Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Very Late Post: Gluten free expo review

So… remember the Gluten Free Expo from last October?

Well, the very evening I got home from that I wrote up a little review of it all. And then didn’t post it.

Lame, I know.

I just found it and decided that rather than just letting it go, I’m going to post it because it tells about my favorite companies. Ones that I think need to be shared.

So here you go (my current thoughts are in pink)…

I went to the Gluten Free Expo today and want to write down my thoughts while they’re still fresh in my mind.

I was going to write up a little paragraph here, but didn’t… Part of why I never published it.

Let’s continue:

What I didn’t like:

  • How overwhelming it all felt. I think there were twice as many vendors this year as last. I’m not actually positive this is true, but it seemed like it. This was cool, but it was also a little overwhelming. I was glad I hadn’t brought my 3 and 4 year olds (just my baby, who slept in a Baby Bjorn the whole time). I was also glad I didn’t bring a stroller. It was extremely crowded! Awesome that there was such a big turnout, but the amount of people also made it overwhelming. The flow of (people) traffic was not smooth at all. I’m not sure how this could have been remedied, but if there is a way it will be much nicer next year.
  • I wish there had been more savory food samples. I think pretty much everyone was sugared-out by the end. It’s understandable that there were so many sweet foods, since baked goods are one of the main things gluten intolerant people miss, but there were definitely too many.

What I liked:

  • They had an area set up to watch the BYU football game. This was perfect because I was feeling a little bad about making my husband miss the game to go to the Expo with me, but it turns out he didn’t have to miss it! There were comfy couches and chairs where my husband hung out after the first hour. He stayed there with the baby and enjoyed the game with a bunch of other fans. I left my purse and bags of goodies with him while I went to the rest of the booths. (They also had the U of U game on in another area.)
  • The freebies. A lot of booths not only had samples, they also had freebies to take home. I’m especially excited about the healthy bars (fruit and nut, granola, etc.) that I came home with. Those things are expensive and I have a ton to snack on for awhile – yay! There were also a bunch of coupons. We all know gluten free can be expensive, so coupons are definitely nice.
  • Learning about new (to me) gluten free companies. I t’s always hard to spend money on gluten free products without knowing what they taste like first because some are just plain gross! I loved tasting the products and being able to decide whether or not I’ll purchase them in the future.

Now I want to mention the food specifically. Unfortunately, I had a few samples that made me never want to buy anything from that company. I hate that because I’m happy when anyone is trying to do gluten free and I want to support them, but some of the products were just too disgusting. I’m not going to mention the names of those companies, but I am going to mention my favorite booths. These were the companies that impressed me most.

The Stars of the 2012 Gluten Free Expo, According to Bethany (in alphabetical order):

  • Angie’s Kettle Corn

    They had white chocolate peppermint popcorn! And not only is it gluten free, but it’s all-natural and is non-GMO certified. It was seriously so yummy!
  • Blossom Fine Foods

    Wow. Now this stuff is expensive to purchase, but sometimes you just need to treat yourself, and you need to treat yourself to treats from Blossom Fine Foods. I tried both the pumpkin cheesecake and marble brownie and both were INCREDIBLE! Really. You need to try them.
  • Grandpa’s Kitchen
    Grandpa's Kitchen
    If you’ve read this blog before you know how I feel about Grandpa’s Kitchen flour blend and mixes. Well, their samples certainly lived up to my expectations this year! I tried a cherry cake sample and it was so so good! I’ll see if I can get the recipe and then I’ll share it here. It was seriously yummy!
  • Minnie Beasley’s Cookies
    Minnie Beasley's
    I had never heard of this company till today. These almond lace cookies are AMAZING!!!!!!! Really really amazing. Seriously. They have tons of flavors too. You can order them online. The vendor said you can freeze them too, so you can order a bunch at a time. You have to try these. They’re a fancy, delicious cookie. I wish I could compare them to something, but I can’t. You just need to try them. They seem perfect for Christmas to me. Probably because they’re fancy, yummy cookies.
  • New Grains Bakery
    New Grains GF Bakery
    I’m familiar with this company because my sister is obsessed with their pink sugar cookies and shares with me when she has one and we’re together. I was reminded of how good those pink sugar cookies are when I sampled one again today. These are very good! I also tried their coconut macaroon and was impressed with that.
  • Sweet Cake Bake Shop

    I’ve always been a fan of Sweet Cake Bake Shop. Their first bakery was (and still is) in Kaysville and I love having a yummy cupcake from there. Everything they make is gluten free, so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination with non-gf-flour. Everything I’ve had from Sweet Cakes has been delicious. Their samples didn’t disappoint today either. I should have counted how many cookie and bar samples they had. Basically, they handed you a plate and told you to pile it up. Man, there was some good stuff there! Luckily, I had brought a couple of plastic bags in my purse just for situations like this. There was way too much sugar for me to eat it all there, but I’ve been enjoying it since being home and will continue to enjoy the plate of cookies and bars for the next few days (if I can keep it away from my kids, that is). Tasty stuff!

That concludes my list of the stars. Here are some honorable mentions:

  • Brazi Bites Cheese Bread

And that’s where I stopped. I think it got late and I was tired and then never got back to it. So, sorry to the other companies I was going to give honorable mentions to and didn’t. Oops.

But check out all of these awesome companies I mentioned and check out the Gluten Free Expo for yourself this next October!

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