Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Daily Candy

October 8, 2008
Gluten for Punishment
Opus Opens

order up!

Borough discrimination. Hipster persecution. Tourist harassment.

We all do our part to combat New York’s unique injustices. But leading the charge against nationally recognized intolerances? Leave that to Giuseppe and Enzo Lentini.

The brothers’ UES ristorante, Opus, discriminates against no diner. Celiacs can chow down on corn linguine, lentil-chickpea penne, and panzerotti — crispy half-moon pies made from gluten-free dough imported from Italy and filled with mozzarella, tomato, and mortadella.

Time crunchers can simply grab gluten-free specialty snacks (wafers, cookies, chocolate bars) at the bar. And dairy-free pizzas and plans for house-made soy and rice milk gelati will sate the most lactose-intolerant patrons.

Even insomniacs will find relief with a bar menu available until 5 a.m. every day of the week.

Now that’s what we call equal opportunity.

Opus, 1574 Second Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets (212-772-2220).

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Vital Juice Daily

What's the Deal with Gluten?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

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vital vocab

/Stevia/ n: This super sweetener, which is derived from a South American plant, has 300 times the potency of sugar and no calories. As it nears FDA approval for food use (it currently has the ok to be sold as a supplement, like in Truvia), we're likely to be seeing a lot more of Stevia. An all-natural sugar alternative sounds pretty sweet to us!

Think gluten-fr*ee is just another health food trend or a fauxbia? In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, we're setting the record straight.

Not just a fad: With increased awareness of celiac disease (aka gluten intolerance), more people are discovering the real source of their "sensitive stomach." In fact, it's estimated that 1 in every 133 Americans has celiac, yet 97% remain undiagnosed. If you or someone you know has a troubled tummy, check out the symptoms.

Did you know? Gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley) can cause serious complications in people with celiac and the only known solution is sticking to a gluten-fr*ee diet.

Benefits of gluten-fr*ee: GF foods are becoming increasingly popular because they're often simple, all-natural and made with alternative healthy grains. Even non-celiacs can appreciate cereal made from amaranth, pasta from brown rice or quinoa, and buckwheat pancakes. Our personal favorite? The addictive tortilla chips from Food Should Taste Good.

If you want to start giving up gluten, find out how.

Got a friend with a sensitive belly? Spread the awareness!

Monday, March 17, 2008

See's Candy

I originally email See's with my question about gluten, but got tired of waiting for their response. Her is the very informative, and very complete email response I received:

Thank you for visiting In response to your request for information about the presence of gluten in our candies, our Quality Assurance Manager has advised that we have reformulated our products and eliminated wheat as a direct ingredient in all of our candies packed in standard boxes. Some of our packaging for our Awesome Peanut Brittle Candy Bars still lists flour (wheat) on the box however this is no longer the case. We also do not use rye, barley, oats or malt as ingredients in our candies. Therefore, none of our Custom Mix pieces contain gluten as a direct ingredient and cross contact is no longer a possibility. This would include our Peanut Brittle, Krispys, St. Patrick's Day Potatoes and our recently introduced Sugar Free products.

You may have noticed that we do have some products which are manufactured for us. Some of these items that do not contain gluten are our Milk Chocolate Drops, Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Foil Novelties, Sugar Sticks and Sour Chews. As we've noted, most of our products are gluten free.

However, we do have a few items which our Quality Assurance Department does not consider to be gluten free because of their decorations or they are produced in a facility that processes gluten. These are decorated Chocolate Butters (decoration), Springtime Truffles (decoration), Egg Nog Truffles (decoration), all Climber Canes, Puppet Canes and Candy Canes, and the 3 oz. Bordeaux, Chocolate Walnut, and Dark Raspberry Hearts (decorations). Also, all of our decorated Easter Eggs may contain gluten because of their decorations. The only decorated Easter Eggs that would not contain gluten are our 9.5 oz. decorated Rocky Road Egg and our 13.5 oz. decorated Chocolate Butter with Pecans Egg.

In addition to the information above, we wish to advise that the distilled apple cider vinegar used in our Butterscotch Lollypops and Little Pops is grain based.

I hope this information is helpful. Thank you for your interest in See's Candies and we hope to have the opportunity to serve you soon.

Denise Becerra

See's Candies Customer Service

I am greatly impressed by the knowledge both of the woman I spoke to and the person who sent me this email. It's so good to get correct information from informed representatives.

Thank you See's