Allergy and Free From Show – Part 4: Old Friends

The Allergy and Free From Show logo

This is the 4th and final part of our series on the 2014 Allergy and Free From Show in London. You can read Part 1Part 2 or Part 3 for 9 other great gluten free brands.

CELIA Beer and Clive’s Pies

CELIA stand

CELIA stand at the Allergy and Free From Show in London

We wrote about the amazing combination that is CELIA Beer and Clive’s Pies a while back. Luckily their stands were near each other at the show, so we swung by to say hello. We really hope CELIA get stocked in one of the major supermarkets soon: it’s the best organic craft beer around. We said hi to Sally at Clive’s Pies and tried their new flavour: Mushroom and Leek and, of course we had to buy our favourite flavour, Aloo Gobi.

Clive's Pies stand

Clive’s Pies stand at the Allergy and Free From Show in London

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Allergy & Gluten Free Show 2011: Who we met and what we tried

Just got back from the Allergy & Gluten Free show at London’s Olympia. And as usual it was a packed show full of good ideas and tasty foods.

Kent & Fraser - Gluten Free

Kent & Fraser

Our regular favourite brands such as Doves Farm, Hale & Hearty, and Orgran all had stands. But as usual we tried to hunt down some less well-known names and products. We chatted to the lovely Danny at Kent & Fraser who make scrumptious gluten free cookies, biscuits and shortbread, and whose packaging is eye-catching and contemporary. I can highly recommend the award-winning Stilton and walnut biscuits. Imagine these with a wedge of cheese and a glass of red on a warm summer’s night. Mmmm.

We said hello to the Rude Health girls. I’ve never come across this brand before. But it’s available in Waitrose and Sainsbury’s and numerous health food stores across the UK. They do gluten free honey puffed oats, puffed rice and honey rice flakes. In fact, we came away with a whole box of honey rice flakes, so we’ll do a taste test on those next week. Again, great packaging and a quirky website. Check it out.

Continuing to tickle the savoury tastebuds were Amisa’s organic gluten paprika and chilli crackers. These were crispy and flavoursome. Definitely recommended. Amisa is available at health food stores throughout the UK.

M&S chocolate and cherry cake

M&S chocolate and cherry cake

Good to see M&S have a stand this year. Marks has been rolling out its gluten free brand with its distinctive green packaging for a while now and we’ve already written about their orange and polenta cake and gluten free sandwiches. It was a good opportunity to chat to Helen, M&S’s nutritionist, and I asked her why M&S gluten free products were so expensive. She told us that gluten free products contain lots more ingredients than ‘regular products’ and some of those ingredients such as almond flour, are costly. The gluten free sandwiches had come down in price a bit apparently – so that’s good news.

Whilst I was chatting to Helen I took the opportunity to scoff two bits of M&S gluten free chocolate and cherry cake. Oooh this is a winner. And only £2.99.

We couldn’t leave without having a quick chat to our friends at Genius bread. Julie was on the stand (follow her on Twitter @geniusfoods) and we chatted about the latest addition to the Genius family: the sliced multi-seed loaf, which is available from May 16th 2011 in Tesco. Tasty, springy and substantial. Just what you’d expect from Genius.

Genius multi-seed bread

Genius multi-seed bread

And last but not least, we have to mention the Warbutons stand which included a sushi-style conveyor belt! Great stuff.

The Allergy and Gluten Free show is at London’s Olympia until Sunday May 8th.

Did you go to the show this year? What did you think of it? Did you discover any new products? Let us know in the comments.

New gluten free sandwich at Starbucks

If you’re a regular reader of this of this blog you’ll know we’re big fans of Genius gluten free bread.

Gluten free sandwich from Starbucks

Cheese and coleslaw gluten free sandwich from Starbucks

Starbucks have been using Genius bread for a while since they started selling the classic tuna mayo earlier this year. This week they launched a new sandwich: cheese and coleslaw made with mature cheddar and red Leicester cheese with crunchy cabbage, carrot and red onion coleslaw topped with mixed leaf salad. Perfect for summer.

“We take the health and wellbeing of our customers seriously and we’re committed to offering choice, including a great quality gluten free sandwich. We’ve received really positive feedback from our customers and this product has enabled us to provide more options for our coeliac customers but also for other customers too,” said Sarah Dunne, corporate communications manager at Starbucks UK and Ireland.

Free from artificial flavours and colours, Starbucks cheese and coleslaw sandwich using Genius brown bread is available from all UK Starbucks costs £2.95 for take away or £3.45 eat in.

Have you tried Starbucks’ cheese and coleslaw sandwich yet? What do you think?

We’ve just got back from the Allergy & Gluten Free Show!

Allergy and Gluten Free ShowWe visited the Allergy & Gluten Free Show at Olympia in London this morning. We guessed that Friday morning would be a better time to go than at the weekend but it was getting pretty busy even by the time we left.

There were lots of fantastic products on show and lots and lots of nibbles to try. And of course we had to say hi to our gluten free bread friends, Genius. How could we not after they’d invited us to a fantastic gluten free tea at Claridge’s.

The highlight for me was the product range from Look What We Found. Tasty meals, soups and sauces (I tried the Chilli Con Carne) that can be stored in the cupboard. No need to keep them in the fridge! I have bought a selection of 3 meals and 2 soups so will be doing a complete review of these at a later date.

Also great to see a stand from the guys at Estrella Damm. Their Daura gluten free beer (which tastes great even at 11am!) has won the World Beer Awards ‘World’s Best Gluten Free Beer’ for the last 2 years. And was a Freefrom Food Awards winner in 2010. We wish them luck in retaining their World Beer Awards status in a few months time!

Lastly, I have to mention 9Bar. These delicious mixed seed bars come in a variety of flavours and include hemp. Obviously rebranded from the previous Organic Hemp ‘9 Bar’ and brought right up to date these seed bars really do taste great. For the ‘possible’ reasoning behind the name please refer to the definitions at the Urban Dictionary.

So all in all a fab show and I encourage you to get down there this weekend if at all possible. And expect more posts and reviews on all the products we saw. And tasted!

Gluten free tea at Claridge’s. Mmm…Genius

Gluten free tea at Claridge's

Gluten free tea at Claridge's

Do you remember last week we told you we’d been invited to tea at Claridge’s courtesy of Genius gluten free bread? Well, we went on Monday and we have to say it was absolutely delicious.

We enjoyed smoked salmon with horseradish and dill; organic chicken with lemon remoulade; dorrington ham; and cucumber and rocket – all with the crusts cut off, natch. And they were all made with Genius gluten free bread which will now be available as part of Claridge’s afternoon tea. (Just ring in advance and let them know.)

Gluten free cakes and pastries

Gluten free cakes and pastries

As if that wasn’t enough we then tucked into gluten free scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and strawberry preserve; fruit tartlets; and to-die-for chocolate ondulay cake. These were all to Lucinda’s recipes although not part of the Genius range (yet!).

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne Genius Founder

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne Genius Founder

We managed to grab a few words with Genius’s founder, the lovely Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, who told us the sales of gluten free sandwiches in Starbucks (made with Genius bread) were selling really well. In fact, non-gluten-free-people were buying them without even realising! And she told us about new products in the pipeline, namely brown and white rolls. We can’t wait. Of course, the next step is to roll (no pun intended) Genius gluten free bread out internationally.

On the way out we received gorgeous goodie bags containing a couple of loaves of Genius bread and Lucinda’s fabulous book How to Cook for Food Allergies: Understand Ingredients, Adapt Recipes with Confidence and Cook for an Exciting Allergy-Free Diet.

Not tried Genus gluten free bread yet? It’s now available in all major UK grocery stores.