So this is what FreeFrom Food Awards judges get up to, is it? Licking ice cream cones!! But – this is a gluten and dairy-free cone…. That make it any better? It was one of a number ‘ice cream’ entries into this year’s dessert category – along with some raw chocolate ices and a ‘carrot cake ice cream’!
And it was not only Kim and Kelly who got stuck into their cones. Here’s Paul licking away like a good’un! Well, a gluten free and dairy free ‘Cornetto’ is quite something if you are avoiding either dairy or gluten. You can get gluten free cones and dairy-free ice creams – but to get them all together!
Anyhow, I am glad to say that they were only one of several rather exciting entries into the dessert category. So those of you with a sweet tooth, keep an eye open for the shortlist which will be with you – maybe rather inappropriately – on Ash Wednesday! 10th February.
Despite the fact that Christine and Sue have obviously got the giggles here, the superfood category that they were judging actually stimulated lots of really interesting discussion. How much sugar is actually left in Kombucha once it has fermented? Is there any nutritional benefit to be gained by combining wheatgrass with a super juice? Will 5% broccoli powder in a seed mix actually deliver any nutritional benefits? And is there any way to make wheatgrass palatable?….**
Above are Emma, Susannah and Ruth still going strong after a good 50 products! These included all shapes and sizes of sauces and condiments (sugar free tomato ketchups and beetroot ketchups among others), lots of bread and cake mixes, oils, miso soups, crackers, Fajita kits, gluten-free couscous, pancakes, Yorkshire puds, flours, stuffings, chocolate shots and coconut jams…. Seriously confusing for the taste buds – but our judges are up for it!! These were just a few of the left over pots….
Also in the mix this week were Raw Foods, Pastas and Pizzas, Veggie Ready Meals, Savoury snacks, the Innovation Award (some exciting products here including protein cooking mixes, bake in bag breads, some cashew ‘cheeses’ and that carrot cake ‘ice cream’ again!) – and – the gluten-free beer category! These are gluten-free beer expert Sue Cane’s beers being tested out the night before to decide in which order they should be sampled.
We had our usual collection of keen amateur beer drinkers for the beer session, including a few non-coeliac beer drinkers to benchmark the beers against ‘normal’ pub fare. However we were very pleased also to have three ‘pros’ who not only had more ‘educated’ palates but who were generous in imparting some of their fascinating brewing knowledge: Sarah Hamilton, a beer buyer at Oddbins, Elliott Small who is head cellar-man at the White Horse on Parson’s Green and Jonny Tyson of the BeerWrangler.com. I am sure you will all be interested to read their comments on the winners when they finally appear on the site.
Well, the children’s category yesterday – but I will save that for a separate blog.
And the fact that I am back in favour with the K/Catherines down in the kitchen because I have bought them some new non-stick frying pans for all those pancakes! (I nearly had a walk-out last year as they had to try to prise stuck pancakes and crepes off the bottom of my much loved old stainless steel pans….)
And… Sue’s wonderful ‘F’ for us to use on ‘FreeFrom’ judges’ coffee! Sadly, she cut it out of a rather thin plastic lid which tended to buckle in the heat of the coffee! So this ‘F’ that ‘What Allergy?’ Ruth managed to snap on day one was one of the few that really came out right. (For more information on some of the products she judged – she did the store cupboard and superfood categories – do check in to Ruth’s blog.)
And finally I would like to report that while all the other judges gave up about half way down their ice cream cones, Kelly soldiered right on to the end…. As you can see, she has just made it to the squishy and crunchy bit at the bottom….
Four more days to go next week…. And then, as I said, the shortlist on February 10th.
For more on the awards see the FreeFrom Food Awards site.
** For those of you who are wondering about the gluten status of wheat grass. There should, in theory at least, be no allergenic proteins in the wheat grass as it is, as it says, the leaf or the ‘grass’; the proteins which affect coeliacs or those with a wheat allergy/intolerance are to be found in the grains, not in the grass. However, as with products such as whisky, which have been distilled and often double or triple distilled, and therefore should not contain any protein, super sensitive coeliacs or allergics may prefer to avoid them.
Innovation Award – Food Matters Live; Store Cupboard – Genius Gluten Free; Pasta & Pizza – Gluten Free Cuppa Tea; Raw Foods – Genon Laboratories; Superfoods – Tiana Fair Trade Organics; Veggie Ready Meals – Goodness Direct; Desserts and Puddings – Romer Labs