Gluten Free Oreos
One of the downsides of being a celiac is not trying some of the popular cookies. Sure there are alternatives - but it's not the same. It's kind of like being at a birthday party. You can only drink Walmart brand soda while everyone else is drinking Coke-Cola. It might be good, but its not the same. (Try the store brand challenge and see for yourself!)
This is how people with celiac feel. They do feel a bit left out. Earlier this year, there was some good news on the snack front.
In January 2021, Nabisco started shipping Gluten Free Oreos. Yes, the same Oreos that everyone loves, is now available Gluten Free.
Its a Hit!
My daughter tried it and it's a hit! She absolutely loves them. They are better than any of the gluten-free Oreo "knock-offs." (We stopped buying different brands because they weren't good.)
They were hard to find in January and February but now available in every supermarket that we visit - including Target and Walmart.
We typically buy a couple of packs just so that we have them available. She loved to snack on them.
I have tried the Gluten-Free Oreos and they are exactly like regular Oreos. There's no different taste or texture. I don't know how they did it. But it does taste great.
Five Things I Learned
- Gluten Free Oreos were announced in November 2020 and came out in January 2021. We were able to get it on January 25.
- They look exactly the same as regular Oreos, except they do say Gluten-Free on the cookie. (Its hard to see the words)
- Most stores stock them with regular Oreos. They tend to stand out more because of the white packaging. I am guessing that they don't put them with other Gluten-Free foods because Nabisco comes in the store and stocks them.
- The Gluten-Free Oreo costs about 20% more than the standard Oreo. I have noticed that they don't go on sale as frequently as regular Oreos. They were on sale early on as a promotion to get the word out.
- Did you know that the Gluten-Free cookies segment accounted for the highest revenue share of more than 32% in 2020 (Among Baked Gluten-Free goods.) - according to the Gluten-free Baking Mixes Market Report.
Celiac Vaccine Update
Back in January, 2019, I wrote about how the Nexvax2 was in Stage 2 trials. This vaccine would help people with celiac disease to occasionally enjoy foods that may contain gluten.
I thought I would follow up on the update of the testing.
Nexvax2 Trial has been discontinued
Unfortunately testing didn't go well. Six Months into Phase 2, and the trial was stopped.
The results of the trial showed that the vaccine didn't provide any more protection from gluten when compared to the placebo.
The official statement from June 25, 2020:
The results from an interim analysis revealed Nexvax2 did not provide statistically meaningful protection from gluten exposure for celiac disease patients when compared with placebo.
ImmusanT, Inc is a biotechnology company focused on developing a treatment, and a set of diagnostic and monitoring tools to manage patients with Celiac disease.
Next Steps for ImmusanT
ImmusanT has closed its doors shortly after stopping the Nexvax2 trial. Any testing information is likely to be Vatera Healthcare Partners as they were the primary backers to ImmusanT.
While it's disappointing to hear that Nexvax2 didn't make it. There are plenty of other trials still in play.
Zedira Phase 2b Trial
Earlier this month, the New England Journal of Medicine featured a story about an experimental drug called ZED1227 that looks to be promising to those diagnosed with celiac disease. (A Randomized Trial of a Transglutaminase 2 Inhibitor for Celiac Disease)
According to early testing, patients on the drug showed fewer signs of intestinal damage when eating a biscuit with some gluten.
As part of the study, patients have to take a pill every morning and and once in a while they would eat a biscuit that contained a trace of gluten.
Zedira is still moving forward with the phase 2b study in Europe.
Finding a place that makes good gluten-free donuts may seem like an impossible task. Not in the Boston area,
Kane's Donuts is the place to go for not only awesome donuts but a great selection.
Five Things We Learned
This past Spring we stopped at the Kane's Donut shop in the Financial District in Boston. Here are some of the things we learned.
They had a large selection of Gluten Free donuts. We arrived moments after they open so we had a large selection to pick from.
Kane's keep the donuts on a separate track from the other donuts in the shop. They will move it so you can see what is available.
Gluten Free Donuts are expensive
They taste awesome! My daughter loved them so much that we went back a couple of days later to get more. To her, It was a real treat to get delicious donuts from a donut shop. She really liked the glazed donuts.
You can order the donuts online. Order online for early morning pickup to ensure the freshest selection and variety.
One of the hot food products this year is the Stuffed Puffs. This is a marshmallow with some chocolate inside. Making this the perfect S'more marshmallow.
I was surprised to find some at a local Market Basket. So I picked up a couple of packages.
My daughter was delighted that I brought some home and couldn't wait to make s'mores.
She had a couple of them and thought they were just okay. I think she was expecting more chocolate inside.
We noticed that when we cooked them over the fire that the outside would sizzle as if it had a sugar coating.
That got me thinking - what is inside the marshmallow? So I checked the ingredients and was surprised to find its more than marshmallows and plain chocolate.
There is a bit of a surprise if you are a celiac- the marshmallow contains Wheat.
Facts from Stuffed Puffs
According to the Stuff Puffs frequently asked questions:
Stuffed Puffs- Classic Milk Chocolate and Chocolate-on-Chocolate flavors are inherently gluten-free, however, they are not a Certified Gluten-Free product. This is because while there is no wheat in the ingredient list they are made in a facility that processes wheat products.
Our Cookies &n Creme flavor does contain some wheat as it includes a cookie crumble filling.
Note: On their website, the ingredients don't list Wheat in the "Contained Ingredients".
My daughter didn't encounter any Gluten side effects from eating the marshmallows. She said that she felt fine the next morning.
We were happy that she didn't get sick and I felt bad that I didn't check to see if the marshmallows were safe.
We probably won't use the rest of the marshmallows- out of caution. Instead, we may make our own stuff marshmallows
I think she likes making s'mores the old fashion way - with a recesses peanut butter cup instead of a Hershey bar.
Against the Grain Pizza
One of our favorite pizzas is the 'Against The Grain.' While some people may shy away from it because it's a Gluten-Free pizza - that would be a mistake.
Apparently people have this notion that gluten-free pizzas taste like cardboard. That is not the case with the 'Above the Grain' pizza.
It's really good and leftovers are pretty rare.
Cooking The Pizza
We cook our pizza with a circular pizza pan. We cook it at 400-degrees for about 18 minutes. It's a bit longer than the directions. We do this so the crust is nice and crispy.
Finding The Pizza
We get our pizza at Super Stop & Shop. They stock it with the other gluten-free items. Usually in a special foods section. It cost about $12 - about the cost of premium pizza that isn't gluten-free.
You can find them at Wegmans and Roche Brothers.
It's not available at Market Basket.
Best Gluten Free Posts
Today my daughter turns nine years old. She enjoys the challenges of finding good restaurants to visit.
This year we found some great new restaurants and new breakfast foods. It was fun coming up with topics and content every week.
Top 9 Blog Posts
Goals for 2020
In 2020 we'll be going around the City of Boston looking for great gluten-free foods. We'll try to find the best hamburger and pizza place in metro-Boston.
Erica's Ristorante in Ashland, Massachusetts is a small Italian restaurant that has lots of great choices. The dining room was nice and quiet and we didn't have any problems getting a table at 7 pm on a Monday night before Christmas.
Five Things We Learned
Earlier this week we met up with friends and decided to try out the restaurant since we heard that they have gluten-free options.
We asked for a Gluten-Free menu on check-in, the host at the door said that just about anything on the menu can be made gluten-free. The waiter will give us the options. That didn't happen, the waiter only told us what wasn't available not what was available.
They do not have gluten-free pizza crust.
They do not have any gluten-free rolls. Which I felt bad that everyone at the table was munching on bread except for my daughter.
They have gluten-free pasta, so my daughter had the pasta and red sauce.
The pasta was delicious - as she ate the whole thing. Usually, she wants to bring some home, but tonight she wanted to enjoy the pasta.
Finding Erica's Ristorante
Erica's Ristorante is located on 78 Front Street in Ashland, Massachusetts. It's located next to the Ashland Public Library.
We had a good experience and certainly put it on our list to return to this establishment.
This weekend we went to Margaritas in Northborough, it was our first visit to this location. We were happy to go here and then head over to Wegmans to do some grocery shopping.
We love going to Margaritas, they have great gluten-free options. My daughter loves the Make Your Own Fajitas with corn wraps.
When we sat down we told our server that we needed gluten-free chips. She told us that it would take a couple of minutes and they would get us a basket of gluten-free chips that would be baked. She did leave a basket of regular chips.
A few minutes later someone came by with the gluten-free chips and put it on our table. This is what our table looked like:
What was strange to us is that the chips looked different. We have eaten at Margarita's plenty of times, but this is the first time that we noticed a significant change between the chips.
I don't know if Margaritas is using a different supplier for the gluten-free chips. It just seemed weird to see the two baskets side by side. (I never took pictures before because it wasn't a noticeable difference.)
Both chips were equally good. (The Gluten-free ones were nicer because they were warmer.)
Let me know what you think. Did Margaritas make some change or is this something unique to the Northborough location.
Gluten Free Shelf Label
Supermarkets have been great putting gluten-free merchandise next to each other. They usually put a large sign so people know where to find Gluten-Free items.
Some stores even highlight Gluten-free products when they are placed with other products.
However, Market Basket might have gone slightly overboard with this placement:
Do you really need to highlight Gluten Free treats?
It seems that putting a "Gluten-Free" on the UPC shelf label for cat food is a bit too much. When I first saw it in the store, my first thought was - "You have to be kidding me."
I get it that some cats/dogs need to eat gluten-free but do they merit a "gluten-free" label?
What do you think?
Put your thoughts in the comments below. Is Market Basket justified to putting a "Gluten-Free" label on the shelf label?
Shake Shack is a popular National burger chain. It's much smaller than the "Big 3" burger companies - as they were born from a small kiosk to become a national success story.
There are seven places in Massachusetts - with most of the locations around Boston and Cambridge.
Recently we stopped at the Boston Seaport location - located across the street from the District Hall.
Burger and French Fries
Earlier this month we stopped at the Seaport location for a late lunch. It was a very busy Saturday afternoon and a lot of restaurants were very busy.
We were very lucky to get a table after placing our order. The Seaport dining room is small - I suspect that most people use the take out during busy lunch hour.
They did have a Gluten-Free bun on the menu - so that made us happy. When we placed our order at the counter, we told the cashier that my daughter has Celiac. We wanted to know what the side options were. Were the French Fries cooked in a dedicated fryer?
He told us that it wasn't BUT he also told us that he was also a Celiac and said that the french fries were safe. He said that he has eaten it plenty of times and never encountered any issues.
So we took his word and order some french fried for my daughter. She seemed fine with the decision.
When we got our order she tried some of the fries and didn't like them. (I think she probably had second thoughts about it.)
We didn't encounter any issues with cross-contamination. Usually, when she gets some gluten she can be angry and in a mood. That didn't happen. She was a bit tired but most likely that was from all the fun playing around in the Seaport.
We'll go back to the Shake Shack again. It's a bit disappointing that they don't have much side options for gluten-free eaters.