Back in December, I received some complimentary products from Shabtai Gourmet to sample and review on my blog, but first, a little excerpt from the Shabtai Gourmet website:
Shabtai Gourmet is committed to servicing individuals with multiple allergens by baking our cakes & cookies in an allergen free dedicated bakery. All of the ingredients that pass through our doors are Gluten Free, Casein Free, Lactose Free, Soy Free, and Dairy Free. We are certified Kosher for Passover and Kosher Parve – otherwise known as Dairy Free- by the OK Kosher Supervision. They oversee our production and ensure the highest quality of our products.
I added the boldface type in the above paragraph, because it is important to note that all of the products we sampled contained eggs and at least one of the products contained pecans so just be sure to read all of the ingredient labels and/or contact Shabtai Bakery with further questions before ordering.
I want to emphasize something before I write my review. One, I have a bias being a gluten-free cook. While I like to experiment in the kitchen with all sorts of substitutions, I only HAVE to be gluten-free, I have no other food alleriges or intolerances to restrict my baking options. I have long told friends that if I had to choose a dietary restriction to have, it would be gluten, no doubt. You think the gluten-free diet is hard? Imagine adding an egg, dairy, corn or soy allergy on top of it, those ingredients are in EVERYTHING, especially baked goods!
Having myself done quite a few baking experiments without the use of gluten, corn, dairy, eggs and soy, I know how HARD it is to produce an end product that comes anywhere close to “regular” baked goods with a moist crumb and an overall desirable texture. Not impossible, but hard. I have also witnessed first hand a child with Eosinophilic Esophagitis, where he was allergic to all but 11 foods (including all of the top 8 allergens). This was a child who would eat raw sweet potatoes, cut into strips, and pretend they were carrot sticks. He LOVED them! Would you ever eat a raw sweet potato? Probably not if you can eat carrots. But if you can only eat 11 foods, you think of all sorts of things to do with each food; we even made sweet potato puree popsicles a few times. This child reacted to sweet potato popsicles the same way most kids react to “cookies and cream” ice cream!
Anyway, my point is, the taste/acceptance of a particular food is highly influenced by the exposure your taste-buds have had to other ingredients and textures. So keep that in mind as you read my review of Shabtai Gourmet.
This is the Gluten-Free Raspberry Roll which is a thin sponge cake rolled up in raspberry jam, and sprinkled with coconut. The raspberry roll is gluten-free, casein-free, lactose-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free & peanut-free. This dessert was very moist but we thought it was a bit too sweet and I don’t care for coconut. Mike said it best, if he were at a party and this was on the dessert table, he would definitely have a small piece and that would satisfy his sweet tooth for the evening. A 12-ounce roll retails for $6.99. (This is a large roll, and can easily serve 4 – 6 people, if not more. The Raspberry Roll is also the same size as the Gluten-Free Swiss Chocolate Roll, so in case you thought the same thing I did, the answer is… No, the Swiss Chocolate Roll is not a gluten-free “Ho Ho” that you could throw in your child’s lunch box. 😉
This is the Gluten-Free Ring Ting Cupcake which is a chocolate cupcake loaded with white creme filling and covered in dark chocolate. I presume they are a spin on the Hostess Cupcakes, albeit an upside down version. The Ring Tings are gluten-free, casein-free, lactose-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free & peanut-free. The flavor of the Ring Ting Cupcakes is good, although we thought they were pretty dry. A package of 6 cupcakes retail for $8.60.
This is the Gluten-Free Meltaway Crumb Cookie which is a cinnamon, chocolate chip and pecan cookie that was inspired from the streusel crumb topping off of another dessert. The Meltaway Crumb Cookies are gluten-free, casein-free, lactose-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free & peanut-free. We thought they were okay, but a little on the dry side too. These would make for a great cookie pie crust though. A 12-ounce package is $7.99
These are the Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies. I have to say that these were our least favorite of all the products we sampled but I’m not convinced that the unusual appearance didn’t have a negative impact on our overall acceptance of the cookie (apparently, I am JUST LIKE a kindergartner in that regard! 😉 ). I have never had a chocolate chip cookie with all of the chocolate chips sitting on top of the cookie instead of being more evenly dispersed throughout the cookie. The chocolate chip cookies are gluten-free, casein-free, lactose-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free & peanut-free. A 10-ounce package retails for $7.80.
These are the Gluten-Free Brownie Bites, and we liked this product best of all the products we tried from Shabtai Gourmet. The flavor was good and the brownie was moist. A different type of package might be more suitable though, because they arrived a bit smushed:
The Brownie Bites are gluten-free, casein-free, lactose-free, soy-free, dairy-free, corn-free & peanut-free. A 12-ounce package retails for $6.89.
All-in-all, if you are looking for a convenient product that is not only gluten-free but dairy-free, soy-free, corn-free and peanut-free, then I would definitely recommend trying them to see for yourself. I may have not been the best person to review Shabtai Gourmet’s products due to that fact that I cook most things myself and I can bake with all the other ingredients that Shabtai Gourmet avoids using. I’ve included the links to a few other Shabtai Gourmet reviews on other blogs that I encourage you to read as well!