Celiac Disease News Video on MSNBC

Headlining today on MSNBC is a video on Celiac Disease from On Your Healthy Family with Hoda Kotb. Probably not going to be anything new to most of our readers, but there it is.

Mariposa – A Gluten-Free Bakery in Oakland California

Regular readers of this blog will know that Sienna, our glamorous and amazing Head of Research went to visit her family in the San Francisco Bay Area recently. Luckily for us, she did some pre-trip research on gluten-free options in the Bay Area and came up with a bakery, Mariposa.

Mariposa bills itself as a gluten-free artisan bakery. They bake everything in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Among other things, they make biscotti, brownies, coffeecake, bagels, and pizza crusts. Their products are available nationwide in specialty food stores and can also be purchased online at their website. Lucky for me, Sienna brought home some of their products.

The interior of the Mariposa Bakeshop

We sampled their chocolate-chip cookies, brownies, and a sesame seed bagel.

Mariposa Chocolate Chip Cookie

Other than a little bit of a fruity flavor and being a little sweet, the chocolate chip cookie was almost indistinguishable from a real, genuinely homemade chocolate chip cookie. The chewy gooey kind. Wow.

Mariposa Brownie

Have I ever mentioned here that I love the Trader Joe’s gluten-free brownie mix brownies? They are the best. I’m not really sure if there is a better brownie, honestly. So Mariposa had some stiff competition to stand up to. Luckily for them, both Sienna and I thought their brownie was about as good. They have a no-nonsense brownie. No nuts, no funny business, just chocolatey goodness. I was left wishing for the top crust to be more… what’s the word for how the top of a brownie is kind of hard and crackly and chewy? Like that. It wasn’t that, but the flavor was awesome.

Mariposa Sesame Seed Bagel

I guess you can’t win them all. We both found the gluten-free bagel from Mariposa disappointing. I think part of the problem may be that we are serious bagel snobs. We turn our noses up at Noah’s Bagels, and when we moved to Portland four years ago, were unable to find a bagel we liked. The Mariposa bagel was very cakey, and resembled a bagel in shape and flavor only, and even the flavor left us wanting more.

Two out of three isn’t bad. The products we sampled were good enough that if we lived in the Bay Area, we would definitely frequent the Mariposa. Among other things, they also have food-allergy information on their products, and also donate 2% of their profits to community and world organizations.

Times we have visited: 1 (So your experience may vary.)
Overall rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Price compared to “regular”: Around twice as expensive.

Mariposa Bakery
5427 Telegraph Ave, Unit D3
Oakland, California 94609

Gluten-Free Portland: My Story

I’m MOSTLY gluten-free. I haven’t taken the Celiac Disease Reflex Screen mostly because I don’t want to deal with eating gluten long enough to take it. By “mostly” gluten free I mean that if there is some soy sauce in a dish I will eat it. My intolerance for wheat, however, is enough that a single bite of a piece of bread will make me feel sick the next day. There is definitely something up with wheat and me.

I was in denial for a while and then later thought that it must be psychosomatic or something. The person who noticed it first was my girlfriend. She noticed that on Saturdays I was usually grumpy and emotional. I started tracking my food intake and my moods and the thing that stood out was wheat. This is bordering on “too much information” but the other thing that changed when I stopped eating wheat was that this horrible acne that I had always had on my back cleared up.

While I still had my mind made up that it was psychosomatic, I would go out to eat at restaurants and be too shy to ask my waiter if something had wheat. But I would order carefully trying to get a dish without wheat and then the next day I would feel awful and a phone call to the restaurant would verify that there was wheat in the dish. Like for instance, gumbo? The roux in gumbo has tons of wheat. Surprise!

Now I end up wondering how many other people might be allergic to wheat. It seems like the numbers are growing. At times I hear information that makes me think it’s a fad. A co-worker commented to me recently that his wife had “thought” she was gluten-intolerant but then had changed her mind. I’ve also heard about people quitting gluten because they figure it’s more healthy. That’s crazy. It’s a real pain staying away from wheat.

Believe me, I would rather have a real donut, sourdough bread, and a real pizza! OK well that’s enough wool-gathering. I’m going to get this blog customized a little and start posting reviews and information.