Monday 12 September 2016

Greensboro GFAF Event

This was the first-ever GFAF Event in Greensboro, and I’d say it went pretty great! Greensboro seems to have a fairly active celiac/GF community, including a monthly support group for those in the area. One of my favorite things about these events is getting to connect and talk with such a wide variety of others who are living GF. I have met people who were diagnosed with celiac decades ago, and people who were just diagnosed last week! It's so cool to hear all these different perspectives and experiences from the GF community.

But I know you’re probably here to hear about the food, so let me show you!

As usual, I especially want to spotlight some of the local vendors and smaller companies. 

Kalo Foods, a GF bakery in Stokesdale NC, was sampling several of their products. I especially recommend their pancake mix - the pancake I tasted was light, fluffy, soft, yet springy - in other words, it was exactly what a good pancake should be like. The pumpkin pie was quite good also. 
Kalo Foods
Summerfield Farms (shown in collage at top) is a producer of pastured/grass-fed beef in Summerfield NC (near Greensboro). The farm also has a market selling local meat and dairy, local produce, and other good stuff (including some products from Kalo Foods above).

This NC honey producer, Justin Case Bee Products, brought some very special wild honey - wild, as in collected from a hollow old oak tree that was taken down (and the hive was relocated). After tasting it, I just had to bring home a jar - imagine an already-complex multifloral honey, with the additional flavor of the oak it was stored inside of! 

Justin Case Bee Products
I first found out about Mina’s flour mixes at the Raleigh event last month. I personally have not used these blends in baking (as I tend to just use my own formulas), but from the wide variety of things made with it that I’ve sampled at these events, I would say this is a pretty versatile and well-formulated blend if you’re looking for a multipurpose flour - I don’t know if it works on a cup-for-cup basis in regular recipes, but there are plenty of recipes on the No Gluten Inc site that are made for the blend, including a very yummy cranberry cake. (P.S. That’s Mina herself at the table there!) 

Mrs Pound Cakes (shown in collage at top), based in Charlotte, was there with (yep, you guessed it) pound cake. 

A few more small and/or local vendors: 
Aleia's (top), Norm's Farms (bottom)
Anne's Heavenly Bites
And, because it’s not just about food, but other aspects of health as well…I also want to spotlight some people who are helping build more awareness of food sensitivity:
Left: The event included a screening of The Celiac Project, a documentary that follows individuals’ experiences surrounding diagnosis. 
Right: Tarah Jakubiak, AKA The Allergic Traveler, makes customized cards to list a person’s food sensitivities in various languages - this can help make travel so much more accessible for people with dietary restrictions.

All in all, it was a fun, informative, and tasty experience! And, of course, I got to come home with plenty of treats for later. 

In my Blogger Bag I found some exciting and lovely things: a coconut cake from Mrs. Pound Cakessome cookies and brownie mix from Enjoy Life, Norm’s Farms elderberry jam, oatmeal raisin cookies from No Gluten Inc (made with Mina’s flour mix), seasoned breadcrumb mixes from Aleia’s, some beeswax lip balms from Justin Case Bee Products, and a flourless cashew butter cookie from The GGF Gourmet. Thank you all! (Also thank you Aleia’s and Milton’s for generously giving me some extra treats!) Of the things in my bag, I’ve so far just tried the pound cake, which is moist and tasty (and also dairy-free, made with coconut milk). I’ll try to tell you about the rest when I get a chance to taste them!

As always, all these opinions and statements are completely my own; as an event blogger I received the items provided by vendors and sponsors, but I was not otherwise compensated and I was not obligated to write about or feature any specific product(s) or vendor(s). If I mention a specific product or company, it's because it's something I think my readers would find helpful and/or is something I personally like.

P.S. I have planned some upcoming posts expanding on concepts I brought up in my talk on recipe substitution because people seemed interested in more info, so check back soon for some tasty science!