Flower Power? Consenza Pure & Free

I recently sampled some products from Dutch manufacturer, Consenza (isn’t that Italian?!) after a visit to Whole Foods Market. Whilst I wasn’t enamoured of their vacuum-packed muffins, I loved the savoury crackers; so tracked some more of their products down online. What can I say? It’s really nice to find products that are genuinely nice in their own right, without aping gluten-containing versions.

Photo 23-03-2013 09 34 40Both the Raisin & Teff Crackers and the Cheese & Pumpkin Crackers are lovely, heavy chewy slabs. Packed with flavour, grains, and enormously satisfying. I enjoyed them as a quick breakfast on the move, as well as with cheese or a mid-afternoon treat. It tastes healthy but oh-so-good. They pack a punch on the calories, but you won’t want many. The Raisin ones reminded me a little of Garibaldi biscuits.

On the other hand, the Cinnamon Fingers didn’t last long enough to take a picture of. This is the closest thing I have had to puff pastry since going GF. They are incredibly buttery and reminded me of something like a sweet version of my mum’s cheese straws or a palmier biscuit. Crisp, very butter, with a lovely ‘break’ when you bite. Astoundingly they don’t crumble.

I wonder what leads to such a great texture? The cinnamon biscuits (but not the other crackers I tried), like an increasing number of products sourced from the continent (including the new Heinz pasta range) contain lupine flour. This is rarely used in British products, but I expect we will start to see more of it. The flour is derived from beans, and yes, is from the same plant as the flowers in your grandma’s garden. It is apparently a good alternative to soya in baking, as well as being high in protein and having a low GI. Texture wise it seems that it adds softness, stretch and binds in the same way as egg.

It is possible to have a lupin allergy, and there is apparently correlation between this an peanut allergy – so as always, please check it’s suitable for you!

But for me, the Consenza products get a combined GF Nomability of 8/10

Have you used lupine flour in your baking or come across other products with lupin in? What did you think?

Photo 25-03-2013 18 33 37

4 responses to “Flower Power? Consenza Pure & Free

  1. Italian name, Dutch brand … we wondered about that too …. That aside, I liked the Teff and Raisin crackers and the coeliac who tried them (Sue Cane – GFBeerExpert on Twitter) loved them. Like giant, less sweet garibaldis. The other sample I got was less successful – have forgotten what it was – but what interested me about the brand was that it did strike me as one looking to offer more healthy options for GFers, so hope it becomes more widely available.

  2. Gave in to the high price these are sold at Whole Foods (3.39 – ouch!). I wasn’t moved by the cinnamon fingers but the cheese and pumpkin seed and the teff and raisin crackers are totally moreish and full of flavour. Despite being filling I found it difficult to stop nibbling! I liked the chewy raisin bits in the teff crackers and the cheese flavour in the others, plus nicely toasted seeds in both. So lovely to have some quality snacks that aren’t sugar packed but even so, don’t look at the calorie content!

    • Thankyou for the comment! I managed to polish off a packet of the Teff & Raisin crackers in 2 days! Woops! I think they are like Garibaldi biscuits but 10 times more yummy :)

  3. I’m working in Holland and you should try the Choco Teff Fingers (Biscuits) wow, love them!

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