Mark Ladner and Thomas Keller have dedicated themselves to creating a wide variety of gluten-free dishes for diners who suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease or who just want to avoid the protein. Keller produces gluten-free flour that Ladner uses to make fresh pasta that tastes just as good as the original dishes without sacrificing flavor or texture.
Wegmans Food Markets is highlighting gluten-free products with in-store tastings and online recipes during May, which is Celiac Awareness Month. "Many of the most popular foods you can think of -- bread, pizza, pasta, cakes, cookies -- are traditionally made with wheat flour and are, therefore, off-limits in a gluten-free diet," Wegmans nutritionist Trish Kazacos said. "But over the last decade, new gluten-free versions have reached grocery shelves, and some taste so good you'd really never know the difference."
More restaurants are starting to implement gluten-free menus as a marketing tool, and The Gluten Intolerance Group is sponsoring a Gluten-Free Restaurant Awareness Program. One Missouri woman has created an online forum for celiac patients that includes a gluten-free restaurant list and a list of retail stores with gluten-free products.
The sales of "free-from" food products, such as dairy-free and gluten-free goods, grew 327% from 2000 to 2005, according to a new report by Mintel. The company predicts sales will double again by 2010.