The Allergy & FreeFrom Show Scotland, Glasgow,
After a night out dining on the vegan delights at Glasgow's vegan Saramago, the Allergy Show kicked off with a bagpiper! An absolutely fabulous five minutes of piping by a proper Scots piper – it brought a tear to my ancestral eye!
If you haven't visited the Allergy & Free From Show you really do need to come along (see future events here) because they showcase products and companies that can help you along on your often complicated and daunting freefrom journey.
This is the first Allergy Show in Scotland, sponsored by Genius Gluten Free, and over the weekend nearly 7,500 of you walked the familiar green pathways. Packed with freefrom tools, treats and tips ranging from food & drink, skincare, household equipment, to the superb Allergy Adventures' chick-feathering fun and treasure hunts and Hadyn's Wish. There were allergy specialists, support networks such as CYANS and free from shops like Free From Market, Glebe Farm Foods, Health Food and More, Whole Foods Market and others.
By 11am on Saturday the show was packed so that we couldn't get around, but luckily for you we did manage to once the crowd had thinned a little, and as well as the long-establised reliables (such as Dr Schär, Genius GF, Nairns, BFree, Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons, Bute Island Foods, Delicious Alchemy, Eskal, Fentimans, FEEL FREE, Green's Gluten Free Beer, Juvela, Lovemore, Nature's Path, Pana Chocolate) so here is our run down of some wonderful new products, listed alphabetically:
Almighty Foods make a very creamy raw chocolate and a rather exquisite selection of nut butters… The stone-ground chocolate is available online in such tasty varieties as coconut & orange, hazelnut & raisin and creamed coffee & hemp. Also available from various stockists nationwide.
We have to mention Angelic Gluten Free because they're Scottish and their crackers and cookies are just so tasty! And being their next door neighbour at the show was great – always a friendly face to go with their dairy & gluten free offer.
Baked are a gluten, dairy free, vegan bakery - selling their cakes, cookies, biscuits, breads and pizza bases online - but they also have a mobile coffee shop with all things dairy & gluten free available to hire for events! That is Brilliant!
We met Edinburgh-based Bellfield Brewery who craft-brew naturally gluten free beer. They also brew bagpipers since one of the team was the piper from earlier! Their brewing process involves removing the gluten from the barley before adding it to the mix... Available online by the summer, Bellfield's Beers are currently available from various stockists in Edinburgh.
Cocoa Libre were showcasing their lovely freefrom chocolates in pretty new boxes with windows, and their new raspberry slabs. It's a bit soon for Christmas but remember that they will be bringing out some lovely reindeer and Santa figures!
Crazy4Cocoa's multiple allergy free handmade Belgian chocolate (nuts, egg, dairy, gluten & wheat) comes in mouthwatering-sounding (is that possible?) flavours: salted brown sugar caramel, orange & cinnamon ganache – you get the picture. Available online for around £4.50 for a bag, and between £1 - £4 for slabs. Also Easter Eggs!
Daura Damm were offering tastes of their new dark Daura Marzen, called Marzen from Mäzenbiers because they used only to be brewed in the month of March: "When the warm weather came, beer production stopped due to high temperatures, which did not allow proper fermentation of the must with yeast. To counter the effects on the last batch, the malt was added twice so it could hold all summer without spoiling. But in the spring of 1955, due to the overwhelming response from customers, the production did not stop. Since then, Mäzenbiers are drunk all year." Gluten Free Beer Store
You may have come across Freedom Mallows before as they have been around for a while with their vegan, egg, dairy, nut, tree nut, gluten and soya free marshmallows, but they're relaunching soon!
Goodness Me Foods have now changed their name to Greenway Way Foods - making gluten free brownies, rocky road and other cake bars, cookies, granolas and cake mixes.
Good Full Stop make gluten & dairy free fruit and nut bars with flavours such as double choc, cherry & maple, chocolate & mint, and raspberry. Available in Holland & Barrett, health food stores, delis and farm shops, from 85p.
Hard Rock Café now have a totally gluten free menu available in all their cafes, and having worked closely with Coeliac UK, can serve the Original Legendary Burger, jumbo wings, nachos and some desserts all gluten free.
If any of you at the Show managed to get close enough to their stall to try some of their sausages, I salute you! Heck make uncompromisingly tasty gluten & dairy free sausages and burgers from beef and chicken. Available online and from various shops nationwide including Tesco.
Isabel's are celebrating their 10th year in business, and showcased their ever-expanding range including their very popular Yorkshire pudding mix, gravy granules and my favourite, the dough balls (pão de queijo) mix.
Koko Dairy Free have launched a new dairy free yoghurt range including plain, raspberry, strawberry and peach, and we got to try their new dairy free spread – really tasty on an oatcake! Available from Morrisons, Asda, Ocado and in future Waitrose in June.
Premium Snack Company with their Nothing But freeze dried vegetable and fruit snacks were showcasing their range of tasty flavours: banana & strawberry, pineapple & grape, pea & sweetcorn, mangetout & red pepper. Available online, these make perfect lunch box snacks.
Primal Bakers make dairy & wheat free Paleo foods such as cookies, cakes, crackers and primal bread. Available from their online shop
Rana's Artisan Bakery are a very new company specializing in bread mixes – very very simply mixes (just add water) that result in a very tasty loaf with a proper crust and crumb: Nearly Rye, Bold Buckwheat, Super Sourdough, Double Ingenious Flat Bread and more – currently available online.
Red Squirrel Gingernut Liqueur is another tasty alcoholic tipple with potato vodka base, ginger, notes of rosemary, thyme and citrus peel. Made in Scotland using Ogilvy Scottish Potato Vodka, Red Squirrel Gingernut Liqueur can be drunk in a myriad of tasty combinations: find a cocktail to suit your star sign here!
We chatted to Sainsbury's Free From who are gearing up for some very exciting freefrom launches in 2016 – meaning ultimately their freefrom own label offer will double in size! Stay tuned to FreeFrom Foods Matter for updates.
Seriously Good Venison – venison sausages, burgers and the first ever venison blood black pudding, these products are free from all 14 EU-listed allergens except sulphites.
So Gud make oat, nut and seed squares, free from gluten or dairy.
Sweet Deceits make gluten, dairy, sugar and egg free vegan dessert kits so you can make raw caramel slices, brownies, flapjacks and peanut butter cookies! Available online, costing £6.99 for a kit that makes minimum 8 slices.
Taste of Goodness Sauces whose online store not only sells their gluten, lactose and shellfish free sauces: piri piri, pepper sauce, mayo, taco & barbecue sauces, and more – but they also sell other products too: Little Herb Farm Fruit Vinegars, Madhuban Gluten Free Curries, Middleton Gluten Free Glazes, Salt Pig – Portuguese Sea Salt, The Foodamentalists batter, gravy & crumb mixes
Tesco Free From had samples of their new dairy & gluten free toffee and vanilla cones, with a gluten free cone and a dairy free ice cream – very tasty for a treat and available instore now. We also had a sneak preview of the new Tesco Free From packaging, colour-coded to make it easier for people to identify the allergens that particular products are free from when the products are on the shelves.
The Brownie Bar sell their gluten and dairy brownies online and locally.
So - now you have to come along and experience all this for yourself, ok? Allergy & FreeFrom Shows:
Berlin - 15-17 April, Station
London - 8-10 July, Olympia
Liverpool - 5-6 November, Exhibition Centre
Glasgow - 11-12 March, SECC