Category Archives: Culture

Gluten Free in the Wilderness

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The time for hiking, backpacking and camping is here. Yay! I try to spend as many days in my tent each summer as I can, and my friends and I have competitions to see who can spend the most time outdoors. When it comes to eating on camping trips, fast and convenient often wins out over carefully crafted meals. And many of us have experienced group camping situations where the gluten-free options are slim to none. That’s never fun. Luckily, gluten-free options are ever-expanding, and it’s not hard to pack delicious and fun meals and snacks for that weekend in the woods. I always bring corn tortillas along for the trip, they are versatile. You can make simple wraps that are tasty, and an egg-bacon-tortilla wrap in the morning is an excellent camping breakfast.

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Trail mix is an obvious choice for hiking and backpacking, as all the ingredients are easy to see. If your trail mix includes fancy stuff like yogurt-covered raisins/chocolate, make sure to check the ingredients. Trader Joe’s has a ton of trail mix options that are gluten-free, and tasty!

Backpacking meals often aren’t gluten-free, even if they claim to be a rice dish. Many of the easily-found freeze-dried meals are pretty oldschool, in terms of ingredients. Steer clear of most of them, unless you’re careful to read all ingredients. Backpacker’s Pantry does have a number of gluten-free choices, and REI’s website has a pretty comprehensive listing.

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And how about the good old fashioned S’more? For years I was the one at the campsite who had to have just a marshmallow, and skip the graham cracker. Luckily Kinnikinnick sells S’moreables brand graham crackers that are gluten free. Yes!

What other gluten-free foods do you like bringing to the woods?

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Bizarre Foods America – Portland!

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I’ve always been a fan of Andrew Zimmern, he has a supreme likability, even when he’s digging into something we’d rather not eat.

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He came through Portland last summer to shoot an episode for his series Bizarre Foods America, and it recently aired on the Travel Channel.

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It was cool to see him visit some of the best (and gluten-free) restaurants in the city and share in his experiences. Some of the spots included Salt & Straw, Olympic Provisions, Lincoln, Laurelhurst Market and Le Pigeon.

You can find a link to the Portland episode here, and below is a video countdown of his Portland Top Five.

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Omission Launching an IPA!

Omission beer is out of Portland, and we’re proud of that. Its regularly called the best gluten-free beer in the nation, if not the world. We drink it often, and even many of our gluten-drinking friends have a six pack of it in their fridges. So it’s with excitement that Omission announces their third style, an IPA. Whoo!

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Their official press release:

Omission Brewing introduces GLuten-Free IPA in Oregon

India Pale Ale marks brewery’s 3rd gluten-free craft beer brewed with malted barley

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 26, 2013 – Omission Brewing Company today announced it is adding Omission India Pale Ale (Omission IPA) to its gluten-free beer lineup in Oregon. Omission Brewing is the first craft beer brand in the United States focused exclusively on brewing great-tasting craft beers with traditional beer ingredients, including malted barley, specially crafted to be gluten-free. Omission IPA hits shelves in Oregon on April 1.

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“Omission IPA is the first authentic gluten-free IPA brewed with malted barley to hit the market,” said Joe Casey, Widmer Brothers Brewmaster. “This IPA is brewed in the traditional Northwest IPA style, yet is specially crafted to be gluten-free. The beer uses a generous amount of Summit and Cascade hops giving it a beautiful citrus flavor and aroma.”

“At Omission, we’re constantly innovating, and exploring new opportunities to share our love of craft beer with anyone of legal drinking age, including those with gluten sensitivities,” said Terry Michaelson, CEO, Craft Brew Alliance, and longtime celiac. “Part of that is experimenting with different beer styles that meet our rigorous gluten-free standards while staying true to our commitment to high-quality craft brewing. Omission IPA hits the mark, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of our customers in Oregon this spring.”

Omission beers are brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Ore., using an innovative brewing program to ensure that gluten levels in every batch measure well below the widely accepted CODEX gluten-free standard of 20 parts per million (ppm) for food and beverages. Every batch of Omission beer is tested by the brewery and by an independent lab, and all test results are available to consumers at http://www.omissiontests.com. Fan stories of when they first discovered Omission beers, or what they like to call their “O” Moments, are available at http://www.omissionbeer.com/o-moments.

Gluten-free Omission IPA:

Omission IPA is a bright, hop forward Northwest Style IPA produced in the spirit of the original IPAs shipped from the UK to India in the late 1800s. The heavy-handed use of Cascade and Summit hops give it notable pine, citrus, and grapefruit aromas and flavors. The bitterness is what you would expect of a NW IPA but this beer is balanced and smooth due to the perfect level of malt sweetness. The finish is crisp, clean, and refreshing – it’s a true IPA lover’s IPA.

About Omission IPA

Ingredients

  • Malts: Pale, Carmel 10°L
  • Hops: Cascade, Summit

Profile

  • IBU: 65
  • ABV: 6.7%

Omission IPA has a suggested retail price of $9.99 per six-pack and will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles at the Widmer Brothers Gasthaus Pub in Portland, Ore., and at retailers, restaurants and bars throughout the state.

Gluten Free Labeling Standards Finally Arriving?

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Since 2005, the FDA has been tasked with coming up with nationally-recognized, across-the-board food labeling standards for gluten-free foods. To say they’ve taken their time would be an understatement. Eight years later, the issue is finally heading to the White House for approval, according to The Hill, a Washington D.C. political blog.

Via the FDA:“Establishing a definition of the term ‘gluten-free’ and uniform conditions for its use in the labeling of foods is necessary to ensure that individuals with celiac disease are not misled and are provided with truthful and accurate information with respect to foods so labeled,”

The issue is considered “economically significant”, which denotes that it has an impact of over $100 million on the nationwide economy.

The White House has a limit of 90 days to consider the FDA’s recommendation.

Petunia’s Pies and Pastries Opening Friday!

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Portland has an extremely close-knit food community, and when a local baker opens up a brick-and-mortar space, it’s bound to be a fun event. And we’re thrilled to have Petunia’s great gluten-free and vegan treats in their own permanent storefront!  The shop officially opens on March 1st (Friday), and we’ll be there, exploring the space and tasting the many foods (and drinks!).  The bakery is located at 610 SW Alder. We hope to see many of you there for the opening!

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Here’s a great little video explaining the history of Petunia’s, through owner Lisa Clark’s own words.

Petunia’s Story from Petunia’s Pies & Pastries on Vimeo.

Has the Gluten-Free Diet Run Amok?

That opinion is certainly not shared by us at GlutenFreePDX, but many in the media are growing somewhat skeptical of the craze that gluten-free foods have had on popular culture. What do you think? Voice your opinion!

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Via The Daily Beast:

As celebrities at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend nibble on gluten-free granola treats, somewhere in a delicious lab Dunkin Donuts chemists continue perfecting a new gluten-free donut. It’s just another week in our increasingly gluten-intolerant world.

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Gluten-free french bread satisfies a desire for the crusty bread while avoiding gluten. (Larry Crowe/AP)

But as traditional dieting becomes less trendy —and an explosion of gluten-free products land on grocery shelves—some doctors worry that a growing number of people are diagnosing themselves with a gluten allergy in order to have a socially acceptable method to lose weight. Or even worse, to mask an eating disorder.

Nacho Cheese, Gone Gourmet

Few of us can eat “arena sports” nacho cheese sauce without feeling a little guilty about it. While it may be designed for deliciousness, it’s also packed with who-knows-what, probably lots of bad stuff, probably nothing ‘real’, and most likely some gluten in there somewhere. Food52 has a recipe to remake what they call Movie Theater Nachos, and they look pretty tasty. Looks like a great addition to whatever Super Bowl-related event you’re attending this weekend.

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