Thursday, March 27, 2014

Gluten Free Info: Cheese & Crackers

Salt and Pepper Crackers by Elana's Pantry

So I thought I'd start a new section for little pieces of gluten free information. Today's topic is Cheese and Crackers.

Cheese is naturally gluten free but there are a couple tricksters out there! And crackers, oh crackers, they are something I miss the most.

Blue Cheese is reportedly gluten free, according to this article. Traditional, artisan blue cheese contains a blue mold that is first grown on bread, and then incorporated into the cheese. I would be nervous to eat these versions myself however the article states that testing was done and even the cheeses made with mold grown on bread tested gluten free (less than 20 parts per million).

And fear not because most commercial blue cheeses nowadays are made with a synthetic form of the blue mold so they are safe to eat.

Another unpleasant character for me is pre-shredded cheese that contains Natamycin- a natural mold inhibitor. Usually, if I eat this stuff I get a bad stomach ache similar to if I eat gluten. It is not soluble so it passes through the intestines without being absorbed- this is probably why I get so bloated if I eat cheese containing this preservative.

And finally, that favorite topping from High School Football game nachos- cheese sauce. I never ever eat this stuff unless I know the ingredients. Sure, the store bought gluten free options are okay but they're full of preservatives. And made from scratch sauce most often begins with a rue- a mixture of flour and butter- to thicken the cheese sauce, and thus continues to keep me away from those elusive cheese sauce nachos.

There are tons of gluten free crackers out there and I also like to make my own, but to be honest I don't think any really compare to the delicious, flaky, buttery, saltiness of Cheez-its or a Ritz. Alas, here are my favorite substitutes:

Crunchmaster, Roastic Garlic flavor
Snyder's Pretzels (I know they're not crackers but they're good with cheese)

Any gluten issues you've had with cheese, or any good cracker suggestions out there? 

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