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Old 12-15-2015, 10:11 AM
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Default Thread of DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

I offered one of my lecturers a brownie the other day, and he was all "well I'd like one, but I'm a coeliac". I've never had to bake for dietary requirements before, not even vegetarian. Is anyone here sensitive to particular ingredients? If I make a coeliac friendly cake in the same room as one with flour will I kill him? I'd like that not to happen. I don't know if this is like nut allergies where it's a hypersensitive thing.

Also, there seem to be numerous options for gluten free alternatives. I've been given gluten free flour (this is out of date, is this now totally unusable? or is it a store cupboard type off-but-can-be-used thing?) and maize flour, but I've seen almond as a popular substitute too. Is one better than the other? I don't know where to start tbh.

PS do you have any coeliac friendly brownie recipes?
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:17 AM
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I offered one of my lecturers a brownie the other day, and he was all "well I'd like one, but I'm a coeliac". I've never had to bake for dietary requirements before, not even vegetarian. Is anyone here sensitive to particular ingredients? If I make a coeliac friendly cake in the same room as one with flour will I kill him? I'd like that not to happen. I don't know if this is like nut allergies where it's a hypersensitive thing.
Lactose intolerant here. Was talking about this just yesterday on another thread. I think that these allergies/sensitivities get blown out of proportion sometimes, especially nut allergies. My kid's school makes this huge deal out of no one bringing any peanut products for lunch because some kid has a peanut allergy, and even being in the same cafeteria room with a PB&J will kill him, etc. etc. Yet there's a peanut field right across the street. How does that not kill him stone dead?

Re: flours, masa ("maize flour") is good stuff, although I've never thought of using it for sweet dishes like brownies, just savory stuff.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:23 AM
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I don't know how much you know about Celiac disease (I'm an expert), but I'd honestly advise you not to bother. You say that you've never had to cook for dietary requirements before, and Celiac is starting out in hard mode. I have family members who still fucked it up due to oversights after doing it for years (my ex-wife was a Celiac). Preparing gluten-free food is a perilous minefield, and unless you're prepared to scrub down your kitchen and individually check/research every ingredient carefully (which might involve contacting manufacturers), you'd best not bother, as cross-contamination is very difficult to avoid and absolutely relevant. And even if you are willing to go to great lengths, there's a good chance that you'll be inconveniencing him, since, to his mind, it'll be likely that you've screwed up and he'll have to weigh that likelihood against rudeness.

As for how he'll react: no, you won't kill him. Every Celiac is different, but it's not as severe and immediate as, say, a nut allergy, although it can have a variety of unpleasant physical and neurological reactions. Mostly you'd just be f*cking up his intestinal villi, but you could also be giving him rashes, headaches, gut pain, or a bout of depression.

ETA:
Or he could be one of the many people who claim to be Celiac these days because avoiding gluten is trendy (not to be confused with gluten intolerance, which is distinct from Celiac but is absolutely a real thing), but I'd prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Oh, and all of the above being said: my favourite gluten-free cakes were made with beans. I don't even like beans all that much, but my ex-wife's bean cakes were delicious (in fact, if anything, they were richer/moister than a normal cake), and I'd have never known that there was anything different about them if I hadn't seen her make them.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:40 AM
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Oh right, see my coeliac friend sort of implied that it wasn't quite that drastic that I'd cause actual harm if I made my own stuff. The guy mentioned that his wife had a go at making him cake and stuff, so I didn't get the impression it was impossible. That said, I obviously don't want to take a risk, so I could always just buy him some sort of certified ready made cake. :/

Quote:
Re: flours, masa ("maize flour") is good stuff, although I've never thought of using it for sweet dishes like brownies, just savory stuff.
Got any recipe ideas for it? Savoury or otherwise, I'd like to branch out.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by MooMoo View Post
I could always just buy him some sort of certified ready made cake.
I don't know if things are different over there, but that's likely harder than you think. The only gluten-free baking I could ever find was from an actual Celiac who started up her own local baking business (FYI, her cupcakes are delicious). And even if you do find something on a shelf, it's likely to have a "not suitable for Celiacs" in the fine print, because there's gluten-free, and then there's gluten-free (the earlier is for trend dieters, and the latter is for Celiacs/intolerants). Even the certification thing is a bit muddy, as we have a few different kind of amateurish certification bodies (in North America, at least), and they all have different testing methods and standards that are the subject of some discussion.

I really know way too much about this, and it's never going to be useful to me. :-/
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:48 AM
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Got any recipe ideas for it? Savoury or otherwise, I'd like to branch out.
Tortillas, cornbread. Masa is good in chili or other heavy stews if you want them thicker and mo' tastier.

Re: sweet stuff, I just remembered atole and champurrado. Those are sweet Mexican drinks that I'm pretty sure have masa in them.

This is all assuming you have the really fine Mexican-style corn flour called "masa harina". American corn meal is more coarsely ground and does not make good tortillas. Makes good cornbread, though!
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:49 AM
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I'm certain my ex-wife did some baking with masa harina, but I'm drawing a blank as to what. I recall that she had to jump through some hoops to get it. I think I might even still have some in my cupboard.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:52 AM
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I don't know if things are different over there, but that's likely harder than you think. The only gluten-free baking I could ever find was from an actual Celiac who started up her own local baking business (FYI, her cupcakes are delicious). And even if you do find something on a shelf, it's likely to have a "not suitable for Celiacs" in the fine print, because there's gluten-free, and then there's gluten-free (the earlier is for trend dieters, and the latter is for Celiacs/intolerants). Even the certification thing is a bit muddy, as we have a few different kind of amateurish certification bodies (in North America, at least), and they all have different testing methods and standards that are the subject of some discussion.
I haven't found it as hard as you're describing to find store-bought gluten free stuff, but then I'm also in a much bigger city than you are. Definitely, you want to buy only from a 100% gluten free bakery (ones that sell both are very hard to guard against contamination) and do some research to see if they really know what baking for celiacs / gluten intolerances means.
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Old 12-15-2015, 10:55 AM
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Oh, another drink with corn flour, this time Ecuadorean. Colada morada. It's really good! This appears to be an adapted recipe that leaves out the exotic tropical fruits like babaco that you can't get outside of parts of South America.

http://laylita.com/recipes/2011/10/18/colada-morada/
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Old 12-15-2015, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I don't know if things are different over there, but that's likely harder than you think. The only gluten-free baking I could ever find was from an actual Celiac who started up her own local baking business (FYI, her cupcakes are delicious). And even if you do find something on a shelf, it's likely to have a "not suitable for Celiacs" in the fine print, because there's gluten-free, and then there's gluten-free (the earlier is for trend dieters, and the latter is for Celiacs/intolerants). Even the certification thing is a bit muddy, as we have a few different kind of amateurish certification bodies (in North America, at least), and they all have different testing methods and standards that are the subject of some discussion.

I really know way too much about this, and it's never going to be useful to me. :-/
As you say, "gluten free" is a pretty big fad in the UK at the moment, but of course I'll read the fine print and such. I think I might just go for it, make him something, do my best to avoid contaminants, offer him them and if he think eating it might make him die he can give them away. That way I get the gesture of giving stuff still and he can decide himself. I see him in Starbucks a lot so I'm presuming with them having bread in the shop he's at least not sensitive to the point where he has to avoid wheat-containing environments.
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Old 12-15-2015, 12:02 PM
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Gluten/dairy allergic here. And vegan. I am everyone's favourite.

Once I am home I can share some recipes that I have tried.

Different people have different levels of tolerance. Cross-contamination is not a big deal for my allergies, it barely triggers them. Celiac often must be dedicated safe space for cooking/everything. I would check with your recipient how sensitive he is, that way you can gauge how careful you've got to be.
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Old 12-15-2015, 03:11 PM
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I'm basically gonna make them and make it VERY explicit that I DO NOT WANT HIM TO DIE so he is under no obligation to eat them.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:29 AM
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I'm lactose intolerant, but only a little. It's weird. I can eat pretty much any dairy food all right in moderation (I still react if I eat a loooot of butter/cheese/ice cream/whatnot), but if I drink any regular milk? It's all over. End of the line. No bueno.

This is okay for me because I like lactose-free milks and can still have other dairy without much hassle.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:38 AM
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After 2 years without dairy, I eagerly started eating cheese again, but I never did start drinking regular milk again, because I had no desire to. Milk sucks. Almond Breeze 4 lyfe.
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Old 12-18-2015, 10:50 AM
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Almond Breeze 4 lyfe.
Seriously. I was surprised at how much I liked the stuff when I started drinking it. Any thoughts on the various flavors? I've only ever tried Original-Unsweetened. I've never tried the vanilla-flavored one or the sweetened one.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:02 AM
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It's not so very hard to do gluten-free baking. The level of isolation that JBear is describing is, I think, only necessary for a small minority of those afflicted. With most, if you bake using gluten free flour from any ol' supermarket or Trader Joe's (Bob's Red Mill has a GF flour), you're fine. There are a few ingredients you won't be used to using, like Xantham gum, but it's not that hard.

If you're looking to make a sweet dessert, almond flour is pretty great. It's not a straight swap for wheat flour, but it has a great flavour and crumbly texture that goes really well with a variety of dishes.

Sometimes swapping terminology works. My partner is allergic to cow whey (rather than lactose intolerant), so when we're looking for recipes that don't use cow milk it helps to look up Vegan recipes, because that's a more common requirement and there are a lot of recipes out there. If you want to go gluten-free, then searching for "Paleo" can help.
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:02 AM
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Any thoughts on the various flavors?
Depends on what I'm using it for. I prefer having sweetened vanilla with my cereal (very plain cereals, mind), and the original unsweetened for cooking. Just for drinking, I don't know that I've settled on a favourite, but I probably get the original unsweetened most often. The chocolate's nice on occasion just to mix things up, but it's probably my least favourite (for context, though, I don't really like chocolate milk either).
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Old 12-18-2015, 11:32 AM
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It's not so very hard to do gluten-free baking. The level of isolation that JBear is describing is, I think, only necessary for a small minority of those afflicted.
I'm going to try very hard to moderate myself here, because I can feel my ex-wife (who got banned from the Celiac.com message boards for being too combative) talking through me, and ugh, but a lot of even Celiacs don't take the proper level of care. Just because they're minimizing their intake to the point that they feel better doesn't mean that their gut flora are cool with it and that they're not doing long-term harm to themselves. Like, some Celiacs think it's fine to "cheat" and have a sandwich like they're on a friggin' weight-loss diet or something, which is just ridiculous (that's not to pass judgment on people who have a moment of weakness, as there's no question that it's a difficult diet, but rather criticism of the flippant disregard I sometimes see). Research is still ongoing, but most studies find that a Celiac needs to intake less than 100mg a day (80mg is about the highest I've seen, and 10mg the lowest) to avoid damaging their small intestine, and taken in aggregate over several meals a day, it doesn't take much to exceed that amount. There's been some debate over where the WHO should set their thresholds for a food to be considered gluten-free, but I think it's at < 20PPM ATM, which could still add up to almost 10mg taken over a full day's worth of food, and those are the foods which are certified, which anything prepared in a kitchen which hasn't been properly cleaned or something prepared in an environment where cross-contamination is likely would almost certainly not be.

All of that being said, the far greater concern in gluten-free baking is just screwing up due to an oversight and including an ingredient that explicitly contains gluten, because people don't realize how many things gluten is in.

John Pinette says it best:


It really is in everything.
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Old 12-18-2015, 12:17 PM
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The allergen-free bakery where I used to work made a gluten-free flour blend out of brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, and xanthan gum. The gum does the "make this shit stick together when I bake with it" job normally held by gluten proteins.

It was three pounds each of the rice flours, two pounds potato starch, a pound of tapioca starch, and four and a half tablespoons of Xanthan gum. That's a bulk recipe, obviously, scale as necessary. It does a sorta-okay job in replacing all-purpose flour in recipes, inasfar as there's no way to make normally-glutenous gluten-free cooking not taste like damp cardboard.

I've still got the recipes from the place, if anyone wants chocolate cake or pumpkin muffins or snickerdoodles or whatever.
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Old 12-18-2015, 09:28 PM
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I've tried cashew milk a couple times recently and have really enjoyed it. I always feel almond milk has a bit of a gritty taste to it, cashew is just creamy.
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Old 12-19-2015, 05:30 AM
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Good news! I made some brownies using ground almonds and not only did they taste better than my regular brownies but the person I baked them for seemed pretty pleased by them too. He didn't actually eat them in front of me so I've no evidence to suggest that he is not currently keeled over, but from what he was telling me the recipe would have been fine. I also sterilised the hell out of my surfaces and equipment, so they're probably the most sterile brownies in existence (yum -__-). We had a chat about gluten and the xantham gum stuff, so that was interesting.

The brownie texture wasn't very cakey with the lack of flour, it turned out more like a sort of pudding square, almost like torte filling or something. That's my only criticism, but it was still good.
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Old 02-09-2017, 01:03 PM
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Q: I looked on the back of my lactose free mature cheddar, and it says "most mature cheddar is naturally lactose free, but we double check" or something. As someone mentioned elsewhere, most hard cheeses are low or free from lactose, so am I being duped by buying lactose free mature cheddar when it would have been ok anyway?
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:11 AM
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It's time for a Major Life Change! My son has ASD with a possibility of ADHD and my girlfriend has been having digestion issues for the last year, so we're going on a restrictive diet featuring absolutely no gluten/lactose/casein and reduced soy. We're going to try it for a while (at least a month, maybe up to several months) to see what, if any, effect it has on them. After that, we'll try reintroducing elements one by one to see if any changes we observed are really due to the dietary restrictions.

Suffice to say, it's a huge change to go from eating whatever to trying to eliminate even trace amounts of gluten and all things cow. We have a small amount of experience in this already because one of my friends is celiac and extremely careful about what he eats, and I've been cooking for him on occasion for a few years now. But converting everything we eat over to this diet is a really stressful process and explaining to a 5-year-old that he can't have milk or pizza for at least a month is pretty tough.

In order to keep out trace elements, we've made the following changes:

- We bought a breadmaker to make gluten-free (and ONLY gluten-free bread). First batch was a success! Although the boy wasn't enraptured with it.
- We bought a new toaster, since it's basically impossible to de-gluten a used toaster
- I've ordered a bunch of spice jars from McCormick, who are considered to be good about keeping wheat out of their products
- I'm considering the purchase of a new barbeque grill, because the one we have now would be effectively impossible to clean
- We've bought a whole range of GF/dairy-free breads and snacks to try and find ones that our son will eat
- We're probably going to buy a waffle maker, since I usually make pancakes for breakfast on the weekend and I don't think that GF pancakes will pass muster with the kid
- We're abandoning milk and cheese for the forseeable future
- It's probably time to buy a new strainer, since we'll never be able to clean our existing ones

The changeover has been all-consuming for the last few days and I'm really looking forward to a few weeks from now, once we've figured out some of our food replacements and don't have to think about every little thing we eat. This week is going to our trial run, where we allow for a bit of contamination to squeak through while we get the supplies we need to go completely clean. But we're already fully gluten/casein free for 2/3 of our meals and the other 1/3 is mostly contamination from old spices and kitchen utensils. I'm heartened by how much we've managed to change over just a few days, but I'm also stressed out by the process and I can't focus on my work right now (hence this post). I can take comfort in the fact that I'm allowed to cheat, since I'm not actually trying the diet myself, but organizing everything for the family for the next few months is going to take a lot of effort.

On the bright side, I've learned how to make really good gluten-free beer. And since my girlfriend enjoys it and wants to be gluten-free, she has to give me time to brew it! Just...not for the next few days, since we've got enough on our plate right now (JOKE).
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
We're probably going to buy a waffle maker, since I usually make pancakes for breakfast on the weekend and I don't think that GF pancakes will pass muster with the kid
YMMV, but my ex-wife used to make buckwheat pancakes with blueberries and I always thought that they were delicious.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:43 AM
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YMMV, but my ex-wife used to make buckwheat pancakes with blueberries and I always thought that they were delicious.
I can already tell you that my son would view buckwheat pancakes as THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL*. We're going with waffles for now because he isn't so familiar with them, so any differences fly more easily under the radar. We got a mix from a company called l'Angélique, based in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, and it was pretty tasty. Pancakes are not completely out of the question, but I know that buckwheat won't go over well, especially because my son eats them plain. He won't even try maple syrup!

*I am very proud of my classic wheat pancakes and we eat them almost every week.
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
My son has ASD with a possibility of ADHD and my girlfriend has been having digestion issues for the last year, so we're going on a restrictive diet featuring absolutely no gluten/lactose/casein and reduced soy.
What is ASD?

And is there really a link between gluten and ADHD?
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:31 AM
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What is ASD?

And is there really a link between gluten and ADHD?
ASD is autism spectrum disorder. And depending on who you ask, there is a link between gluten and everything. I'm a very skeptical person, and all the science around this stuff seems very fuzzy right now, but we don't have much to lose by trying. We're going to document our son's behaviour as much as possible and then try reintroducing foods to see if there's actually a link between his diet and the way he acts. At the same time, my girlfriend has been having stomach issues and wants to see if she might be intolerant to any of this stuff, so we're kind of killing two birds with one stone. But I'm not the type to be dogmatic about our diet unless I see real evidence that it's working. Mostly, I hope that this change will allow my son to concentrate better, since he swings wildly between pretty focused and completely spaced out depending on the day/time.

I'm also REALLY REALLY hoping that we find that dairy isn't a problem, because life without cheese is kind of inconceivable to me.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
I'm also REALLY REALLY hoping that we find that dairy isn't a problem, because life without cheese is kind of inconceivable to me.
FWIW, I used to think that way, but I went a couple of years without and got pretty used to it. Daiya cheese helped a lot:



I also really liked their pizzas. In fact, I still do, but I don't buy them anymore because they're too expensive.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:51 AM
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I think my girlfriend bought some of that stuff? Glad to know you like it, I'll have to try it out. The color may be an issue, though. My son is already a picky eater and he's used to aged cheddar in his grilled cheeses - he has been known to refuse an orange grilled cheese. But maybe he'll soften up after a week or two.

If their pizzas are good, then I'll buy one no matter how much it costs. Assuming they're gluten free, that is.
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Old 06-13-2017, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
I think my girlfriend bought some of that stuff? Glad to know you like it, I'll have to try it out. The color may be an issue, though. My son is already a picky eater and he's used to aged cheddar in his grilled cheeses - he has been known to refuse an orange grilled cheese. But maybe he'll soften up after a week or two.
Honestly, I didn't love it at first, but it quickly grew on me. It's... oily. I love it now, though. I used to buy blocks of it and cut off and eat pieces like it was a block of cheddar. It's different, but still good.

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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
If their pizzas are good, then I'll buy one no matter how much it costs. Assuming they're gluten free, that is.
Yeah, they are:

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