Although Italian food is traditionally (and deliciously) gluten-laden, Ottawa’s Little Italy seems to be quietly embracing the idea of providing gluten-free options. Very cool, methinks! Along with the GF pasta and pizza at La Dolce Vita and the gluten-free beer at Pub Italia, I’ve recently discovered yet another little spot where one can indulge in some traditional Italian fare sans gluten. Café Nostra Trattoria is known for it's cozy atmosphere and great wine selection, plus they will make any pasta dish gluten-free for an extra $2. YUM!
Props to the progressive minds on Preston Street who are making fine dining easier for us tender-bellied folks!
Ok, ladies and gents! I am very excited to announce that I’ve found AWESOME gluten-free cookies! I had heard that B. Goods makes great cookies, but hot dang! Now I’m a believer! I've been addicted for a while now, and they are consistently good too. So far, the only two GF varieties available are Chocolate Mint and Cinnamon Kasha. And, they rule! Especially the cinnamon one!
The first time I got a cinnamon cookie was from Market Organics in the Byward Market. I hadn't had a truly satisfying cookie in ages, so I couldn’t wait to take a bite and test this one out! After all, it seemed pretty promising. It looked like a real cookie, not a rubbery blob or a crumbly cakey thing. And, oh man, it did not disappoint! It had a crunchy exterior and a chewy interior that just seemed to melt in my mouth. Really! SO good! Now, I’m hooked!
B. Goods is a mobile bakery that you can find rolling around town at various festivals, including the Folk Fest and the Rideau Canal Fest, both happening in August. The B. Goods rig will also be at the Main Street market on Saturdays until late October. I’ve seen B. Goods’ cookies all over town, and most places carry the GF varieties intermittently, so keep your eyes open for 'em because if a place carries B. Goods, the GF cookies will eventually make their way through the rotation of flavours. A list of vendors can be found on B. Goods' Facebook page.
*Note: B. Goods’ GF cookies are made in a facility that contains gluten.
Two Sundays ago, I attended Ravenswing D-I-Y Fair in Minto Park. It was a fab event with many great artists selling their wares, as well as funky musicians and cool workshops for the public. There were also a handful of bakers there, including Lydia Bee who is a ball of energy and had a table of tempting vegan and gluten-free cookies. I guess I’m kind of a sucker, because when I see the words “gluten-free” on a baked goody, I just can’t help but have a taste! I tried a lime cookie and a pea-chocolate chip cookie, and they were both delish! Mmm! They had a texture that resembled shortbread cookies. Firm when you pick them up, but somehow kinda melty once they’re in your mouth. I really liked the tangy lime cookie, and was surprised that the pea cookies (cleverly named “I Can’t Pea-lieve It”) didn’t taste like peas at all! Just yumminess! Not a bad way to get your veggies in, if I do say so myself!
Lydia Bee officially lives in Toronto, but came to O-town for the craft fair. I’m glad she did! Hopefully, we’ll see her again next year, and I’ll be able to sample some more of her treats!