The Gluten Free Expo kicked off on Saturday 5th August and every corner of Rosehill Gardens was filled with stalls, food tastings, product information and demonstrations.
The event started at 9am and by 8:45 the line at the door was already 400 metres long. People couldn’t wait to get inside and view the latest and greatest in gluten free cooking and of course, to taste some delicious food. I was quite familiar with the gluten-free staple foods such as cereals, breads and pastas, but the best part of the GF Expo is their inclusion of unique businesses who introduce innovative, life-changing products to the market. These include foods such as beer, doughnuts, pancake mixes, pizza bases and Christmas puddings.
I arrived with my stomach empty, wide-eyed and raring to get through the doors and start the day. I was lucky enough to receive early entry and a sneak- peek as the stalls put together their final preparations. As soon as I entered, I didn’t even know where to begin or look first. Resisting my ‘kid in a candy-store’ urges, I tried to work my way through methodically, but there was one place at the top of my list that I knew I had to see first.
Yvette’s Raw Kitchen is an incredible small business from Wingham who specialise in delicious raw cakes and tarts that are free from gluten, dairy, soy, egg, refined sugars, GMO’s and any artificial flavouring. And just when you think to yourself “how can something with so little nasties possibly taste good?” You put one in your mouth and are left completely speechless. Yvette pumps out 2,000 treats a week with her humble team of five kitchen ninjas and she’s created over 50 recipes in just 2 years!
After chowing down on some amazing treats, I was feeling quite thirsty. I couldn’t possibly decide between trying the gluten free beer or going to the tea stall, so I did both!
Neo Organic Tea has been attending the Expo for seven years and have the most diverse tea range I’ve ever seen. As someone who drinks up to five cups of tea a day, you could say I enjoy it. I usually stick to the basics like green or an earl grey but Neo kindly let me try some wildly exotic flavours like turmeric, ginger and peppermint with liquorice! While these teas do contain strong flavours, they aren’t overpowering at all and have a nice, refreshing balance to them.
After soothing my soul with tea, I knew that trying my hand at gluten free beer was a must. I’m not a big beer drinker but the raspberry flavour was light, fruity and flavoursome.
Wilde beer is a great business, who ensures all their beer is FODMAP friendly, gluten-free, low in sugar and still has amazing flavour. They currently have two gluten-free beers – The pale Ale and Raspberry Pale Ale and are also working to develop a dark beer. If you’re interested in winning a case of this highly anticipated new flavour, then click here to go in the running!
Before arriving, I checked out the guest speakers and cooking demonstrations that were running throughout the day. I know now how to make my own hollandaise sauce and the importance of reading labels on the back of products to ensure you know just exactly what you’re eating. Did you know that gluten can be hiding in products you’d never expect and under a different name? Sneaky!
Leaving with a bag full of products, a soy latte and a gluten free donut (courtesy of GF Dessert Co), it’s safe to say I had a great time exploring the Gluten Free Expo!