The gluten eating husband hails from oop north- Cheshire* to be exact – and I love going to visit my new extended family. Not only do I get spoiled rotten with cakes, treats and attention; Cheshire is a surprising Mecca for gluten free- there is a fish and chip shop that does GF every day, and lately the news that Foodamentalists will be opening a Cheshire bakery.
However there is one local delicacy that I have never been able to try- the oatcake from neighbouring Staffordshire. Delicacy is totally the wrong word- these are not the Scottish biscuity oatcakes, but heavy, savoury pancakes usually stuffed with artery clogging volumes of cheese, bacon and sausage. Nothing delicate about them! They look to be the perfect cooked breakfast or the ultimate drunk munchie.
Keen to please I sought out these gluten free alternatives online, which don’t contain any oats! You can either order the mix or the oatcakes themselves. They were curiously rubbery and floppy- a texture not common in gluten free food. I felt this was somewhere between a galette and a blancmange! I toyed with the idea of southernifying them with feta and sun dried tomatoes before realising this might result in being mocked, so decided to heat them with cheddar and smoked bacon in the middle.
And the result? Not half bad. I’m ill qualified to compare these to the original; but the husband assures me they are pretty faithful, even without the oats. Once warmed they are soft, very savoury and full flavoured, a little salty. A little like a buckwheat blini, but stodgier and without the nutty undertone. I’ll be saving these for the next hangover! For the record I think they would work pretty well with roasted veggies and halloumi wrapped up inside.
GF Nomability: 7/10 (GEH objects and says they deserve much higher than this)
Gluten Free Staffordshire Oatcakes can be ordered here at £4.90 for 12.
*Yes, it is the North – it says so on the M1 when you get past Milton Keynes