Earlier this week I was in the bulk/”healthy” section of the Hancock Center HEB. There was a woman making faces at the Gluten Free section and mumbling to herself. She laughed when she saw me notice her. I minded my own business until her mumbling became speaking directly to me about how high the prices of GF are. She was looking at the cake mixes and I said, “yea especially when you have to experiment and find out that $8 box of cake mix is actually pretty gross.”
She told me her daughter, who is 10, can’t eat gluten anymore and it’s been really hard and she doesn’t bake. Her daughter misses bread. I told her there’s a frozen bread section so she at least doesn’t have to bake it herself. She asked for a guided tour of that section. So I gave it to her. Then I gave her my card with my favorite blogs on it. I almost gave it to her before I remembered I should probably add my own blog too!
As I finished my shopping I realized that I haven’t written nearly enough about what brands work for me and which ones don’t. Actually, this particular trip they were out of my regular bread and I found one that may even be better. So, I’ll be better about that.
The truth is, if you don’t know food or can’t bake (and sometimes even if you do and can), GF can be really expensive and daunting. I bet a whole lot of folks shopping at the HEB instead of Whole Foods don’t know what quinoa is, don’t realize that rice is naturally gluten free. We focus so much of our energy on the “fad” that is GF: the white, affluent, farmers’ market-going, Whole Foods shopping folk (not that there is ANYTHING wrong with that, it’s just not the whole world)- that people tend to forget that this is a real live affliction and one that is not limited to “foodies”. Dang, that term used to not be so loaded. I could start my rant right now (wait, that’s not what I was doing already?), but instead I’ll leave links to a couple of articles that were debated to no end on a listserv I subscribe to, all about being picky, not being picky, wanting better food, chefs lying, oh so much.