Saturday, 24 May 2014

Latest Gluten Free finds at Marks and Spencer

Finally, at Marks and Spencer, we found an almost full display of Gluten Free (or Made without Wheat) products.  The empty spaces should have contained baguette and fruit scones.  We would have liked to try the baguette very much as we don't make bread. Ever.  Scones we makes lots so that's not such a missed item in our grocery shop. 
It was GREAT to see that someone has listened and realised those on restricted diets also have birthdays!  A Celebration Cake - Extremely Chocolatey - covered in chocolate curls and decorated with a starburst.  Pricey at £10 but nice if the Birthday girl is the main cook (hint, hint Sous Chef J)...

Other cakes on offer were Coffee and Walnut (new), Carrot and Walnut (new), Victoria Sponge, Chocolate Loaf and Rich Fruit Loaf.

Having looked at the 'ambient' food offerings, we went on the hunt for other Gluten Free items... and spotted this three pack of mini meringues - not labelled with the gluten free symbol but the allergy advice does not highlight gluten in the ingredients.  Also, having checked online here, the item is listed in the Marks and Spencer 'do not contain gluten' listing... of course, you still need to check ingredients on the product as 'recipes change'... but it's a good starting point.

The meat section revealed a couple of 'The Grill' range marked with the Gluten Free symbol. 

Sausages are a usual 'staple' purchase for us as many (perhaps all?) uncooked are Gluten Free... but beware, the cooked, lunch/snack ones are NOT?  How? Why? Daft, if you ask us.... there are few enough items to choose from in the takeaway/food to go/lunch snacks that are Gluten Free that it seems odd not to sell the cooked version of the Gluten Free sausages.  There is more good news though - we did find Gluten Free Scotch Eggs ... in the picnic section.

The other day we tweeted about the numerous Gluten Free finds in the Food to Order catalogue - even containing a dessert (large portion sized version of their hot chocolate fudge pudding).  Here's a link to the online offering of Gluten Free items it contains.  There are Celebration Cakes and Wedding Cakes as well as crumpets and meats... but, oddly, NOT the Gluten Free Mini Chicken Kievs Sous Chef J had been so pleased to find in the paper catalogue.  Similarly, the belly pork I so liked at Christmas is not showing up online - I do hope that, if we place an order from the catalogue, these are still available...

... as ever, it seems to be that Reliability of Availability is key.  It is really frustrating to know products DO exist (in some stores) but they are difficult to purchase... and, PLEASE, Marks and Spencer, IMPROVE your offerings at roadside Simply Food stores!  We find the Gluten Free range in railway stations is, usually, pretty reliable but you seem to think we don't go by road... we need to know if we see your store we can buy food we can eat.  Like these Caramel Pecan Crunch Bars which Sous Chef J loves.

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