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Review-Living Without's gluten-free food allergy festival

Gluten-free Festival
Sarah Beach

Living without gluten-free festival


Over this last weekend in San Diego, Living Without magazine held a festival at the Town & Country convention center that was sponsored by Glutino. Living without magazine touts itself as “America’s #1 magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities.”

It wasn’t the easiest event to find once on the property-with little signage and direction-but once inside you could start to navigate your way to the actual event. Having been to many, many conventions in the past this was not high on the professional list, it seemed a little small and wasn’t marketed as well as you would expect.

However, once you were inside the actual event things took a turn for the better. Although not in what you would call a “large” room by convention standards, it seemed to fit the event at the end of it all. Really, how many samples can you eat no matter how much you want to try every little product put in front of you?

There were about four “rows” of station’s that ultimately formed a large square set-up for samples of everything from new pastas (some even made from peas or beans), breads, cookies, chips, pizza, soup and sauce mixes, and even beer tastings. There were even "tacos' made from nuts from a company named Nut Burgers that were better than they sounded.

Although familiar with most of the brands represented it was nice to be introduced to some new ones as well. Pizza samples which were particularly enticing came from a company named Smart Flour whose crust was really superior to most gluten-free pizza crusts. There were potato based tortillas from a company called Potapas, that had a surprisingly “floury” texture, and some goodies from a brand making its way out West called Kinnikinnick whose products run the gamut.

There were also a few gluten-free beer brands on hand to sample that were a very welcomed sight after stuffing down countless samples. Included beer makers included: Bard’s beer, Green’s beer and cider, New Planet which all had free samples and were very good. Gluten-free beer has come a long way in the last few years, not only in availability but also in variety and taste. Good news for those of you that had given up on finding one in your area that actually tasted like the beer you remember.

All in all Living Without put out a good experience for the gluten intolerant with vendors more than willing to explain the contents and availability of their products, new products that have barely made on the scene yet, and some favorites that may have been around a little longer but showing line extensions through new products.

Did you attend? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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