A couple of my friends have boarded the gluten-free train of late. I’m not sure what gluten is, nor exactly why it’s bad for you. I just know you hear a lot about it. It’s sort of like that commercial that used to air every 12 minutes about “high fructose corn syrup.” I wasn’t sure why corn syrup suddenly became some evil entity in our diets, but there it was. I’m pretty sure I have high fructose corn syrup in my blood, anyway.
This is because I was raised on bacon and beef, whole milk, wheat flour, sugar, fried food, and gluten-full foods and yet I enjoy wonderful health. Other than a little extra weight I carry (likely due to that life-long love affair with all types of potato chips), I have had every medical test created and I’m lucky and happy to report that I have no food allergies and all my body parts are working as they should. Given my age.
That said, I decided I would try to support my friends and family who have sensitivities to wheat, sugar, and lactose. I’ve learned to create a number of low fat, low carb, and low sugar snacks and dishes to take to family gatherings. The gluten-free foods were not my priority, but when one of my besties said she was sworn off gluten, I decided I would try to create a dish to take to her house next time we got together.
I found an organic cracker (let me digress to ask, just what in the heck is an “organic” cracker? How do crackers become organic? Is there a cracker tree of which I’m unaware?). Anyway, I found one. It’s organic and, among other things, gluten-free. The box advertised that it was a cheese cracker. It also said that these crackers contained no artificial flavors, preservatives, trans fat, or high fructose corn syrup. I’m sure all that is true. What’s also true were things that weren’t included in the packaging advertisement. For example, it failed to mention that no actual cheese was used in the making of these cheese crackers. That wouldn’t have been possible, because these crackers had no lactose, no dairy of any kind and of course, no gluten.
The box also failed to mention that these crackers had no taste. None. In fact, I could have gone to my back yard, pulled some bark from a hackberry tree, and chopped it into cracker-sized pieces. This would not only have saved me three dollars and seventy-nine cents, but would also have given me “crackers” with some flavor.
So I had this box of starchy, non-gluten crackers. The good news is that our dog found them quite delightful. Of course, this is a creature that eats sticks for fun and doesn’t actually chew something much before swallowing.
I deeply feel for anyone who has a true gluten problem. I’m sure there are many tasty foods out there for you. Olives and mustard, for example. I recommend staying away from the crackers, though. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sue is a retired public servant who volunteers at a local elementary school and Hospice and keeps busy taking care of house, husband, son, and pets. She lives just outside of Troy, Ohio.