Markets: Cambridge 31st August & Hamilton 1st September

The Gluten-Free and Allergy Show was on the weekend of the 24th and 25th of August at the Claudelands Events Centre and it set me thinking about what was GLUTEN FREE products were on offer at the markets. As a baker I am continuously asked for gluten free or dairy or nut and seed free baking but in particular, I have noticed a significant increase in the number of people choosing to go ‘Gluten Free’ (GF). The majority do not have the serious Coeliac condition (where gluten actually destroys the ability of the gut to absorb nutrients) but believe they are, or have been diagnosed as being gluten sensitive. Stomach pains, bloating, gassiness, general aches and fatigue occur in gluten sensitive folk after eating wheat bread or cakes and biscuits containing gluten which occurs in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Most GF sensitive people report a reduction in their symptoms after just a few days of being Gluten Free but in reality it is very difficult to avoid all gluten as can be in numerous products as diverse as mustard, soy sauce, instant soup or gravy mixes, ice cream, chocolate bars, breakfast cereals, malt flavoured Milo etc.

I did a quick whip around the market to find out who is offering what is deemed gluten free. I discovered that unless a product in prepared in a 100% gluten free dedicated area / kitchen it cannot have an official Gluten Free status on its labeling so only some of our market businesses can claim 100% GF authenticity.

Obviously the majority of the products on sale at a Farmers Market are gluten free by virtue of the fact that they comprise of seasonal Fruit, Vegetables, Meat and Fish which are designated ‘Primary Products’. When these products are modified in any way to become, say, sausages, jams, chutneys, pates, salamis then they become Value Added processed products and as such must be prepared in a commercial kitchen which is inspected annually by the local government Health Inspector. Don’t be shy and ask the seller whether a product contains gluten. The advantage of Farmers Markets is that you can talk directly to the maker of the product and they will be absolutely certain of what goes into the food that they are selling.
So, the following products are technically gluten free but because they are not prepared in the 100% dedicated GF environment they may not be suitable for those with Coeliac Disease. However they are quite alright for those who are only moderately sensitive to gluten or who are choosing to reduce a percentage of gluten in their diets for personal health benefits. I have also included a few other specialty features such as whether a food item is vegetarian, sugar free or low fat.

Celtic Cuisine -Gluten free Lavender Shortbread. Wheat free, sugar free and dairy free – Scottish Oatcakes.Dairy Free and reduced sugar – Bara Brith Tea Loaf and Date and Walnut Loaf. Low GI Health Bannocks.
CC cannot claim 100% Gluten Free Status because the kitchen is used for non gluten free items as well however the GF Shortbread is the first product to be made each week in a thoroughly scrubbed down kitchen.
Soggy Bottom HoldingsGluten Free – At least 5 varieties of sausages. Check with Jono each weeks as flavours change according to what is seasonally available. All meat cuts including schnitzel and mince are GF. Cannot claim 100% gluten free status as does not have a dedicated gluten free prep kitchen. Makes non gluten free hot water pastry for his pork pies.
Basecamp Salami – 100% Gluten Free- all products.
LASCO Salami –100% Gluten Free, Low Fat and reduced salt in their products
Country Gold Honey – 100% Gluten Free Honey products, Boosta Bars and Sports Bars and Throat Lozenges. Dairy and gluten free Boosta Bars also available. Prepared in a dedicated GF kitchen.
Bella Pane – A large range of Gluten Free bread, cakes, pastries, donuts and biscuits and slices. Bella Pane is the leading producer of gluten free baking in our market. Has Dairy and Gluten free bread available on request. However also makes non gluten free bread and baked goods in the same premises.
The Beach Hutt – This was the most surprising of my finds. Carrey Gedge and her Mum Deirdre (hi girls!) have really pulled out the stops to offer customers Gluten Free options. They use Bella PaneGF bread rolls for their fresh fish and salad or bacon specials and the fish is marinaded rather than coated in breadcrumbs before it is cooked. They have their own home made GF sauces – the Beach Hutt Sauce which is a chilli and tomato sauce and a homemade Tartare Sauce. Once again they cannot claim 100% GF status as other gluten inclusive foods are prepared in the same area. Their smoothies and homemade lemon drinks are GF too.
The Salmonman – All the Salmon products including the pates are Gluten Free however because the fish smoking facilities are shared with other food producers Ron cannot claim 100% GF on his labeling.

The Fritter Man – In the winter the Fritter Man offers GF Vegetarian Pumpkin and Feta fritters made with a rice flour batter and in summer he has Gluten Free Courgette and Feta fritters made with cornflour. The GF Fritters are served up directly onto a plate rather than on a bread slice. The FM can’t claim 100% GF status because of using non Gluten Free products in the same kitchen and because they use the same hot cooking surface.
PlainsviewNursery– Obviously all their tomatoes, limes and lemons and micrgreens are gluten free but also their sprouted Wheat Grass is gluten free as it is only the wheat grains that contain the gluten protein. Interesting.
Sweetree Honey – 100% gluten free honeys and this season’s pollen.

Prinz Mushrooms and Los Gringos Locos Chilli sauces – 100% gluten free.
Mavis and Co – Gluten Free Cinnamon Swirls and Russian Creamy Fudge. Prepared in non GF dedicated premises.
Roberto’s Kitchen – Because of the nature of Roberto’s Italian cooking (pastas, pizza and gnocchi) the only GF products are the tomato sauce and the risottos ;all are vegetarian and some vegan options are also available.

Te Pataka (Ex Blackwoods) – Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies and Chocolate and Walnut Brownies. Not prepared in a GF dedicated space.

Cornish Pasties – Neil McArthur used to do Gluten Free Cornish Pasties but because of the need for a dedicated area to claim certified GF status (he is now supplying the supermarkets) he is no longer able to offer this option. He does offer Vegetarian Pasties however, made with the requisite potatoes and turnip and cheese and onion in place of the meat.
Wholly Cow – All meat is GF with the exception of the sausages.
Mel’s Preserves – There are many GF products on sale here including sauces, pickles, preserved lemons, curds and jams and jellies – check with David or Marilyn.

Southern Bell Orchards – Frans and Tinneke offer a range of low Glycemic Index Feijoa Jams. Wood Sugar ( Xyletol ) is used in place of cane sugar creating a fruit spread that is safe for Diabetics. Their Primary Produce of Bell Pepper and Feijoas are of course GF.
Living Gold Olive Oils – 100% gluten free.

Te Hoduk Korean Pancakes – no GF pancakes available but vegetarian options are.
Monovale Organic Blueberries – Fresh and frozen blueberries, jams and juices are both Organic and Gluten Free. Waffles and ice creams are all organic but not GF.
Fruition (Cambridge Market only)– As well as the exotic fruits and citrus on offer, Gill does an extensive array of gluten free, pickles, sauces, spice pastes and cordials, jams, jellies and preserves. Please note that Malt Vinegar contains minute amounts of gluten from the malt flavouring. Ask Gill if you are not sure.
Lanes end Organic Wines – 100% gluten free and organic too.
Raglan Fish – Their fresh fish and marinated and smoked fish are all gluten free. Their raw fish marinated salads contain coconut milk and lemon juice so are also GF.
Clif’s Gardens, Catos Potatoes, The Lettuce Man, the Tomato Man, Roach and all the other primary fruit and vegetable producers are all naturally gluten free.
Woofas Doggone Treats – Several GF varieties are now available for your GF sensitive pooch!

Macadamia Man – Although Chris hasn’t returned to the market yet he will be back in September. His Maca nuts are GF and organic (certified). He also has GF chocolate macadamia bars. Everything Chris sells is organic.
I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone.If I have – my apologies. I am sure to hear about it shortly and will include it in next week’s blog.
As the demand for GF and sugar and dairy free products increase I am certain that more and more specialist products will become available at the market.Market customers can affect what is on offer by asking loudly and repeatedly for what they want. So keep demanding and you will be heard!
Hope this helps.
See you at the markets next weekend.
Meg Daly
Celtic Cuisine.