Goldbaum’s: “The name in tasty Gluten Free Food!”

“The name in tasty Gluten Free Food!” is their slogan, and they mean it! I met Joel from Goldbaum’s at the Central PA Gluten Free Expo, and gave him my blog card. I heard from them not long after the expo, and later received a sample box from them. I had tried their cocoa sugar cones before (YUM!) but many of their products are not available where I live. That always makes these boxes a particularly special treat.

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Chow Mein Noodles: I had no idea these existed in gluten-free land! I’ve used chow mein noodles in the past, in all sorts of typical (and some not so much) fashion, but once I went gluten free, gave up the idea of ever eating them again. I don’t think it even occurred to me to look for them.

This isn’t an easy to sample product, since as all my blind taste testers agreed, it’s not really something you would just dig into for a snack, but all agreed it would be great for soup. I used to use La Choy Chow Mein Noodles (full of wheat, so don’t use these), to make Harry Potter themed cockroach clusters for the kids at the high school I used to work at, and they were always a big hit.

I can’t remember what gluten-full Chow Mein noodles tasted like, so I can’t really compare the two for you. Although  there is only 33mg sodium per 1 ounce of noodles, I found them to have a salty flavor, but not an off putting one (which is sometimes the case when salt is noticeable in the taste and you don’t expect it to be). They were crunchy/crispy and offer no noticeable aftertaste.

Based on that, I believe that these could work well in any dish in which you needed Chow Mein Noodles.  Luckily, they sent me two packages.

The Goldbaum ones are thicker, and they wouldn’t look so much like legs, but I think they have potential for a more cartoonish version of the same treat. If it works out, I will share photos and my recipe on Gluten Free & Tasty: Plus!. We’re also hoping to make some Asian cuisine again in the (hopefully near) future, and I definitely plan to figure out a way to use these in a regular entree. I shall share my results!

Has anyone else tried their Chow Mein noodles? If so, what did you think? What were your results?

Brown Rice Pasta: Even as I try to eat healthier, pasta always draws me back. I love pasta so much, that, when growing up, if no one was available to make me spaghetti, I’d get a handful of Mueller’s (not gluten free, didn’t know about gluten then), uncooked spaghetti out of the box, and set it into a mug of water until it got chewy, and eat it that way. I’ve made baked mac & cheese with a variety of different pastas, and I’m always excited when I see a new (or new-to-me) GF pasta on the shelf at the store. So, of course, I squealed when pulled this out of the box! Here is what it looks like (complete with homemade pasta sauce!). Golbaums GF Pasta

T liked this pasta a lot, and plans to eat the rest of package (we only cooked a little bit of it for the review). I found the texture a little rubbery, and the brown rice flavor a bit strong for my preference. If you really like brown rice, you will probably really like this pasta. I also think it has potential for a dish where you have a lot of other ingredients, and you’re currently using GF pasta that tends to fall apart. This pasta is very sturdy! It was even difficult to break in half to put into our pot! We’ve had other rice-based pasta (like Ronzoni), that turn back into rice-sized pieces after cooking!

Cocoa Sugar Cones: Chocolate and crispy, pointy sugar cone, all rolled into one. Who could say no? I got used to eating cake cones (which Goldbaum’s also offers), because for the longest time, they were the only GF ice cream cone I could find. But sugar cones were always my thing. Cocoa Sugar Cones are nothing short of awesome. The wonderful sugar cone taste and texture you remember from childhood combined with a delicate, yet definite chocolate flavor; pure bliss. They are every bit the sugar cone I remember from my pre-GF days. Nice and crunchy at the start, still retaining some crunchiness throughout the life of the ice cream (i.e., they don’t crumble in your hand), and that nice softness at the bottom, as you suck the last bits of ice cream out of the bottom of the cone before licking your fingers clean!

Desert Cups: This was a definite novelty item for me, as I never had one of these in my entire life. It made me think of banana splits when I saw this item in my box. Since there are no gluten free ice creams available where I live, we have to make our own (both dairy and dairy-free varieties), which means ice cream eating experiences are often few and far between.The expo was also in the fall, and not really ice cream weather for us, so we put these in a nice, cool cupboard to help them stay fresh, until warmer weather came around again.

However, the cups are not anywhere near as large as the photo on the box lead me to believe.  Definitely no banana splits fitting in these (or even a regular adult size portion)! But I think they would be perfect for people who only want a small serving, or for kids that you want to only have a small serving!

Despite it being mid-May, our temperatures have dropped back to the 30-50 range, so making ice cream didn’t pan out. I decided to eat one plain so I could tell you how it tastes. It says there is cocoa powder and vanillin in these. I don’t taste the cocoa, even though it is higher up the list, but I definitely smell and taste the vanilla! These are sturdy little cups.

Texture is that of cake cones (as opposed to the crunchier, pointy sugar cones), and like any cone, I’m sure it’s better once it has soaked up some lovely ice cream, but it’s still very nice when eaten plain! Nice, light flavor which I don’t believe would detract from the ice cream at all, and no odd aftertaste (which plagues many items, gluten free or otherwise). (And they don’t stick in my teeth, either!)

Before I could post this review, temperatures went back up to great weather for ice cream, but we couldn’t find heavy cream or heavy whipping cream without carrageenan and other additives, so I tried something else. I’d made a batch of my Special Dark pudding, and it set-up very nicely. I spooned the last of the pudding into one of the dessert cups.

Pure Bliss.

This was better than ice cream because it didn’t come with brain freeze. I could enjoy the light flavor and wonderful texture of the desert cup while also savoring the rich chocolate at the same time. And pudding doesn’t melt so the cup didn’t get soggy either. I may have to try this with the sugar cones!

Flatbread Crisps: These came in French Onion and Just Salt.

Both these flavors were enjoyed by my taste testers and myself. And what impresses me even more is that I opened the packages (received one of each) last year. They had a closure tab, but we all know that even with that, food usually gets stale after a few weeks.

These are not a bit stale. They taste and feel just as fresh as when I first started sampling all the goodies that Goldbaum’s sent me. (Being just two of us, unless I can round up additional taste testers around town, going through a sample box can often take us awhile.)

These are delicious. I wish I’d remembered I’d had them when we had company this past weekend. Our friend was wanting crackers and I think these would have gone above and beyond her expectations.

The Just Salt is fairly salty: 138mg per serving size (2 crisps) but they do not taste salty, and in fact have a hint of sweetness to them (sugar is an ingredient), yet I think they would go with any topping you have handy.

French Onion is heavenly to my taste buds. I can’t tell you how much I miss being able to pick up a tub of French Onion dip at the store. I can’t find it without some form of MSG, among other bad ingredients, so I gave up hope of ever having it again. With these crisps, I don’t need the dip. All that flavor is packed in. Sodium content is slightly higher at 144mg per 2 crisps, but for an occasional treat, I can live with that.

Both of these flatbread crisps would be great to set out on trays at get-togethers. No one will know they’re gluten free (and GMO and trans fat free!).

Quinoa Crisps: Received BBQ, Onion/Garlic, and Multigrain.

All of the crisps were judged to be delicious, especially the BBQ (which is often a difficult flavor to get just the right balance of spice and flavor). Goldbaum’s comes through with more than one taster exclaiming, “Mmmmmm! That’s good!”.  The multigrain is nice and nutty, and the onion/garlic has a really nice flavor (“Ooh, I like that!”) It was noted that you will definitely want water with the crisps though.

Mini Croutons: 

An interesting flavor, but one that will keep you coming back for more. I haven’t had the chance to try these in soup yet, but I can definitely see that they would be a pleasing addition. I’ll admit that when I was little, I used to sneak the Pepperidge Farm croutons out of the cupboard, and eat them straight out of the box! If you’re looking for that traditional Italian-herb flavor, you won’t find it in these, but if you’re open to a new type of crouton, with a definite but tasty undertone of egg flavor, these are for you. (I’ve been eating them straight out of the box too.)

 

Bottom line? You can’t go wrong with Goldbaum’s. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry any of their products, you need to change that! 🙂