One of the neatest parts of the GIG Conference is roaming around, meeting vendors and sampling their food (and other things, too!), as well as trying new foods during the meals. Please let me share some of my new favorites.
At the leadership breakfast, we had scones from Sunny Valley Wheat Free, a 100% dedicated gluten-free bakery in Maple Valley, Washington. These were excellent! They sort of melted in your mouth, and had a nice texture and flavor. I was lucky enough to snag a couple for my early morning plane ride home (on Monday, 4 days after we had had them for the leadership day, and they were still yummy). I would have loved to make it to the bakery, but there just wasn’t enough time.
Ener-G’s Seattle Crackers really won me over. My favorite cracker when I was younger, ironically, was Wheat Thins. The Seattle Crackers reminded me of Wheat Thins (granted, it has been over 5 1/2 years since I’ve eaten those), especially in taste, though they were a little bit thinner and not quite as crunchy.
I enjoyed meeting Ken and Kirsti Kirkland, of Eating Gluten Free. Kirsti and her friend Betsy had taught gluten-free cooking classes and been asked to produce a cookbook. After the cookbook, they were asked to make mixes (which are created from the recipes in their cookbook). I now have a copy of the cookbook, Life Tastes Good Again, and will soon be trying out lots of recipes from it. Let me tell you, that fruit pizza was sooo good. I saw a few people heading back to their table for seconds… and thirds… and fourths…
Gary West Meats is a little new to the gluten-free world. After questioning from some customers, they found out that many of their jerky products were already gluten-free, and so decided to embrace it. My favorite was the Natural jerky. It was awesome!
French Meadow Bakery had some tortillas that were pretty excellent. If you have enjoyed gluten-free pizza from Uno’s or Boston’s, then you have enjoyed French Meadow crusts. Currently, they are offering coupons for $1.00 off on gluten-free products or a promo code for 20% off online.
Betty Barfield, branch manager of North Texas GIG, had this to say about her favorite parts of the conference:
My favorite part was the Leadership Day, seeing old friends from across the country I hadn’t seen in a long time, seeing vendors I knew and meeting ones I had just been email buddies with. I thought Cathy Breedon, Melinda Dennis and Shauna James-Ahern were my favorite speakers this year. I always learn something new from everyone.