October is one of the best months of the year because it is when Food Expo East brings all of the best gluten-free vendors into one conference hall. This year the conference was at the new Boston Convention Center and featured 1,200 manufacturers, nearly 200 of which specified that some of their products are gluten-free! AMAZING!
I spent two days visiting with most of these manufacturers. I tasted tons of products and can say without a doubt that gluten-free has gone mainstream. Every product I tasted was better than the last and all of them are now being taken into "normal" grocery stores! Of course there are the well-known favorites that we all love and adore! Bob's Red Mill had a magnificent booth with shelves full of gluten-free products! The big news this year from Bob's Red Mill is the production of gluten-free oats. A lot of my loyal blog readers have been asking me why they can't find the oats....well I spoke to Bob himself and he assured me that although production was slow for a few months, that things are back up and running at full speed. You can expect to see the oats back in stores in the next few weeks! Yippie!
And don't forget about the other Bob's Red Mill products. They have a fantastic new pizza crust mix and of course the chocolate cake mix, chocolate chip cookie mix and all of the wonderful gluten-free flours and grains. Another great thing I learned while at the conference is that Bob's Red Mill has a new food service distribution channel to provide gluten-free ingredients to restaurants, hotels, etc. This is a great way for chefs to bring products in to cook with! So, if you want more information, be sure to contact Bob's Red Mill directly.
Simply Asia Thai Kitchen was set up in full swing with incredible cooking demonstrations featuring Chef Manny Haider. I got to eat a variety of delicious Asian food and learned so much about the new Thai Kitchen gluten-free products. My favorite new product was the line of Curry Simmer Sauces. They are sold nationwide and the curry paste is already mixed with coconut milk so all you have to do is add your favorite vegetables and chicken or shrimp and you're set for dinner! All four flavors (red curry, green curry, yellow curry and panang curry) are delicious so be sure to check them out!
Pamela's Products had their usual gorgeous display set up filled with platters of delicious cookies, brownies, cupcakes and biscotti! Pamela's has teamed up with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to work on a variety of great projects so definitely check out the Cupcake Party program and stay tuned for a huge women's health campaign coming next spring! Mary's Gone Crackers had all of her delicious crackers out for sampling and Glutino/Gluten-Free Pantry also had a massive gluten-free display set up! Tons of new frozen foods and crackers lined the shelves! And of course, the Gluten-Free & Fabulous girls were cooking up a storm of pizzas!
There were tons of new manufacturers that I had heard of before, but this was the first time I got to taste their products. This would be the longest blog post ever if I talked about them all, so I'm just going to focus on my favorites!
Conte's Pasta takes home my favorite new vendor award from Food Expo East. Gluten-free Gnocchi, raviolis, pizza and pasta! Incredible! Every single product I tasted was truly amazing and made me feel like I was eating a home cooked Italian meal. If you're craving Italian food, this is the company for you. And, chefs...please ask them about distributing to your restaurant. Your customers will forever be grateful! And, not only were the products great, but the owners of the company were two of the sweetest people I've ever met!
Cinderella Sweets had some of the most delicious gluten-free cakes and
cookies out for sampling...I kept going back for more of the Mocha Cake. It was sooooo
good! Other products include lady finger cookies, fudge brownies, ring ting cupcakes, apricot & raspberry rolls, and a seven-layer cake. All of the products are gluten-free, lactose Free, soy free, casein free & dairy free, and they are Kosher! Best of all, Andrew and his family are such huge supporters that they are now donating a percentage of all sales to the NFCA to support educational programming. So get online today and order products!!
Gluten-free breakfast and snack bars that taste good are REALLY hard to find! But look no further! KIND Fruit + Nut Bars are incredible. They come in a variety of different flavors including
macadamia/apricot, almond/apricot, fruit/nut delight, walnut/date, sesame & pecans with chocolate, almond/coconut, fruits and nuts in yogurt and a few more! But you get the idea...tons of flavors! The bars are gluten-free, all natural, high in fiber, low in sodium and no trans fat! I took a bar with me on my flight back to Washington, DC and it was the perfect snack that kept me full until I could get home. I know you'll love these bars!
One more company I have to mention is Twin Hen s. They make gluten-free pot pies that are crispy ontop, warm and soothing on the inside and just delicious! The crust is made from polenta and the gluten-free pie is filled with beef and vegetables. Definitely check this out!
There are tons of other great companies out there, so if you want more information, contact me at any time and I'm happy to share the rest of them with! But, this post is getting long and I could go on for days about the incredible food I tasted at Expo East!