Wednesday, September 09, 2009
French Meadow Bakery, Gluten-Free
The Hersheypark food manager from last week's interview told me they use French Meadow Bakery as part of their gluten-free program. Even though I’ve seen this product in several stores in NYC, I’ve never tried it so this was a perfect excuse to reach out to them and investigate.
Let me say up front how much I loved pretty much everything from French Meadow Bakery. In addition, I’m so thrilled that this company is creating allergy-friendly foods that are gluten-free and peanut/tree nut free (we all know how rare that is) that I want to give French Meadow Bakery a hug and a “yay!” So what you’re going to read below is pure nit picking about their products.
French Meadow Bakery sent me some samples to try, all gluten-free, casein/lactose-free and peanut/tree nut free: tortillas, raisin cinnamon bread, white bread, wholegrain bread, and individual chocolate and vanilla cakes (cakes are only sold in the main store right now).
The tortilla is tapioca (cassava) based and on the sweeter side. As a GF crepe replacement, this might be fab; if you like your savory with a side of sweet this tortilla will work for you too.
Generally, the bread I tasted (white and raisin) was dense, crumbly (in that GF bread way) but both have a pleasant flavor with no marked aftertastes. The raisin bread had that familiar crucial cinnamon-y fragrance and flavor.
The texture of the cake (both vanilla and chocolate) was more like a pound cake (but not buttery), without a soft crumb and “commercial” tasting, i.e. like a regular supermarket store bought cake (possibly due to the palm oil and corn syrup used). I mean that as a compliment. The chocolate cake had an off smell before tasting and an after taste after consuming. The vanilla cake was the winner for me in taste, texture and presentation.
Pay heed GF brides, I seriously think you could use this for your personal cake if you can’t find a local GF/DF/NF baker.
Allergen statement: At French Meadow Bakery, we understand the seriousness of a food allergy or intolerance. Each of our Gluten-Free products is certified by the Gluten Free Certification Organization (www.gfco.org), a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group® and is periodically tested by an independent laboratory to verify our allergen claims. All French Meadow Gluten-Free products are guaranteed.
•Peanut/Tree Nut Free
•0 grams Trans Fat
Furthermore, French Meadow Bakery told me that “We do not use any tree nuts in our gluten free facility, there will never be any ingredients or products with tree nuts brought in either. We only test though for peanuts.”
They have a nice coupon on the website for their GF product lines, go, try, enjoy.