in some gluten free research, send these people an email:

Hello!
I’m looking for individuals in the Boston area with Celiac Disease who are able to come in for an hour to my company’s offices in Kendall Square (right by the T) and test a new Gluten Free service we are releasing very soon.
To participate, you must be able to come into our offices in Kendall Square. In exchange for your time, some compensation will be offered. 😀
If you’re interested in testing our service, please reply to shannon@zeer.com with the following information.
Your Name:
When You Started Living Gluten Free:
Your Occupation:
Your Age:
Your City & State:
What Time of Day Works Best?
Thank you! We’re eager to get fresh eyes and opinions. Looking forward to hearing from you 😀

I’m going in sometime this week.  Compensation is a $25 Amazon gift card.  This company, Zeer, I think is fairly new; I saw them hiring on Craigslist not too long ago when I was newly diagnosed, unemployed and trawling websites for jobs.  I almost applied, but then I got my permanent gig, which I am glad to have.

NYC was great, and I got to try a lot of fun GF food.  In other news, the husband and I are attending a Celiac round table discussion at Beth Israel tonight with renowned celiac dietitian Melinda Dennis and others.  This is the first official thing I’m going to as a celiac since being diagnosed in April, since I couldn’t get an appointment with Melinda until late July!  I’ll post a debriefing after the meeting.

Gluten Free Boston: Kickass Cupcakes

June 7, 2009

So when I first started this post probably about a month ago, I was all ready to sing the praises of Kickass Cupcakes in Davis Square.  They carry gluten free cupcakes that, at the time, I thought kicked ass.

Not so much anymore.

Let’s start with the positives first.  From the times I’ve been there, they usually carry a GF vanilla cupcake and sometimes a chocolate.  The cake itself is spongy, moist, slightly eggy.  Their chocolate frosting is outstanding.  And I am not a person who typically likes chocolate frosting.  And on the CC tip, the first time I went in there, I was offered a separate box for my GF cupcakes so they wouldn’t be contaminated by the husband’s gluteny cupcake choices.

On the flipside, their vanilla frosting is gross.  It’s a buttercream, with emphasis on the butter.  You sometimes feel like you’re biting into a stick of Land O’ Lakes rather than into a sugary treat.  More sugar, less butter, people.  We aren’t trying to impress Paula Deen.

But, if you’ll forgive the pun, here’s the kicker:  Last time I went in, They had some special GF cupcakes for sale.  Some vanilla cupcakes topped with chocolate frosting, and garnished with a Paul Newman wheat-free fake oreo Newman-O.  I was confused because I thought they had mingled some regular cupcakes with my GF ones.  But I asked, and the person working the counter said, oh no, these were gluten free cupcakes with a gluten free “No-reo” on top.  I was excited firstly because I didn’t know such a product existed.  I was excited secondly because I thought I was getting a super fancy treat.  I scarfed down that cupcake and relished the delicious cookie on top.

So I was at the store yesterday, and what do I see on the shelf but a bag of Newman-Os.  And written on the package, clear as day is the following:

NOT a gluten free product.

I look at the back of the package and what is the first ingredient?  Barley flour.  So Newman-O’s are wheat free, but they are not gluten free.  Oh Kickass Cupcakes, why must I have to give you the wheat free vs. gluten free lecture?  I thought you had it together and we were getting along so well. And oh, Paul Newman (RIP), why couldn’t you have used rice flour?

So I will have to venture forth in my search for GF baked goods.  I still might get cupcakes from Kickass Cupcakes from time to time, but no bells and whistles.  Other places on my list to try are Bella Moto in Arlington, Celia Cakes in Arlington, and Strawberry Moon in Stoneham.