When you go out to eat, whether at a small café or top restaurant, it’s becoming more and more common to see a variety of gluten-free options on the menu. Similarly, gluten-free products are now readily available in supermarkets, with most having launched their own ranges.
This isn’t surprising, with around 7,000 people being diagnosed with coeliac disease each year, according to statistics from Juvela – this is an auto-immune disorder triggered by eaten gluten that 1 in 100 people in the UK suffer from.
There are also a growing number of others that have chosen to follow a gluten-free diet, either because they are gluten-intolerant or because they believe that cutting out gluten will have health benefits. Gluten-free diets followed by non-coeliacs have frequently been in the news recently, with celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham among the advocates.
Many big name brands now offer gluten-free products, and have invested in making them as appealing as their products containing gluten. One of these is Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons, which has a dedicated gluten and wheat-free bakery in Newburn, baking tasty products such as baguettes, wraps, teacakes and muffins.
We’re fortunate to have lots of producers, shops and eateries in the great north that cater for gluten-free diets, without compromising on the great taste that our region’s food and drink is known for. We’re keen to showcase this, so TASTECLUB is hosting the first Great North Gluten Free Fair on Saturday 27th April, sponsored by Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons.
We know that many people are passionate about seeking out new places to buy and eat gluten-free in our region, so the aim of the Fair is to show that everyone can enjoy a variety of delicious great north food and drink, even if they follow a gluten-free diet.
There will be around 40 stands at the event, including various Northumberland-based businesses. One of these is Red Rascal , based in Nedderton Village, which produces sweet and savoury chilli sauces made with ripe tomatoes and fresh chillies. They are stocked in farm shops and delis nationally, as well as locally in stores such as Fenwicks.
Owner Louise Bailey said: “As it’s the first one in the region, we were really keen to attend the Great North Gluten Free Fair – we’ve already got a big coeliac following and hope to introduce our sauces to even more people.
“Our two products, chunky Rustic Sweet Chilli Sauce and smooth Sweet Chilli Ketchup, are both gluten-free. These are made by reducing the sauce over a number of hours, instead of using thickening agents and additives, meaning that they are still full of flavour. The great thing about the sauces is that they’re so versatile – you can use them for everything, from dipping and drizzling to stir-frying, to give a gentle kick to any meal.”
You’ll also be able to try some of The Northumberland Sausage Company’s mouth-watering sausages at the Fair, which has flavours ranging from the classic to the unusual and exotic.
Claire Watson-Laney, Owner of the award-winning Wark-based business, said: “Our gluten-free range includes some of our best-sellers such as pork and chilli sizzler sausages, which we’ll be sampling at the Fair. We’d like our products to be available for everyone to enjoy, so we also take special orders for gluten-free versions of any of our flavours.
“Our regular sausage-making courses have proved very popular, and we want to make sure that coeliacs can come along and join in the fun. For any coeliacs that attend we always ensure that all of the ingredients provided are gluten-free.”
Many other great north producers and retailers will be at the Fair: the Northumberland Cheese Company, Allendale Brewery, Eliza Pepperpot and The French Oven just to name a few.
The Great North Gluten Free Fair will run from 10am to 4pm on 27th April at the CastleGate in Newcastle city centre. Entry costs £2 for adults and is free for children, and all attendees will receive a free muffin from Newburn Bakehouse by Warburtons.
You can buy tickets in advance from the TASTECLUB online gift store at www.tasteclubhq.com/products/great-north-gluten-free-fair, and you can keep up with the latest news on the event by visiting the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GreatNorthGlutenFreeFair.
We look forward to seeing you there for some tasty great north gluten-free food and drink!
Category: North East England Food