Shop Review – glusto.com

If you’re a long time reader of this blog you’ll know that I’m a big fan of something new or different.  The variety that you have in gluten free food here in Germany is very small compared to my home country of Britain.  Not that I have a problem with the Schaer/Schnitzer/Seitz of the world, it’s great that they provide all the every day items, but sometimes I’d like something a little more special.

Thankfully, some entrepreneurs are setting up online shops just to fill that niche.   Today we’re talking about glutso.com, a new Italian based gluten free shop with lots and lots of things you cannot buy here in Germany!  Perfect.  They were kind enough to send me a box of items to try out for a review, a good combination of pastas and cookies and such.

So, let’s just get to it.  First up, the pasta selection.  The pasta you can buy here in Germany is, well, technically pasta.  It’s not terrible, but it is also not great.  Now if there’s one thing you would expect an Italian gluten free shop to have, it’s good pasta.

gluten free pasta glutso

First up is the Tri Colour Pasta.  Just look at it, good packaging and good quality looking pasta.  It is worth noting here that all of this pasta is a little more sensitive to cooking times, so you have to be very careful not to under or over cook it.  I, unfortunately, am not an expert pasta cooker, but even with that I was very happy with what came out.

gluten free tricolour pasta glusto

The texture and flavour are amazing, around 57 times better than any gluten free pasta I’ve tried before.

gluten free corn pasta glusto

glutenfrei mais pasta glusto

Next up is the Corn Pasta, perhaps my favourite out of all the pastas I tried.  It’s the closest I’ve had to regular gluten-filled pasta.

gluten free amaranth fusilli pasta glusto

glutenfrei amaranth fusilli pasta glusto

Next is the Amaranth Fusilli, this one was pretty good but I think I overcooked it a little.  Even with that, it’s still a lot better than any other gluten free pasta I’ve tried.

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glutenfrei kastanie Pennette pasta glusto

Lastly the Chestnut (and rice) Pennette, which again, was a little hard to cook and as a result had a little odd texture to it, but was still pretty good.

Overall, each of these pastas if far above what you can find in any shop here in Germany and I would highly recommend you give them a try.  You may pay a little more, but you are paying for quality.  Plus, they even have Gnocchi!

Next up, biscuits.

gluten free cantuccini glusto

These little almond cantuccini were amazing, certainly the best I’ve had.  They were a little powdery, but the flavour was perfect.

glutenfrei shortbread glusto

Farcighiotto, something I’d never really heard of before, but they’re basically shortbread with a chocolate cream filling in the middle.  They were a little powdery (see my comments below for all of these cookies), but the flavour was great.

glutenfrei kekse chia heidelbeeren

Chia and Blueberry cookies, how amazing does that sound!  These were delicious, if a little powdery also.

glutenfrei Zimtkekse

The same goes for these little cinnamon cookies, amazing flavour but a little powdery.

gluten free ghiottone

glutenfrei hiottone

Next up is Ghiottone, another thing I’ve never really seen before.  This was unfortunately the only real disappointment out of everything I tried, the biscuit part was super dry and powdery and the chocolate wasn’t all that great.

gluten free chocolate muffin

Next up were some little chocolate muffins, which were again delicious, but the texture was a let down and they were prone to crumbling.

glutenfrei joghurt muffin

I’ve never had a yoghurt muffin before, but these were even better than the chocolate ones, but again, a little crumble prone.

gluten free mini tortillas

Last up are some little Teff Tortillas, they were good but have a very distinct flavour that might not be to every-bodies taste.  If you like things made from teff flour, you’ll probably like these though.

So, you may be thinking that the pasta sounds amazing, but you’re not too sure about the crumbly/powdery nature of the cookies and muffins.  Well, yes, it is a little bit of an issue.  But that is what gluten free food is, you’d be hard pressed to find a manufactured cookie that doesn’t have this problem.  Plus, the ones that are less powdery/crumbly are usually full of so many chemicals that I’m not sure how good they really are.  In the end though, for me the flavour made up for any texture problems.

They have a lot more on offer than I’ve reviewed here so be sure go to and have a look through their online shop.

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Genius in Germany

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, it should come as no surprise that I’ve been unhappy with the state of gluten free bread in Germany for many years.  Yes, technically, the bread you can buy now is much much better than what you could buy six years ago.  But, saying that, I have also become desensitised to how bad the gluten free bread is here and I have lowered my standards a little to accept it.  All of this unhappiness is due to the fact that I have sampled very good gluten free bread back in the UK and in other countries.  I know how good a gluten-less life could be like and, in comparison, how bad it is here.

Thankfully though, the lovely lovely people at Genius Gluten Free have decided to save us all and launch their products here in Germany.  Now, some of you (probably the British amongst my readers) will have just experienced their head exploding with joy.  For the rest of you unfamiliar with Genius, they produce perhaps the best gluten free bread you can buy in a supermarket, anywhere.  Now, this is quite a statement and I’ve not tried every single bread in the world, but there is such a difference between the Schaer and Schnitzers of the world and Genius, I feel pretty comfortable saying it.

First off, and most importantly, they make fresh bread.  There is no three month shelf life in sight here, no long list of chemicals pumped into the bread to make it last forever to satiate those nervous store owners.  As a result it’s pretty healthy (well, as much as gluten free bread can be) and tastes roughly a million times better.  Who knew that making a bread to have a good taste, texture and be eaten fresh would be good? (oh, only all those gluten tolerant people who get to do it every day)

If you’re thinking “Oh, I’ve tried all that gluten free bread before, it’s terrible.  I’ve given up completely on bread and I’m not going to bother with another one.”.  Give it a chance.  Buy a loaf or two and some rolls.  You will be happier.

At the moment they’re only launching a limited selection of their products and, for now (see more below), they’re available on foodoase.de here :

http://foodoase.de/shop/system/?func=searchdo&field_17=Genius&

I was fortunate enough to meet up with the owner Lucinda and their German Genius team a little while ago and just look at the bounty they provided me :

genius gluten free range germany

Four types of loaves, muffins and buns!  Happiness.  Plus, they gave me a little deeper knowledge into the company and what it is they’re trying to do.  Basically to make life normal for us, to make us feel like we don’t just have to ‘make do’ with bad gluten free products.  How many times have you bought a packaged loaf from some biomarkt that was probably baked a month ago and had to reactivate it with grilling or some such just to make it taste passable?  Other people don’t have to do this, so why should we?

But, I know you really want to hear about the actual bread.  So, the first thing I had to try was the white rolls.  The easiest way to put this is that rolls like these are simply not available here in Germany.  You can buy ‘rolls’ here but they’re more akin to a solid lump of stone that has never even heard of the concept of air.

genius glutenfrei brotchen genius gluten free rolls

Yes, they are every bit as amazing as they look.  Soft, delicious and very close to ‘real’ bread.  You simply have to try them to believe how good they are.  Plus they have a seeded version (they are equally as good, although this photo was taken a few days later when they were a little less fresh, hence the slight crumble).

IMG_3493

Then, of course, I had to wash down the rolls with a muffin.  Just look at it.

genius glutenfrei muffin

Lemon and poppy seed.  It was easily better than any muffin I’ve had here, even those ‘freshly baked’ ones that are available in cafes.

Then there is the fruit bread.  Another one of these products you cannot buy here and it is simply delicious.

IMG_3498

There are other loaves, a couple of darker ones and a white, but for now I’ll leave you with the tease of the ones above.  The reason for this is that they will soon start selling genius in a few select Kaisers!!!  YES!!!  Actually just being able to walk to the shop and buy some on a whim!!!  It will be a trial to see how well the breads sell, so we’ll all have to go and buy lots and lots to convince them to stock Genius forever!  I’ll post up part two of my review then as a little reminder.  Although, if you can’t wait, be sure to check out Sole Satisfaction for her own review (and amazing photos) of all the genius breads here.

The list of Kaisers for the trial is as follows :

From Monday 1st February :

  • Bergmannstrasse 5, 10961 Berlin
  • Nollendorfplatz 8-9 10777 Berlin
  • Neue Kantstrasse 29, 14057 Berlin
  • Clayallee 336, 14169 Berlin

From Tuesday 2nd Februrary :

  • Winsstrasse 18, 10405 Berlin
  • Revalerstrasse 2, 10243 Berlin
  • Baumschulenstrasse 31, 12437 Berlin
  • Boelschestrasse 32, 12587 Berlin