Sunday, December 31, 2006


Back in November, the Gluten Intolerance Group stated its goals for the Gluten Free Restaurant Awareness Program (GFRAP) in 2007. The organization said the program "Will add 75 new restaurants in 20 states, and Canada, and 5 corporate chain restaurants during 2007."

That would be in addition to the 40 or so restaurants already on GFRAP and the 8 corporate chain restaurants already listed at the GIG website.

So far I've been to every GFRAP restaurant in New York City except Tini--but I hope to remedy that situation soon.

Here's a recent review of another Upper East Side restaurant--Lumi-- by Catherine of Gluten Free Guide, which got off to a roaring start in November.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


I just received the sad sad sad news that the Gluten Free Bread Basket--the GFRAP bakery in Chester, New York--will close on Saturday, December 30, 2006. From the bakery's email newsletter:
We regret to inform you that as of Saturday, December 30th, 2006 the Gluten Free Bread Basket will be closing.

For the past year and a half we have enjoyed creating and serving our fresh gluten free baked products for you. Our decision to close was a very difficult one to make but one that has become necessary.

Our original vision was to create a bakery with fresh-baked gluten free breads, cakes, cookies and more. We have delivered on this vision and this has truly been a labor of love. As we do not use any commercially available mixes and prepare all of our recipes ourselves from scratch, the process to create the best gluten free products is a very labor intensive one.

Unfortunately, the intense hours and labor involved have begun to take a toll on ourselves and our family life. It is with this in mind, that we have made the decision to close the bakery. If we cannot serve our customers as well as we would like, then we feel it is in the best interest of the business to bring it to a close.

We have enjoyed meeting the many of you who have been able to travel and come to our shop. We have come to know so many of you personally and we will miss serving you.

We are open for business Thursday December 28 through Saturday, December 30

As a farewell gift to you, we will be having a sale on all our gluten-free packaged products. All packaged products (pasta, cereals, pretzels, etc) will be discounted 20% during this time. We will not be taking any orders for shipping during these final days.

Thank you for supporting our bakery. We hope we will get a chance to see you before Saturday to help you stock up on our breads and other baked goods. And, of course, to say a proper good-bye.

Best wishes,

Kathy Iozzino & Marisa Frederick
I still remember when Kathy and Marisa proudly introduced some of their delicious baked treats to a very enthusiastic crowd at a meeting of the Westchester Celiac Sprue Support Group. I finally visited the bakery itself last November, as the first stop on a road trip. It was a cozy, friendly place where my traveling companion and I were able to take out our cold cuts and enjoy them with fresh breads that offered hearty sustenance during and after the journey.

To my surprise, I spotted a flock of rare gluten-free black-and-white cookies on display along with moist bundt cakes. I planned to feature the above photo of the cookies in a post about that trip and hoped to make the bakery a regular stop on future upstate excursions, so now I'm very saddened that the photo is making its debut in this context, as the Gluten Free Bread Basket joins Happy Happy Happy as an outstanding and responsible gluten-free bakery that shut down in 2006.

Here's how the CeliacChicks covered the bakery in March.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Here's a Power of Food segment for The Food Network that features Shauna James of the blog Gluten-Free Girl. Here's what she wrote about the taping.


Sunday, December 24, 2006


For two days I searched Manhattan supermarkets for Anheuser-Busch's new gluten-free beer but came up empty-handed. Then, just last night, I dined at Risotteria, where it was readily available!

Redbridge is an amber beer that, yes, comes across like a normal United States brew. Its website says that "Redbridge is a rich, full-bodied lager brewed from sorghum for a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste." That sounds valid, although based on my sampling (and clumsily attempting to use beer-taster lingo myself), I'd say it doesn't have a strong taste or aroma and its finish is also on the simple side, ending on a slightly bitter note. That might not sound as good as the company line, but the beer is really fine--I enjoyed drinking it!

My chief label reader quickly noted that the bottle is not labeled gluten-free; however, it does include the lines "Beer Made From Sorghum" and "MADE WITHOUT WHEAT OR BARLEY."

In the short run, this is another piece of good news for gluten-free beer drinkers. Anheuser-Busch, which is a mammoth beer producer, plans to boost awareness of celiac disease and make donations to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, which now includes Heidi Collins as its national spokesperson. However, I'm concerned that, over time, this development might prove challenging to other gluten-free beermakers, large and small, in the United States and elsewhere. Risotteria is currently selling gluten-free beer in six-pack samplers--I hope that we will continue to be able to choose among an assortment of gf brews.

Here is some information about celiac disease posted at the Redbridge website:
Facts about Celiac Disease
Celiac disease affects approximately one in one hundred thirty three Americans – most of whom are misdiagnosed due to atypical symptoms.

Celiac disease is twice as common as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.

Celiac – left untreated – could lead to infertility, osteoporosis, lymphoma, depression & neurological disorders. Celiac disease is more common in individuals with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease or anemia

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Your faithful blogger has already directed your attention to a gluten-free Knaidel Mix that can be used for matzoh ball soup. But now the spotlight falls on a different dumpling: a gluten-free German Potato Dumpling Mix spotted at Koglin German Hams, the German food vendor adjacent to Murray's Cheese at the Grand Central Terminal Market.

As you can see from the photo, Werner's Raw Potato Dumplings sport a gluten-free emblem on the upper-left corner of the package front. On a side panel, the words
without gluten
sans gluten
invite you to give this mix a chance.

Many potato dumpling recipes call for egg and/or flour, but in this case the ingredients are "potatoes, potato starch, salt, spices"--so it's safe for many people with food allergies or intolerances. (You can't really taste the spices, in case you're curious about that.) When you add water to the mix, drop the dumplings into boiled water, and wait about 20 minutes, you wind up with buoyant and gummy potato dumplings that are great for soaking up gravy.

Werner's also makes a gluten-free potato pancake (kartoffelpuffer!) mix.

Keep your eyes peeled for the brand wherever German potato products are sold. Online vendors can be found here and here.

Friday, December 15, 2006


In September it was sailing. Now it's skating. Lucky celiac teens!

$20 covers admission, skates, and snacks at the event, which is scheduled for Central Park's Wollman Rink on Sunday, January 28, 2007 from 3 to 6 pm. (The raindate is Sunday, February 4, 2007.)

Registration continues through January 24, 2007.

You can find details here.

This is the fourth session of the Club Celiac Teen Workshop Series hosted by the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

Photo: David Marc Fischer

Sunday, December 10, 2006


Here's a video by The Hannies, shared in the spirit of good fun....


Friday, December 08, 2006


Remember how the 2006 Zagat Survey for New York City includes references to gluten-free foods at two GFRAP restaurants? Well, there's still time to contribute to other area guides--but hurry if you want to hit the Long Island deadline!
Long Island: December 10, 2006

New Jersey: December 17, 2006

Connecticut/Hudson Valley: January 7, 2007
All participants get free guides; don't forget you can enter write-ins; registration is required.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


"Celiac Disease will be featured on WABC News, Channel 7, at approximately 5:55pm (EST) TONIGHT! This segment will feature the Murphy Family and the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University! We hope you can tune in!"

So sayeth Samantha Hoyt of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University.

UPDATE Here's an online text version of the story, including some links for additional information. [Further update: Video has now been added!] The segment turned out to be a concise family profile that made some worthwhile points: celiac disease runs in families; it can remain undetected by doctors who won't test for it because they pre-emptively rule it out as a rare disease; untreated celiac disease can result in osteoporosis and other health problems in children as well as adults.

There was a suggestion that one child's "developmental trouble, learning disabilities and seizures" might be treatable with a gluten-free diet; although that wasn't fully established in this story, I can say from personal experience that, at celiac meetings in Westchester and Manhattan (at Columbia Presbyterian), I have heard medical case studies of remarkable improvement in some infants and children with those symptoms who were examined and diagnosed with celiac disease and subsequently put on a gluten-free diet. I've heard that some parents of children with autism put their kids on gluten-free diets without seeking a diagnosis of celiac disease--I'd recommend that they actively look into a celiac diagnosis with an informed doctor before putting their kids on such diets.


Over at the lively message board hosted by The New York City Celiac Disease Meetup Group, Erin just announced a "taste test" being conducted in Manhattan by a Florida company called Qualitative Intelligence. Here are the basics....

Arico Natural Foods Company is seeking participants for a taste test to evaluate some new gluten-free food products. Participants should be people who suffer from celiac or wheat allergies or care for a family member with those issues. The purpose of the research is to create great tasting gluten-free products.

Interested in participating? Make sure you qualify for the research by contacting Tina Brogdon via email ( or phone (727-393-7991). The session, scheduled for the YMCA at 224 E. 47th Street (212-756-9600) on December 11th at 6:15 pm, is expected to last between 60 to 90 minutes. (If there is enough response, a second group wil be conducted at 7:30 pm.) There will be a cash incentive of $35 as well as free Arico products.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


The CeliacChicks have posted pix from the buffet at the Museum of Natural History--plus some tasty news tidbits--here and here.

'Nuff said!

Saturday, December 02, 2006


The website Medscape "offers specialists, primary care physicians, and other health professionals the Web's most robust and integrated medical information and educational tools." But you can use it even if you aren't in Medscape's target audience. It's a valuable resource.

By signing up under the specialty Gastroenterology, you'll have access to a number of reports and other items related to that field. Celiac comes up on a regular basis.

One recent posting is a case study/quiz about A 43-Year-Old Man With Progressively Worsening Pruritic Papules and a History of "Irritable Bowel".

I bet you can already make the diagnosis.