One of my colleagues, who I will call the Gluten Free Minion since they wish to remain anonymous, follows a gluten free lifestyle and I asked if they would be interested in sampling these gluten free products from BFree since I have no interest in them. I did try a bagel. Let’s just say it didn’t hang around in my mouth for too long. Here’s their review of BFree products.
A couple months ago, my friend Mary, epicurean extraordinaire and master blogger at This Tasty Life, was kind to drop off a box full of gluten free bread and other food stuffs from BFree Foods for me to sample. (No, really. I went away from my desk for a moment, and when I returned I found a small fallout shelter’s worth of gluten free food in a box on my desk. Nothing like free food to make you smile.)
Of all days, this happened on Bloomsday (aka June 16th, for all you non-Lit majors out there) earlier this year. I chuckled at the serendipity of sampling gluten free bread made in Ireland on a national Irish holiday. The only thing that would have made this event even better was if I’d had some Jameson or Hennessy on hand. But I was at work. Still, I don’t think they would have noticed or even cared.
Because the gluten free multigrain bagels looked so delicious, I decided to try one right away. They were covered with poppy seeds and other whole grains, so I pulled one out of the plastic bag and sliced it in half on a plate.
That’s when I noticed the odd, thin hollow ring inside the bagel. As soon as I opened it up, I noticed that both halves had narrow rings circling close to the outer edge of the bagel. Mary thought they looked like crop circles; I thought they looked like moats surrounding a castle. Or a hollowed ring cut out from an old tree. Either way, the hollowed-out ring around the bagel looked like a great place to squirt some jelly donut filling, cream cheese, or something else that was tasty to make the bagel more palatable.
Because when I bit into part of the untoasted slice of bagel, it crumbled in my mouth and disintegrated. It reminded me of the scene in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where Walter Donovan, the evil Nazi dude in the white suit, drinks from the wrong grail and turns into a skeleton within seconds. That’s how fast the gluten free bagel decomposed in my mouth. It tasted like a real bagel that had died and became either a zombie or a mummified version of itself. Mary told me that when she tasted the crop circle zombie/mummy bagel, she spat it out in the kitchen sink. I can’t say I blame her. Gluten free breads are an acquired taste for people who aren’t used to them. But if you hate them, they can double as spit balls.
Since I don’t like to waste food or give up easily, I toasted the rest of the bagel and slathered it with tons of cream cheese. I guess nuking it in the toaster made the zombie/mummy bagel stay in one piece because it didn’t crumble from one touch. I just had to throw it into the fire for a while, and it turned out decent enough. With the cream cheese, the bagel was tastier. The white bread version of the gluten free bagels was similar. From that, I concluded you have to do stuff to these bagels to make them tasty enough to swallow and digest.
Fortunately, the rolls were tastier. Both the white and multigrain varieties were dry, yet soft and filling. These are good for small sandwiches or even as dinner rolls with some butter or dipped in extra virgin olive oil.
The loaves of bread were also delicious. One multigrain flavor had nuts and seeds baked into the dough, and the long, oval-shaped slices are ideal for larger sandwiches. Because I like a nutty taste in my bread, I prefer multigrain flavors over plain white bread. I also like eating a healthier grain alternative.
After eating so many sandwiches for a few weeks, I was relieved to sample the gluten free pita pockets and tortillas. As much as I enjoy eating gluten free bread, sometimes it can be too filling for me. I couldn’t detect a difference in quality or taste with the pita bread, except that they weren’t as fluffy as the wheat-filled versions.
However, I was impressed with the quality of the tortillas. The whole grain and the quinoa with chia seed tortilla flavors were palatable and offered a slightly nutty taste and texture with the mixed grains. But my favorite flavor was the sweet potato. With wholesome fiber and mild sweetness, the sweet potato tortillas made great quesadillas and added a great twist on comfort food.
The one alarming thing I noticed about all the gluten free breads was the high sodium content on the packaging. After discovering that one serving contained at least 20 percent of the daily sodium intake for someone on a 2,000-calorie diet, I realized that I had to ration eating this kind of food. For people who are prone to high blood pressure or hypertension, or for those who are watching their sodium levels to maintain good health, this kind of prepackaged processed food should be eaten in moderation.
Overall, I’d say that the BFree Foods gluten free products are pretty tasty. As someone who must eat gluten free alternatives, this brand offers a variety of decent flavors in many of their products. However, the biggest disappointment were the multigrain flavor bagels. Because I love an everything bagel with lots of onion and poppy seeds, this one let me down the most. It was just too damn dry. But if you’re like me and you’re willing to sweep on a pile of cream cheese or other edible garnishes, it might be worth a try.
This Tasty Life was provided with complimentary BFree products in exchange for an honest review. This Tasty Life passed these products on to the Gluten-Free Minion because This Tasty Life didn’t want to try it. All opinions stated here are that of the reviewer and no one was further compensated for this review. Non-watermarked photos are the property of BFree Foods.