Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Find Gluten-free Gourmand in Brooklyn, NYC at Depanneur!

I have a vision of New York City that includes wearing trendy clothes, going out for Manhattans, and shopping at a posh corner bodega that sells lots of imported European foods.  The unfortunate reality is that my double careers as a photo lab technician and a mixer of stone-ground flours have me wearing jeans and a t-shirt most days. While the trendy clothes may never be a part of my day-to-day existence, I'm at least happy to report that I'm gourmet enough to be in a French-named corner bodega!  I've been working very diligently to get Gluten-free Gourmand in some retail locations for your convenience.  That's why I'm very excited to announce that you can now find some Gluten-free Gourmand at Depanneur in Brooklyn, NYC!

Somehow I think jeans and t-shirts are allowed here.  Photo Courtesy of Depanneur
Depanneur is a gourmet sandwich shop, deli and grocery store on the corner of 3rd and Wythe in Brooklyn.  "Depanneur" is the Quebecoise word for convenience store.  This place is like a convenience store from my fantasies.  While they don't specialize in gluten-free, they do seem to specialize in local and imported treasures.  Depanneur carries all sorts of artisan delicacies such as chocolates from local Brooklyn company Mast Brothers and specialty imported deli items like Prosciutto di San Daniele.  They also do lovely cheese plates.

A cheese platter to die for.  Photo Courtesy of Depanneur
I love cheese! Gluten-free Gourmand will be in good company on Depanneur's shelves.

Brooklynites, get yourself to Depanneur!  Everyone else, stay tuned to find out where I'll be next!  I'll be telling you about new brick-and-mortar stores where you can find Gluten-free Gourmand artisan baking mixes here on my blog, on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Place your Order Now! Price Increases in Effect on February 1st

Have you been thinking about trying Gluten-free Gourmand's artisan baking mixes?  Get your order in now!

Starting February 1st, prices are changing for all Gluten-free Gourmand products.  The United States Postal Service will be raising its rates at the end of the month so price adjustments will take place on USPS shipping as well.

New prices will go into effect in both the Online Store and my Etsy Shop on February 1st.

Good news!

Gluten-free Gourmand artisan baking mixes will soon appear in select independent retailers around the country.  Stay tuned to find out which lucky cities will have a gourmet store that carries Gluten-free Gourmand Products.  Lucky customers will be able to buy flour off the shelves and avoid expensive shipping!

Are you a retailer?  Click here for wholesale inquiries.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What is Gluten-free Flour?

I've been baking since I was a kid.  I created my first recipe when I was in elementary school because I hated raisins, but I loved oatmeal cookies.  If only oatmeal cookies didn't have raisins, I figured, they would be perfect.  It was just so hard to find raisinless oatmeal cookies that I decided to take matters into my own hands, and I created a band-new recipe, one that didn't appear in Betty Crocker.  I made oatmeal cookies with chocolate chips.

I was really ahead of my time.  Watch out, Betty Crocker!

Now, to be fair my Mom must have helped me out with this quite a bit - Betty Crocker should watch out for my mom, too! - but I was always the kind of kid who asked a lot of question.  Why?  How was that invented?  Where does this come from?
My mom and me after going gluten-free.  The mother-daughter team from Joy of Cooking may now step aside!
I always had the exotic notion that everything came from medieval Europe.  Maybe I read the Hobbit when I was too young.

It's because of my inquisitive nature that I know where a lot of things come from.  Oranges? The orient.  Tomatoes? The new world (not old Italy).

When I turned gluten-free I was very surprised that lots of people don't know where flour comes from.  It's not a surprise that people don't know the term "gluten."  That term is something I had to learn as an adult too.  But people - even people who cook regularly - often don't know that flour is typically made from wheat. They must have been significantly less annoying than I was as a child!

I find myself explaining flour to a lot of people when I tell them I can't eat wheat.  Now I say, "I can't eat any wheat or flour."  Then the conversation gets even weirder when I tell them that I sell gluten-free flour and bake my own bread.  Well how do you make bread if you can't eat flour?

What is gluten-free flour exactly?

The place most people jump to is that gluten-free flour is flour that has been specially treated to remove the gluten - sort of like decaffeinated coffee.  I try to dispel this thought as soon as it occurs!  I realized that I needed a gluten-free flour definition.

Gluten-free flour is flour that is ground from grains other than wheat, barley, or rye.

Or, to be more all-encompassing, you could define gluten-free flour this way:

Gluten-free flour is flour that is ground from plants or grains that don't contain gluten.  Potato flour is one example of gluten-free flour.

However, these short definitions aren't always enough to encompass the whole scope of what it means for a flour to be gluten-free.  Here's a more comprehensive definition:

Gluten-free flour is flour that is ground from seeds, grains, or any other part of a plant that is not in the wheat family, and is processed in a separate facility than any gluten-containing plant such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, or triticale.  Gluten-free flour often refers to a blend of different types of flour that can be used to bake with.

To be fair, I have to define wheat-free flour too:

Wheat-free flour is flour that is ground from plants or grains other than wheat.  Gluten-free flour is always wheat free, but wheat-free flour is not always gluten-free - for instance, rye flour is wheat-free but not gluten-free.

How did you learn what flour was made of?  Was it when you went gluten-free or when you started cooking?  Do you have a good definition of gluten-free flour?  Tell us in the comments!