Fortunately I don’t have any issues with gluten, but I know lots of people who do. Either way, when I was invited to a tasting party for a brand-new bakery, I thought it was a great idea – and even though I don’t need to eat gluten-free, it doesn’t matter too much because the treats were just delicious!
First I had quite the challenge finding the location for the party – it’s up in Crowfoot which is totally out of my comfort-zone. The last time I was up there was during Stampede if that helps illustrate how rare it is for me to get out that way! However, when I got there, I was greeted with the delicious aroma of baked goods, and the warmth of a room with ovens going full steam… Hmmmm
There were a number of plates laid out on the central table with cards naming off what each of the dishes was (I wish I had gotten a good picture of this – but the table was constantly surrounded by other guests!) along with a little form asking for feedback on the different treats we all tried.
I started off with a gingersnap cookie – super crisp with real chunks of candied (?) ginger in it. I LOVE ginger! I chatted with another guest who commented that she wasn’t a fan of ginger, unless it’s teamed up with something sweet – and she adored the cookie (so much so that she wasn’t going to share with her partner.. he needed to get one of his own!)
Next up I tried a Mexican Chocolate cupcake (I think.. their website isn’t working for me and I didn’t see them on their Facebook page) which was fantastic – I expected it to be spicier, but it was ‘just right’ with a nice subtle chocolate flavour, good texture, and just a little kick at the end to remind me about the spice. They were super-smart and made all of the goodies “testing” size – two bite cupcakes allowed us to try lots of different things rather than binging on one or two items and then being stuffed.
Next up – one of the favorites of the night – a coconut-lime cupcake (recommended by the baker’s partner) with coconut cream cheese icing… incredibly delicious! If you have celiac disease or just don’t LIKE eating gluten, you might find that you ‘miss out’ on so much… with these cupcakes you wouldn’t be. Super tasty!
I chatted with a few people throughout the night – one guy who was in gastronomic heaven – this was the first chance he’d been to a ‘buffet’ kind of event and actually been able to eat everything – rather than hovering at one end of the table over the one or two ‘safe’ dishes that wouldn’t make him ill. Another woman I chatted with is gluten-free not out of an allergy concern, but rather she opts out of gluten because it just makes her feel better – her argument is that our bodies just don’t process regular flour the right way. I don’t know if that’s true – but certainly avoiding gluten is a challenge!
Next, a slice of chocolate brownie. I really wanted walnuts in the brownie – but it was still really good without it. Later on, the bakery posted on their Facebook page that nuts had been a big write-in, with a reminder that when ordering, nuts (along with double-servings of that fabulous icing!) could be added in to any of their orders.
After about an hour and a half, I was really quite full, and the event was winding down a little, so I headed home… and was treated to a little bag to fill up with goodies to take home! I picked out another slice of brownie, another gingersnap cookie, and a pumpkin spice cupcake to take home to share. (And by share.. I mean that someone else ate them, because I was full!)