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.

IMG_3731

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.

The Allergy and Free From Show is Almost Here!

the allergy and free from show berlin messe

Are you excited yet?  January is almost upon us!  That means it’s near time for the Allergy + Free From Show here in Berlin!!  Are you excited now?  I know I am and I cannot wait to stuff my face with as much gluten free food as is possible.

The latest news is that they have moved to a bigger and better hall due to all of the exhibitors they have, very good indeed.  Plus, as their sponsor is Schär, they’ll be hosting “Schär’s Gluten Free Kitchen” on site.  Basically you should be able to go and get cooking tips and hopefully see some demonstrations on how to make better gluten free food.  If that doesn’t sway you then think about all the free samples you can try.  Imagine it, you can walk around a giant hall, with food producers everywhere offering you little trays to select from and you can EAT EVERYTHING.

On top of that, the very kind organisers have given us some free tickets!!  There’s only 50 available so you will have to be very quick.  Just click on the link below and register, you’ll receive a free voucher nearer to the event :

www.allergyshow.de/tickets/glutenfreiberlin

Product Review – Semper Glutenfrei Pasta

One of the larger pains from being one of the gluten afflicted is that most ready meals are out of your reach, they often contain some form of wheat, mostly as it’s a cheap way of packing out cheap food.  In some ways, it’s a benefit not being able to eat such things, it leads us to eat fresher and healthier food, even if we have the slight downside of mostly cooking it ourselves.  But, there are those occasions when you simply do not have any free time, you’re in a rush and need something quick and easy.  Thankfully, there are some gluten free ready meals, of a sort, available and I received a couple of them through the post (along with a small red hedgehog cheese grater) from the Swedish brand Semper.

The first I tried is the Fusilli Funghi.

I was a little concerned with the small packet, ideas of a single serving vary from person to person, plus with the amount of water the instructions required, it looked a little odd in the pan.

But, as with all ready meals, some faith is required that the end product will appear.  Thankfully, the water soon thickened and this is what popped out at the end (with a little cheese based assistance).

All in all, it was good enough, especially as I had to put no effort into making it atall.  I’d forgotten such a simple pleasure.

The second packet was a Penne Carbonara.

I had much the same thoughts, but was a little excited to see the word ‘Bacon’ on the packet.

The little brown squares are said bacon.  It could of been worse.

The end result was pleasing enough, again, with the ‘no effort’ part enhancing the whole experience.

In conclusion, they are quick, easy, taste as good as you’d expect any ready meal to taste.  But as they’re about the only gluten free version of a pasta ready meal, I’d definitely buy a few to stick in your cupboard.

A side note though, I have yet to spot them for sale in Berlin, so your only option may be online purchase.  If you have spotted them, please comment on this review so others can find them too.

Website

Shop Review – Edeka Reichelt Alexa

I never really venture inside Edeka supermarkts, mostly as the one near to me is tiny and pretty awful (plus, they have nothing for us gluten afflicted).  But, I had a tip that the Edeka in the basement of Alexa had a few special gluten free treats on offer, so off I went for a visit, and it turns out they do.

Alas, they don’t have any types of gluten free products that you cannot buy anywhere else, but they do, at least, have it from a different manufacturer.  However, they do mix it in with all the other produce, so you have to scour the shelves to find things you can eat.  Why they do this is beyond me.

In this case, Seitz, which I’d never heard of before and haven’t seen it for sale in any other shops.  But, a little variety is something I crave and the more competition there is out there, the better the products should become.

It was all pretty standard stuff really, the only difference as that they use chickpea flour in their pasta (albeit combined with the regular rice and corn flour), which might make a little difference in texture, at least one would hope (I’m a little sick of corn pasta).

In conclusion, not the most earth shattering of places to shop, but it is at Alexanderplatz, where there are quite a few gluten free places, each stocking different brands.  Making it, so far, the best place to go for a shopping trip (see the recommendations link at the top for a listing of all the shops there).  Also, pretty much next door is a Rossmann.  Again, not the best for gluten free food, but they do have their own range :

Click the banner below to see all the details of this shop on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.
Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany
 Seitz Gluten Free products

Product Review – Bofrost Maultaschen

The last of my bofrost reviews (I did order more, but I seem to of eaten it all) is their Maultaschen.  At their most basic level they’re pretty much just a large ravioli, which isn’t a bad thing, it has been some time since I’ve eaten such a dish.  I’m just not sure why there are no similar gluten free treats available, pasta on its own, yes, containing something, not so much (plus a distinct lack of glutenfrei pasta sheets for making lasagne, but that’s another story).

The Maultaschen were as advertised, after cooking they tasted pretty good and had a good consistency, but were nothing to write home about.  Pretty much the same as the bofrost pizza, it’s good if you miss eating these things, but it’s not the best quality version of it.

Link

On a side note, I did sample their Wiener Schnitzel, which was rather good indeed (and possibly the reason none survived long enough to be reviewed).  Very similar to gluten filled breaded products and well worth a try.

Link

Product Review – Landkrone Soja Spaghetti

As regular readers will know, I have a passion for anything that isn’t corn or rice based in the gluten replacement market with Soja being a particular favourite.  So it was with a little whoop for joy that I found these nestling in an otherwise bland shop.

Now, you’d think from my protestations of joy that they would be the ultimate in the world of gluten-less spaghetti.  Well, I think this depends on your point of view.  You see they’re less like ‘normal’ wheat based spaghetti than their corn based counterparts, but they are significantly nicer, they have flavour AND they have texture, they just look less like Spaghetti.

In conclusion, buy them!

Availability :
viv BioFrischeMarkt
Schönhauser Allee 10-11
10119 Berlin
030 44039932

Shop Review – LPG BioMarkt Senefelderplatz

For some reason, there’s just something I don’t quite like about this place.  On the surface it looks like a nice, big, modern organic market with a life size cow outside.  Which, it is.  But there’s a certain off putting vibe inside, something about the layout that doesn’t sit with me quite right.

But, personal feelings aside, its quite a good place to go and buy some glutenfrei goodies.  The bad side is that rather than put all the gluten-less products in one area, they’ve kept them in their original isles.  The gluten free pasta is sat next to the regular poison pasta.  The buckwheat noodles are with the soy sauce and miso soup.  The result being that it takes a lot of looking to make sure that you’ve seen all the gluten free bits and bobs that they offer.  (maybe they think that having a ‘gluten-free section’ is akin to having a segregated supermarket, or maybe they’re just a bit crap)

Enough with the negativity though, they do have a rather nice selection with a few rare items.

Yes, that’s buckwheat pasta in TWO varieties!!  Now, to those of you not living here in Berlin this may seem regular, why al the fuss, but here, its a distinct rarity.  There is also plenty of corn and rice pasta too!

So far, one of the few places where you can get gluten free soy sauce, along with black rice noodles and buckwheat noodles.  Yum.

They also have a pretty good, but fairly regular offering of flours.

In conclusion, dip in, learn where the gluten free goodies are, get them, and run out before you bank balance has a go at you.

 

*Update November 2011*

They still have the selection of goods above, but they have now a slightly more organised gluten free section :

They are also now offering freshly baked gluten free bread, just to the right when you walk in.

 

Click the banner below to see all the details of this shop on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.

Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Shop Review – Quentin Reformhaus Alexa

Easily one of the better stocked Gluten Free shops in the city, I think they have a little bit from every glutenfrei supplier in Germany tucked away on their shelves :

Plus, the two end sections of each isle are full of gluten-less goodness (including a considerable Christmas food selection).  I think there is the whole Schär range, quite a few items from 3 Pauly range (although no seasame crackers) plus many others.  They do have a good selection of breaded products, including the great Schär Ciabattas.

The big steal though is that behind the counter they have some (supposedly fresh and homemade, although I’m not 100% convinced on that point) Mandel Hörn (horse shoe Almond cakes with chocolate on either end).  They are quite quite lovely.

Click the banner below to see all the details of this shop on our sister site, Allergy Explorer.
Allergy Explorer - Gluten Free food and restaurant listings in Germany

Glutenfrei Review – Felicia Buckwheat Pasta

Not the worst pasta I’ve ever had, but its very sensitive to overcooking and can turn into much without any substance whatsoever.  Personally I’d stick to corn pasta as its much more like the actual gluten-infused stuff, but if you’re looking for a change, this will do (its still better than rice pasta).

Available from:

  • Viv BioFrischeMarkt at the Schönhauser Allee Arcaden