Gluten-Free Cooking Classes at Trident Technical This Spring

jeffkubina

Jeff Kubina

One in three Americans is trying to follow a gluten-free diet. And whether or not they’re snubbing the grain protein for valid health reasons – fewer than one percent of the population is coping with celiac disease, the most severe form of gluten intolerance – their desire for eggplant parmesan, gravy and mac-n-cheese that don’t taste like sawdust is understandable.

Trident Technical College is trying to appeal to those discerning eaters with a pair of new workshops: Gluten-Free Kids’ Favorites and Gluten-Free Dinners. Both classes feature entrée overviews and a recipe exchange. Continue reading

Two Holiday Options for Hosts Expecting Gluten-Avoidant Guests

timsackton

timsackton

Home cooks who may typically have the luxury of ignoring assorted dietary restrictions are frequently tested at the holidays, when guests come bearing all sorts of firmly-held food preferences.

Caviar & Bananas is wagering hosts may want to buy their way out of the situation: The downtown café has listed 11 gluten-free dishes on its Thanksgiving/Christmas take-out menu, including butternut squash soup, braised collard greens and mashed potatoes. It’s also offering vegetarian stuffing and vegan succotash. Caviar & Bananas is asking customers to place entrée orders four days in advance of pick-up; accompaniments may show up in the store’s display case, but customers who want to avoid disappointment should call in their choices at least two days before pick-up.

None of Caviar & Bananas’ holiday pies are classified as gluten-free, but Sweet Radish Bake Shop is offering a full roster of pies, cakes, tortes and muffins, including a vegan pumpkin pie. The complete ordering guide is here.

Gluten-Free Food Expo Spotlights Locally-Made Choices

Andrea_Ngyuen

Andrea_Ngyuen

According to a cheat sheet distributed by local holistic nutritionist C.J. Powell, the list of foods which people with gluten sensitivities must avoid includes bread, pasta, cereal, beer, lunch meat, chicken broth, lunch meats, bottled gravy, malt vinegar, frozen sweet potato fries, blue cheese dressing and imitation bacon.

Not surprisingly, entrepreneurs everywhere have responded to the long list of forbidden foods by creating acceptable alternatives. The Charleston Celiac Support Group plans to showcase locally-made examples of those products next Monday at its Gluten-Free Food Expo.

The event at Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital in West Ashley runs from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, e-mail CeliacSupportGroup@gmail.com or call 478-3777.

Sweet Radish Bakeshop’s Tart Riff on Rice Pudding

sweetradish3My obsession with rice, stoked by my recent move to Charleston and last week’s Lowcountry Rice Culture Project forum, is brand new. But my obsession with rice pudding dates back to childhood; the dessert preference is likely a relic of my family’s Sephardic heritage (high on my to-research list is the culinary leanings of Charleston’s early Sephardic community.)

So I was terrifically excited to discover that rice pudding has a permanent place in the display case at Sweet Radish, the gluten-free bakery which yesterday opened on Spring Street. Owner Julia Ingram sells the pudding in little glass jars for $3 a serving; if you return the jar, you get a dollar back. Continue reading

Gluten-Free Bakery Opens Monday

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avlxyz

While celiac disease sufferers sometimes fret that the sudden popularity of gluten-free foods could obscure the gravity of their condition – “this is our medicine,” the founder and president of the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness recently explained to the Philadelphia Inquirer – a local gluten-free baker says better-tasting medicine never hurt anybody.

“It is a serious condition, but life is to be enjoyed,” says Julia Ingram, who was diagnosed with severe gluten intolerance while enrolled in pastry school. “I want to make things that are delicious.”

Ingram acknowledges that many of her customers at Sweet Radish Bakeshop, scheduled to open next Monday on the corner of Spring and St. Philip streets, won’t be under doctor’s orders to eat her salted caramel brownie cupcakes, chocolate chip cookies and banana bundt cake. But by exposing eaters without gluten sensitivities to the diversity of gluten-free baking, she hopes to raise local awareness of mandated gluten-free diets. Continue reading