Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Upper Crust - Important Find!

I've never really been an early adopter of anything, and though I try to keep abreast of the goings on in coeliac world, this ground-breaking product passed me by for a little while. It wasn't until my dad, bless him, sent me an article about the lady who made her millions from selling a humble loaf of bread to Starbucks (remember this part, it could be life-changing).

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne is the inventor of Genuis bread, a new, fresh bread range for coeliacs. She has a lot of empathy for coeliacs as her son is a sufferer, so she spent months hidden away in her kitchen developing a bread that he and the rest of the coeliac community could enjoy.

According to the Starbucks website "As part of our health and wellness strategy, we...offer delicious products which are gluten-free, wheat-free, vegetarian or vegan." Imagine how much easier life will be when GF options will be available in one of the biggest fast food chains in the country. There are over 500 branches of Starbucks in the UK, and God knows how many all over the world. The nightmare of grabbing something to eat when you're in a strange town or haven't been organised enough to bring your own snacks (i.e. me) is over!

I have yet to sample Starbucks' GF offerings, but have tried Genius bread at home. I like to put products through their paces, partiularly when they have the guile to name themselves 'Genius', so I tried it 3 different ways:

1. Toast and Jam
I went for the granary, ready sliced loaf and decided to pop my g-bread cherry via the simple snack experience. I literally toasted a couple of slices (including the 'end' bit - not wasting anything at £2.89 a loaf!), buttered them and popped a bit of jam on in case I needed to cover up the taste a bit. Apart from being a bit drier than normal toast, I couldn't tell the difference. The 'end' bit wasn't as nice as the thinner slice so I didn't finish it.

2. Chip Butty
You can take the girl out of Manchester... A solid Mancunian staple and one sorely missed since I waved bye bye to my floury arch-enemy. To me, this is the ultimate acid test. I bought some chips from the local takeaway, buttered a couple of slices and whacked on the ketchup. It was magnificent. It tasted like heaven. The only draw back was that it fell apart a bit, but luckily graceful eating isn't required whilst sat watching QI on the sofa.

3. Sunday Breakkie
Poached egg and bacon on TOAST. Not a part-baked, clumsy GF roll, TOAST! My worry this time was that it's soggy accompaniments would cause the bread to disentergrate, but I was pleasantly surprised as it stayed intact and tasty.

So. Genius bread gets the thumbs up. The only major drawback is the price. It's not cheap at almost £3 a loaf. I bought mine from Sainsbury's and haven't seen it sold elsewhere as yet. It's designed for daily consumption but it's not really an affordable option for many. Gluten intolerance isn't reserved for the wealthy so why should the products be? I'm not a coeliac, I'm just intolerant to wheat so don't qualify for prescription food, but it's worth checking if you can get some financial assistance. For me, this will just be a weekend treat every now and again.

Right, I'm off to dust off the toast rack.



  1. Thank you SO much for this, I raced straight off to buy some and am very pleased I did so as it is so delicious! Thanks again :) sarahkennedy75@ymail.com