So this is it. The (almost) holy-grail of my gluten-less search in Berlin, a place that has a permanent selection of glutenfrei, freshly baked goods (read cake and cupcakes). Something I’ve had a ravenous desire for since my visit to New York in October (oh, Tu-Lu’s, how I miss thee). Now, they’re not the be all and end all of gluten-less goods, they’re are no sandwiches, cookies or anything as exotic as that. But, they are about the only place in Berlin that is making an effort and actually selling gluten free wares.
Unfortunately though, I had a little tinge of trepidation in my heart. My experience with places offering glutenfrei items has a bad track record, the last time I went to one (Cô Cô bánh mì deli), after numerous assurances and double checks that they’re baguettes were rice flour without any wheat flour I got extremely ill. Later finding out that they didn’t have a clue what they were talking about (ie. they’d asked for rice flour baguettes from a mass producer and just assumed that this meant they were only made from rice flour). To say I have trust issues is an understatement.
But, I digress. After a lengthy journey down into the bowels of Neuköln (it’s so far out of the city they have normal houses on the streets) I arrived to a very busy little cafe. Fortunately I managed to grab the last seat in the place near to the window and set about perusing their two glass cases.
In one was a cake with a little tag containing the magical words “glutenfrei”. I scouted some more, but alas this was the only offering with such a label. My heart sank a little, but after checking with the friendly woman behind the counter, I was assured that these were also gluten free.
Joy! I spent around 2.3 seconds debating whether to have a cupcake or the cake and decided on both (shush, they’re gluten free). A large coffee order later and I was sat waiting for the goodies to arrive. At which point, I noticed that pretty much the entire place was full of Americans. Not that I have anything particularly against Americans, but it was just odd. I guess Neuköln as the new hip place to live is working.
A couple of minutes later this beauty arrived (with a singular silver ball trying to escape its digestive fate).
Along with this odd looking thing.
Maybe its just me (ie. yes it is), but I’m not a fan of cakes that have a thin slice of see through goo on top, a cake should be cake like, layers, sponge, cream etc. But, none of that was going to stop me eating this, or infact, put me off in the slightest little bit. It was most yummy indeed. Even if I did eat it quickly as a prelude to the cupcake.
Ahh, it was everything that I’d hoped it would be. Chocolaty, just soft and moist enough with a generous dollop of yummy tasting icing on top. Needless to say it didn’t last long and the couple sat next to me were a little disturbed by my groans of joy at consuming it.
After, I sat there, almost postcoital, basking in the gluten-less of it all, drinking my giant cup of soya milchkaffee.
I was also informed by the owner that in addition to what they had that day, there is usually a proper glutenfrei cream cake on the weekends! And that I just happened to come on a weekend when they didn’t have one (probably good though, I would of definitely ordered all 3).
Alas, I had a bit of a problem. My stomach was beginning to complain at me, in that way when I’ve eaten something I shouldn’t of done. A few hours later and it was becoming quite clear that my body was reacting in the same way as if I’d eaten Gluten. Thoughts of my first bad experience popped into mind, maybe they’d used some rye or dinkel flour, or just got mixed up when baking. Not a good sign.
So, I got in contact with them and received a helpful response, laying out what ingredients they use, if there is anything new and out of the ordinary that I may have a reaction to and offered me to come and check out their work place and flour mixes myself.
All in all, there was nothing that I should of had a reaction to. And I’m not so badly afflicted with the glutens that I can’t tolerate a little, ie. I’m sure they use the same utensils and cooking area for gluten free and non, not usually a problem for me. Plus, I’m not the only gluten intolerant person eating there, and there have been no other reported problems.
Was it worth it? Yes. Will I go back? Yes, I’m betting on my body having an off day or I was unlucky, plus, I HAVE to eat the cream cake.Allergy Explorer.