So, gluten free friends, let me tell you about a little company called Against the Grain Gourmet. At first I saw the name on a few bags in the Whole Foods freezer section and thought - whoa thats a strong statement. I'm also a little weary of frozen breads. They just never seemed to get to a texture that I loved. And then I started trying Against the Grain products one by one... and fell completely, utterly in love.
I was first introduced to Against the Grain Gourmet through their Rosemary rolls, which I used as buns for grilled mushroom cap burgers, cheeseburgers and as bread in delicious egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches. I ate them plain after 30 seconds in the microwave. And after sitting out on the counter for 30 minutes. And with earth balance spread. And cream cheese. I was freaking hooked. Then, when I went back for more, I saw they had baguettes in original and rosemary flavors. Unbelievable. To me, the baguettes have the best texture of all their products. Squishy, stretchy, chewy bread was but a distant memory before buying this stuff.
A friend and I were recently at a dinner party trading stories about loaves of store bought gluten free bread that were better suited to be doorstops when I pulled out Against the Grain's Rosemary Baguettes for her to try. Even the gluten friendly friends were tasting it and oohing and ahhing. Even though they had "real bread" on the table to choose from, they were going back for more of my baguettes. I've never seen anything like it with a packaged, frozen, gluten free product.
After realizing that I owed this monster of a company a blog post for all their deliciousness and convenience, I wanted to try a few more things. I tried their sesame and original bagels. FINALLY a chewy gluten free bagel. I have found nothing that comes anywhere close to that texture in a gluten free baked good. Even those I bake myself are often delicious, yes, but crumbly and lacking in that unified, chewy consistency. Not these bagels. Not this baguette. Not these rolls.
I also noticed a new product - a frozen pizza shell - which had cheese baked right into the crust. I snatched up immediately as it was the last one in the A&P freezer case. Despite my now well documented love of everything else of theirs that I brought home, I was still skeptical. But this crust blew every other frozen pizza, both gluten free and otherwise, completely out of the water. They now also manufacture and sell whole pizzas. No other ingredients needed for an easy, tasty, weeknight meal. I also saw that they are now selling pumpernickel rolls, which I have been freaking clamoring for since giving up my beloved NY bagels.
I know you'll be skeptical... I was too. But take a leap of faith against the grain with these guys. They really know what they're doing. And no, I'm not being paid to write this. Though if anyone is listening, I'd prefer to be bought with baguettes and bagels. Check out the website to look for a store locator, to read about ingredients (I haven't seen any dairy free products yet), sourcing, and to see the variety of stuff I haven't stumbled upon yet. You'll be happy you did.
(All photos credit to Against the Grain Gourmet)