Earlier this month I had the opportunity to attend the Gluten & Allergen Free Expo in Dallas, TX.
In addition to finally meeting some of my favorite blogging gals face-to-face for the first time, I enjoyed a weekend filled with food that was amazingly delicious and completely safe for me.
While I did forgo my grain-free ways for the weekend, I was excited to be able to sample so many foods that were completely gluten and dairy free.
Given that I have lived in my small town since before I was diagnosed, it is rare that I can walk in anywhere and feel like I can relax and enjoy some food.
I avoid bread baskets and bakeries like the plague, because really, gluten makes me that sick; it might as well be the plague.
Imagine my joy to be able to not only be near so many baked goods, but to even be able to sample the goods from all around.
Over the next couple of weeks, I am excited to share with you some of the foods and finds that my family and I have enjoyed since my weekend at the expo.
Tonight, I am pleased to introduce you to my newest favorite bakery.
Over the summer, my school sent me to a summer training in Dallas and in my search for local eateries that would be safe for me to visit, one name kept popping up: Local Oven. Not 100% certain what this Local Oven place could be, I simply passed over the information on my smart phone and opted for more familiar restaurant names where I knew my gluten-loving friends would be happy to eat as well.
Still, my curiosity was piqued.
When I entered the expo and noticed a familiar logo, I decided it was time to find out more about this Local Oven that had once again appeared in my search for a place to eat the night before I attended the expo.
With several smiling people standing at their table, I was eagerly offered samples of various breads that had I been anywhere else, I would have jumped 10 feet to avoid.
Examining their product, I was pleased to find out that a majority of their items are naturally dairy-free in addition to being gluten-free…
And thus the sampling began.
From hamburger buns to pita bread, not only was this bread beautiful, it was soft in the middle, crispy on the outside and had every bit the taste and texture of the traditional bread.
The day after I returned home, I received an email from Todd Fitzerman, the smiling gentleman who enthusiastically introduced me to every dairy-free product Local Oven had to sample. When he asked if I would do a review of their products, I was thrilled!
By the end of the week, Todd had sent out a box filled with beautifully gluten-free items and somehow had made certain I had enough to share with my whole family.
When you’re feeding 7 people, including two teenage boys, this is no small feat.
The very night we received our package, my school hosted a dinner. Knowing that the menu included gyros, salad and rolls, I was grateful to have something on hand that my gluten-free children could enjoy without feeling like they stood out from the crowd.
Not only were these onion rolls a perfect match to the glutinous version being served by the school, my children savored them in such a way that their friends were jealous over what they had to eat!
The following week, while my children enjoyed much of their usual fare, I decided to change things up and serve them BLT’s pita style, like my mother used to make me.
When my 10 year old gluten-eating (outside of the home) daughter opened her lunchbox, she exclaimed “A normal lunch?!?”
Don’t get me wrong, they enjoy the foods I send but sometimes all a child wants is to fit in.
Local Bakery has helped them feel like they can more easily fit.
Because their product comes individually packaged, it is easy to use just what you need and not have to worry about whether or not the rest of your product will stay fresh.
Local Oven specializes in providing gluten-free goods to food service organizations including dozens of restaurants and a growing number of schools, and they spend much of their time educating their customers about cross contamination and how to avoid it.
Local Oven products can be purchased at their dedicated gluten-free facility in Carrollton, TX or via online.
Undoubtedly if you are a regular purchaser of gluten-free goods, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how deliciously affordable their product is.