Incase you hadn’t heard, the last 9 days have been The International Green Week in Berlin. A GIANT food and agriculture fair that has been running for 77 years or so, designed to allow international food producers to show off their wares and allow you, the public, to buy some of them (only after a 12 euro entry fee of course). So, when I first heard about it, I was excited. Could they have glutenfrei treats? Could companies from other countries (with far better gluten free product ranges) be here, trying to convince German distributors to sell them? I was hopeful.
Alas, after perusing the website and doing the simplest of glutenfrei searches, I was given a result of too tiny a proportion, confusingly filled with cheese listings. In my book, cheese is generally gluten free, and does not need the gluten content specified unless they have specifically added wheat to it (which they do here). But, Schär was listed, so I kept the positive spirit going and assumed that there’d be plenty of others surrounding them, a little gluten free cabal fighting the good fight.
As you can probably guess by now, there wasn’t. This is what i found.
Just the one booth, without any human presence, with a very limited selection of Schär and (presumably now melted) frozen DS products. In the surrounding area were hundreds of beer and bratwurst stands, akin to the worst of the recent christmas markets. Not exactly what I’d hoped for. They did have free samples though, ‘Great, at least I can get some free biscuits’ I thought, alas.
They’d been picked to death by the time I arrived (although, in the process of taking this picture, a larger gentlemen swept passed and hoovered up some crumbs with his fingers, seemingly determined to try absolutely everything regardless of whether it was there or not).
The only other gluten free items I noticed were at the Demeter stand.
For a little balance, I should mention that there was hardly any Vegetarian or Vegan stalls and the whole thing was more aimed at a mainstream audience, with various countries selling foods you would find listed in a guidebook or sold in a novelty shop. So I could be accused of expecting too much, but I disagree, there are plenty of gluten free products and producers here and there is definitely a market. It is just that Germany is lagging behind other countries in gluten free awareness and it’s visible in trade shows like this. For a comparison, do a product search for ‘gluten free’ on the London IFE site and compare it to the Grün Woche ‘glutenfrei’ search.