Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Pasta Review

Some time ago my family removed wheat from our diet, on doctor's orders. As if anyone would ever wake up one morning and think, "You know what? Cooking is entirely too easy around here. I think I should take wheat out of our diet." Ha!

Really, for us, wheat was the hardest allergen to part with. It is EVERYWHERE! It hides in innocuous places that would have never occurred to the average consumer. And, let's face it. Gluten rocks. Really. It lends such a wonderful simplicity to baking, such carefree ease in achieving fabulous tastes and textures when cooking.

Gluten free? Not so much. You have to coax ingredients into playing nicely together, and lovingly craft each delectable bite with careful attention.

One staple of our diet that was hard to give up? Pasta. Kids and spaghetti go together. Early in our quest for wheat free pasta, we tried several. Quite a few gooey, gummy rice pastas. Finally, I stumbled upon a gluten free blogger that shone a light of hope into our newly wheat free world. She painted pictures of tasty dishes not only free of wheat, but free of most of the allergens we avoid. Thanks to her, I learned to how to bake and to cook again without fear, and WITH flavor and wonderful texture.

She also recommended the pasta that we began using. I figured with her level of experience, she had tried enough of them to know that this must be one of the best available. Tinkyada
has served us well. The texture is good. It has a bit of a bite to it that I never cared for, but with adequate rinsing and some sauce, it worked. It was the best we had experienced.

Until now. Recently, I made spaghetti with a box of Lundberg brown rice rotini. Um. Holy sauced divinity Batman! It was good. The texture was wonderful, and there was no telltale bite, or aftertaste. None. It was even good COLD. (We don't like the other one cold. No thanks.) It really passes the taste test, the texture test, the ease of preparation test. All of them. With flying colors.

Anything can pass the test with sauce, right? My husband served plain Lunberg elbows a few nights later, with just drizzle of olive oil. I had seconds. And thirds. That has never happened before. I have never liked undressed rice pasta before, with out any trappings. A new day has dawned.

In all fairness, I only tried it because they sent me a very generous supply to share at my recent allergy friendly tasting party. So, yes, they kinda bribed me. And I'm so glad they did. Because I'd still be putting up with a lesser product based on recommendation of a very knowledgeable stranger.

So two thoughts for you: 1) Try it. It's good. and 2) Recommendations help, but keep trying until you find one YOUR family loves.

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