About a week ago, I happily wrote about one of the best gluten-free meals I've had to date, Spaghetti Aglio E Olio with Broccoli, using white rice pasta straight from Italy. Sure I'd heard that the best gluten-free pasta is from Italy, but that's like saying the best paella is in Spain or the best sake in is Japan. Well, of course it is! But unless you're planning a trip there anytime soon, that information does you about as much good as a big ol' plate of glutenous spaghetti and a tall, malted beer. I'd never imagined an Italian speciality store around here would carry any of this mythic gluten-free pasta, and even if it happened to, the price would likely be so exponentially compounded, between shipping and limited demand, that seeking it out would only be the worst kind of tease.
You can understand my shock, then, as I turned the corner of the pasta aisle in Gallucci's Italian Foods, and came face to face with not one but two brands of Italian gluten-free pasta. One corn, one white rice, both at an affordable price.
I don't know about you, but when I was first diagnosed I was in effect told by doctors "yes, you're going to feel better, but this new, gluten-free life of yours is going to be hard and it's not going to be fun. It's not an adjustment, it's a constant adjustment." But friends, gluten-free times, they are a-changing, and suddenly our needs are commonplace than annoying speciality consideration. Suddenly, buyers are thinking about our needs in addition to the general gluten-eating public. Suddenly you, too, can buy amazing gluten-free pasta at $3.99 a bag.
Upon talking to a manager, I learned of an upcoming trip to Italy the food buyers would be taking in the next week, and that a gluten-free pizza shell was on their product agenda. Let me say that again, authentic Italian gluten-free pizza shell. While the companies are still working out the logistics of packaging and shipping, it seemed that the availability of GF pizza at Gallucci's isn't so much a matter of if, but when.
Of course, you shouldn't let the absence of pizza crust delay your trip, there's still plenty of gluten-free goodness to stock up on. Pastas aside, Gallucci's offers homemade gluten-less sauces, imported cheeses, gluten-free polentas and risottos, and all kinds of amazing direct from Italy products that - thanks to the high incidence of Celiac Disease in Italy - are all stabilized with rice starch. Still not satisfied with that array of products? Wish they had a great gluten-free dessert or bread mix? If recent events have taught us anything, it's that making our presence known as a celiac community can make a big impression on our world as a whole.
Why not go to Galluccis, buy some of their products, ask to speak to a manager and mention you'd love to see more gluten-free goods? Tell them that if they had gluten-free coffee syrups (or almond cookies, or lasagna noodles) you know at least 20 people who'd snap them up...or 5 gluten-free people who'd buy the equivalent of 20 regular shoppers, just at the joy of having such a great product at their fingertips.
Then go home, knowing you've made the world a better, yummier place for the gluten intolerant, and enjoy your pasta - you've earned it!
Convenient for East and Westsiders a like, Gallucci's Italian Foods is located on 6610 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio.