Rugelach is one of those Jewish desserts I’ve seen my entire life at the family table but never tasted because it usually contains walnuts, like many other Jewish treats – drat those nuts! (Don’t worry, I’ve had plenty of other desserts in my life, Jewish and otherwise.)
I was especially interested when Katz’s Gluten-Free (GF, nut-free and Kosher) contacted me about trying some samples. They’re right here in Brooklyn and I had heard lots of good things about them through other GF bloggers. Gluten-Free, while great in and of itself, doesn’t necessarily mean allergen-free or Allergic Girl safe. I need tree nut-free; that is my biggest concern. I’m tree-nut allergic but only wheat intolerant.
Here’s is Katz’s gluten-free policy from their website but I wanted some more info. I asked Katz’s about their allergen policy and ingredients policy and this was Katz’s reply:
“Our facility is a dedicated facility where only our products listed on the site is being manufactured. We don’t have any Gluten, Dairy or Nut ingredients in any of our Products we work very hard to get Products from suppliers that meet these requirements majority meet this and the others have processes in place that assure that no nuts dairy or gluten get into the products, we do testing for gluten in house.”
I felt reasonably secure enough to try. If you have further questions for your needs, reach out to Katz’s directly:
“Katz Gluten Free has a consumer phone line (845)782-5307 which is personally handled by one of their executives, who patiently answers all production and ingredient-related inquiries and comments, and tries to accommodate all special requests.”
Like any other food manufacturer, not every product in a line is to everyone’s taste: some recipes are better constructed, some ingredients make more sense, some make you wonder what were they thinking and then again, sometimes a product’s success is simply personal preference. It’s no different with specialty foods.
Of the samples Katz’s sent me - a collection of cookies, challah rolls and a chocolate strip - the rugelach and the chocolate strip were hands down the most delicious samples, also the most liked by non-food restricted eaters. This is a page of my favorites, the cinnamon rugelech and the chocolate rugelech and the chocolate strip. Katz’s chocolate is less sweet, with a coffee note that is pleasant and not cloying. The gluten-free dough is pliable (not crumble-y nor chalky) and rich even though it’s dairy-free (it does use eggs ). I’d be happy to serve the chocolate strip with coffee at a dinner party and I think everyone would gobble it down. As for the rugelech, I have no point of comparison but an Orthodox Jewish colleague of mine told me that that underdone, undercooked taste is a prized aspect of the true rugelach. Who knew?
So upshot: I found my favorites and they are yum.
More upshot: Now, you can get some free samples, too. Katz’s Gluten-Free is doing an end of summer giveaway in conjunction with a blogger raffle. The blogger part is that I win something if more people sign up through my site. But the last thing I need is more sweets. So, whether you mention my site or not, go, enter and get some of your own samples of these Kosher treats. Just enter your email address here: http://www.katzglutenfree.com/news_a/160.htm