Taste Test: Gluten-Free Dumplings from Feel Good Foods
|Despite the recent explosion in availability of gluten-free products, Chinese dumplings have remained largely off limits for those with gluten intolerance -- until now. Feel Good Foods, a San Francisco-based company, is manufacturing and selling a line of gluten-free, frozen dumplings.|
Out of the four varieties (pork, chicken, vegetable, and shrimp) of potsticker-style dumplings, we favored the pork. Reminiscent of what you might find at a reputable Chinese restaurant, the filling is seasoned with just the right amounts of ginger, scallion, and garlic. The rice-and-potato-based dough was thicker than a traditional wrapper made with wheat flour. When cooked properly, it had great texture and chewiness.
The cooking instructions are quite particular, and we urge you to check out the company's video instructions before attempting your first batch, or you might end up with a sticky, gooey mess. SFoodie also found that steaming the dumplings and then pan-frying in oil produced great results.
Co-owner Vanessa Phillips worked as a server at NYC's Punch restaurant, but she rarely ate the staff meal prepared by Sous Chef Tryg Siverson. When the CIA-trained chef one day asked Vanessa why she never ate his food, she explained that she had Celiac disease and had to avoid gluten. The following day, Tryg prepared a meal made entirely from gluten-free ingredients. It was there that the gluten-free love story began.
Eventually Vanessa and Tryg left Punch to open Friedman's Lunch, a restaurant in NYC's Chelsea Market that caters to gluten-free diners. Then the pair became focused on bringing gluten-free products to the retail market. In the fall of 2010, they blindly sent a few plastic bags of gluten-free dumplings to the North Atlantic regional buyer of Whole Foods Market. Within a few weeks, they got notification that 27 Whole Foods on the East Coast would take the dumplings. In 2011 Tryg and Vanessa sold their stake in Friedman's and moved Feel Good Foods to San Francisco.
The dumplings are being sold at Andronico's and will be available at local Whole Foods stores as soon as next month. They're also in the process of introducing gluten-free egg rolls to the product line.
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