A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of attending Canada’s Gluten Free Market in Mississauga, Ont. I was accompanied by my mother and cousin, two family members who decided to give g-free living a go. It was perfect timing. What better time to try a new diet than at an event with a wide assortment of free goodies? The event was the perfect place for gluten free newbies and veterans alike: along with food, there was an abundance of information. The event ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and we arrived bright and early and left around mid-afternoon. I was wondering how big a crowd the show would draw. Of course, gluten free living has become rampant in recent years, but this type of event caters to a niche audience — or so I thought. The venue was rammed! A massive line of people gathered before the doors even opened and the aisles and booths were packed with eager and hungry gluten free enthusiasts the entire time we were there. In fact, one vender was rushing out just as we were, promising she’d ‘be back with more products,’ as her booth was completely emptied of treats.
A g-free banquet
The samples and products for sale were plentiful. From a wide assortment of flours to cupcakes to bagels, there was something for everyone’s pallet. Upon entering the show, gift bags filled with a full size box of honey Chex cereal (cue happy dance) and other treats were distributed to guests. Almost every vendor booth had something available for sampling either right there on the spot or neatly packaged to go. There were even more items for sale, which was great as the grocery stores I generally frequent have but a small assortment of products to choose from. I definitely felt a bit gluttonous, as it was exciting to see so much gluten free food gathered in one spot.
Laurie Sadowski, author of a gluten free, allergy free cookbook series, spoke at the event, where she offered tips and tricks on mastering g-free baked goods. Chef Ashton Lauren and dietician Shelley Case took to the stage to show how All But Gluten products could be simply and quickly transformed into gourmet dishes for guests. My stomach was roaring after this segment (after I had already been sampling food for a couple hours prior. Told ya, I was indeed a glutton that day.) A quick side note about the All But Gluten products: I’ve tried a few of their breads in recent weeks and I believe they are my favourite. These breads do not crumble. Let me repeat this, please: DO.NOT.CRUMBLE. I’ve had a hard time finding off-the-shelf gluten free breads that don’t disintegrate into a crumbly mess, so the All But Gluten brand seems like a godsend. While there was plenty of All But Gluten products to sample at the event, sadly, none were for sale. The company was, however, distributing coupons, and I can’t wait to pick up some All But Gluten pizza shells, loaves, and focaccia sometime in the near future.
Registered dietician Alexandra Anca and Sue Newell were also on hand to offer their insight on nutrition, supplements, and answer g-free-related questions.
I have plenty more to say about the foods I sampled that day (that delicious, glorious day), but that might end up rendering this blog post a book. So stay tuned for more product reviews soon. Till then, I’ll end by saying Canada’s Gluten Free Market was a complete success, and I, along with many others I’m sure, cannot wait for its return.