An overexcited hour whizzing around the Allergy & Free From show and eating altogether too much cake was enough to sample lots of new and exciting products, many of which I’ve brought home for careful consideration- so expect a few more reviews over the coming weeks! I decided to nibble only those things I hasn’t already tried so after a quick wave and complements to Estrella Daura and Warburtons, it was time to start tasting!
I spent some time with the smiley, knowledgeable folks at the Genius stall (who surely have the biggest marketing budget of any free from brand if the decor was anything to go by!) quizzing them on the availability of pies and tasting some of their new products. Here’s my quick roundup.
When the Genius lady put this in the toaster for me, I flinched- I’m so used to a toaster full of evil crumbs! Of course this was a strictly gluten free toaster, and warming this was all the better. The naan bread is an absolute winner- rich, fluffy, buttery and a little bit stretchy just like you’d hope for from a naan. After 3 years without gluten normal bread is a distant memory, but my husband assured me this was a good one too. I can’t wait to use this to mop up my weekend takeaway, or wrapped round my packed lunch!
GF Nom-ability: 9/10
Garlic and Chilli Pitta
There are a few gf pittas on the market, but Genius seem to make a trick of concocting just a much better version than the competition and trouncing them so I had high hopes. Unfortunately this time I was disappointed. Perhaps because it was pre-toasted and cold, this sample was tough and grainy. Points awarded for trying new flavours (there are too many bland savoury products on the market) but unfortunately the garlic flavour was bitter and artificial. I was assured a freshly toasted one would puff and split for my sarnie filling, but as I would use this for a packed lunch, not one that I will be buying.
GF Nom-ability: 2/10
New Recipe Brown Bread
Genius have very recently launched new recipe versions of their bread- I presume to address the feedback of those of us who were getting dry holey loaves from the supermarket. Pleasingly this new recipe is also lower in sugar/calories than the previous recipe- which is very welcome given the vast volumes of sugar us coeliacs seem to consume from convenience foods! Initial tasting was spoiled a little by the cloying oiliness of the dairy free spread on it, but otherwise very good. Fresh, moist bouncy texture that looked like it would withstand a sandwich in my bag. Flavour was a quite subtle- which would appeal to those of us who don’t like all those strong buckwheat flavours. The size of the air pockets in the dough seem much finer than the old recipe which gives a much more even texture. (I would love to know more about the science of gluten free bread making!) This was, however a direct supplier tasting so I wonder if this is a fair test of freshness, and bread is so important that I’m going to withhold verdict until I try one that’s been on the supermarket shelf for a few days, frozen, then wrapped in clingfilm on the way to work!
Lemon & Raisin Pancakes
Not sure when I’d eat these but YUM! Moist, sweet and zesty with plump juicy fruit. So nice to have a sweet snack that isn’t over sugared or made from chocolate. If I had some little coeliac sprogs to feed these would definitely be on the elevenses menu. As a bonus they clock in at under 100 calories a piece. This might keep me friends with Genius until it’s the mince pie time of year again!
Unfortunately there wasn’t opportunity to try pastry, pies or pizza so my genius request (as well as tortilla wraps) is can we get these products stocked more widely?
Check back soon for reviews on Tesco, DS, Glutafin and Fria products.