Sunday, May 4, 2014

GFAF Expo - Food Reviews the first group

Now that we’ve tasted more things from the GFAF Expo, here’s the first of our product breakout of goodies. More to come still!

Leo’s  Italian foods – They are a local business, and we’ve seen them in the frozen section at a couple grocery stores. We’ve had their Gnochi and their Ravioli’s before. We got to try their linguini at the show now too. We love the first two products; their linguini was just “OK” in our tasting opinion. 
New Planet Beer – You can’t go wrong! They are a great beer that is truly safe for Celiac’s. For those that loved craft beer before being GF, this is what you need in your fridge after a long day of work, with 6 different options, there is bound to be 1 you’ll like. 
Bard’s Tale Beer – Bards was the original sorghum based beer. Not to put them in a non-relevant category, but it was the only beer when I was first diagnosed, and it was ok. There isn’t anything wrong with it, but it’s like a staple in the beer world like MGD, or Budweiser, it’s there, it tastes ok; but probably not the first thing you’re going to grab.
GlutenFreeda – Hot Pockets – I tried these last year, and have not had a chance to find them in store. (and not for the sake of not looking!) They were able to give me 1 store locally, Fruitful Yield, which carries them. I’m hoping they’d expand their market some. I’ve found their pizza pockets at Sunset Foods, and I debate buying them out of them when I see them. They are YUM! I honestly think it’s worth the trip out of my way to get some of these for lunch. 
Enjoy Life Foods – If you don’t know Enjoy Life, they are a local, Chicago based company, and they specialize in Allergy friendly foods. They offer items free of the top 8 allergens. I love that they give the option to accommodate all allergies, though sometimes I feel that has sacrificed their taste a bit. I’m VERY fair weathered on their products. I Love their Plentil Chips, and their Seed mix, cookies, and baked chewy bars I would skip. The chewy bars don’t fill me at all, the taste is ok, they are tasty, but the texture is a bit tough to deal with. 
Van’s – Van’s was handing out their Almond breakfast bars, which are tiny, but I like. They are good. They also had their Say Cheese Chips as a sample, the look of the bag, and the smell made me think they’d be like Cheez It’s or Gold Fish crackers. They definitely aren’t either of those! They were very grainy and I’m not sure if it’s the oatmeal or something else in there, the texture was just weird, and it took me a long time to eat the little sample bag. I don’t think I could do a full size box of them. 
Cosmo Popcorn – It wasn’t like popcorn you get at the movie theater, it wasn’t even like Angie’s Boom Chick A Pop, Popcorn, the kernel and hard center were gone. In a way it reminded me of a cheesy poof, but not as bad for you. I liked it a lot and know it would be a dangerous snack to have on hand.

Snikiddy – Baked Fries – I vaguely remember the greasy “baked fries” that were popular in the 1980’s my boyfriend Loved them, and when I showed them these he kept asking if they were like the product from the 80’s. I told him, yes and no, they aren’t greasy, they also are thicker, and flavored. The samples I got were the spicy flavor. The taste was subtle on the front end, but kicked on the back end. My mom and brother loved them. They even confiscated the wrapper so they could go buy a few bags at Ultra Foods. 
Mediterranean chips Lentil Chips – I already know these are winners. I get these for my holiday hummus dip I take to all the holiday parties I attend. My brothers’ girlfriend gets them to go with her crap dip she does at the holidays. They have a nice flavor to them and don’t leave you with a lingering after taste of “gluten free”. 
Crunch Masters Edamame Chips – Crunch Masters makes OK crackers in my opinion, they aren’t great, their Cinnamon Grammy’s are awesome, and their cheddar ones are good, but bite size tiny. We tried their new popped Edamame chips, and thought they were bland. We decided with some hummus or cheese, mostly cheese, they would be good. 
Ian’s Products – Ian’s makes some options more geared towards kids, but in my opinion that doesn’t matter, I can still eat them. They also cater to families with multiple food allergies. My favorite item they carry are gluten free onion rings! They can be hard to find, but they’re still out there. Chicken tenders, fish sticks, and corndog bites round out their most common products. They now have pancake roll ups with either fruit compote or sausage inside. I haven’t tried them yet, but I got coupons at the show, so I’m going to have to try them now. They use to offer a breakfast sandwich similar to a McDonald’s McGriddle, but I haven’t seen those in ages. They gave out their cinnamon cookie buttons. They are tiny, but tasty. My dad said they’d be awesome with coffee. 

Lovely Candy Co – I’d never heard of them, but was intrigued to know I could buy them at one of my favorite places to shop for gf foods, HomeGoods! I love going there for cheaper mixes and snack bars. I was in Mariano’s last night and found Lovely Candy Co products right on the end cap of the check-out line. I grabbed a bag of their chocolate caramel swirl candies, and have to put them out of site so I don’t eat them all! I’m glad I was introduced to this new company I guarantee you I probably would have never picked the bag up to buy them if I hadn’t tasted them at the expo. My brother said he liked them and felt they were even better than the new Hershey’s Lancaster candies they came out with. Whoot whoot! 

Angie’s Boom Chick a Pop – I’m a big fan of anything Angie’s makes.  Their holiday popcorn mint w/chocolate drizzle was so good, and I was so mad I couldn’t buy a 2nd bag of it because the store sold out! Good tasting and not too bad in the calorie world either. 
There’s still more! Part 2 coming soon, once we indulge some more and review the rest of our notes from the expo!  Over all we had a great experience and we know what we do and don’t want to buy again in the stores.

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