I’m pleased to report that since writing this review, new products have been launched on the market. Check out my write-up here.
There is a gap in the gluten free market. A massive, wrap-shaped gap. Wraps and tortillas are a wonderful healthy convenience food, and used to be a staple of my lunchbox in BC years. Moreover when you are cooking chilli you can make do with a taco shell or rice, but a proper fajita or enchilada demands a soft wrap. For some unknown reason, the ‘corn’ tortillas you can buy from the major brands like Old El Paso are heavy on the evil grains, and whilst we have a Tortilla near the office with lots of gluten free options, I just don’t trust them not to contaminate them when heating them up, so I meep quietly whilst tucking into a salad as my colleagues make a mess all over the table with the pulled pork.
Round One: Lovemore Free From Tortilla Wraps:
So you can imagine my delight on finding some wraps from Lovemore when popping into an Asda near to my parents. We don’t have an Asda near home in London, so visiting suburban shopping centres is almost as exciting for city-dwelling me as international supermarkets (ooh look at what the locals eat, how cultural!). I felt like an intrepid explorer making a new discovery – B of the Suburbs! Of course I was not breaking any new ground. I should have Googled them before parting with my money – oh how I wish I had. These wraps were so monumentally bad that Lovemore don’t even seem to admit to making them on their own website. (Although they can be found at Tesco, so I didn’t dream them). They looked like wraps, they said they were a wrap. Did they wrap? Like hell did they. The experience of trying to get it round some tuna was not heart-breaking, but certainly bread-breaking. If it can be called bread, as it tasted and resembled old boot leather. If boot leather were made of stale rice-paper and sawdust. I never waste food, but after they even failed the ‘can I chew it?’ test (my newly-minted un-braced gnashers barely went through) the prospect of tearing at my lunch like a demented coeliac raptor saw these firmly consigned to the bin. They would have got a ‘2’ if they hadn’t raised, then dashed, my hopes so spectacularly. No Lovemore, I would not love more, sorry.
GF Nom-ability: 0/10
Round Two: Mex Grocer Corn Tortillas
Fast forwards a few weeks, and my unwarranted rage has calmed, and I spy a recommendation on twitter from a fellow coeliac. The online Mex Grocer can post you authentic corn tortillas – how exciting! If there’s one thing I love more than food, it’s food that comes in the post. I parted with my paypal cash (baulking slightly at the £3.80 postage) and was thrilled to receive them the very next day – wraps wrapped in a massive bundle of bubble-wrap. I approached the tortillas with caution, after all, premature lust had led to previous heartbreak. They certainly seemed to have transported well – no crumbs. They were a little smaller than expected, but size isn’t everything. I tasted them. Oh my goodness, taste is so evocative. This was the taste of my trip to Mexico in 2008. The trip of horrors – the food poisoning, the start of the year long journey to coeliac diagnosis, the taste of too many frozen margaritas and rich, stodgy mole poblano. The smell was of walking in chapultapec and little limes squeezed over popcorn. These were little floury trandimensional teleportation devices. But you know what? I have to get over this because they are pretty damn authentic delicious tortillas. Soft (especially after warming in the oven), flaky in the middle, and just a little bit stretchy. My first proper fajita since diagnosis. My first proper fajita since Mexico. I can’t wait to cook enchiladas suisses again.
GF Nomability: 8/10 – points off for price with shipping.
So good stuff from Mex Grocer, but I reiterate my challenge – Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Genius, DS et. al take note – there is a gap in those gluten free aisles for a branded, easily accessible tortilla wrap that will survive a lunch box. If I can make one at home, I’m sure you can too. I will buy (several) margaritas for the first one who manages it!