Love authentic Italian? You’re in for a treat

Recently I visited a local Italian place, The Sovranno Caffe, a wonderful little place and well worth a visit.

Surrounded by the melodious tones of tunes from the 1950s and sips from  a Nutella enhanced mocha I was reminded me how much Italians care about their food. (It was the mocha that convinced me.)

If you take a quick look at the organic company Organico they will show you the same thing.

The ethical company have a huge range of Italian and Mediterranean delicacies: garlic sauces, pasta sauces, artichokes, balsamic vinegar, capers, olives, grissini, sun dried tomatoes, pickled chillis… the list goes on.

organic pasta
You’re in for a treat

But it’s the organic pasta that impresses me the most. Organico make big bags of artisanal pasta – that means the pasta is made by hand. You can see the quality just by looking at it.

If you’re a fan of pasta you’ll recognise names like Conchiglie, Fusilli, Amorosi, Strozzpreti, Pacchari, Orecciette. These refer to the Italians’ ingenious and expressive love of small and large pasta shapes.

In the end The Sovranno Caffe and Organico have some great things in common, above all, they’re not afraid of authenticity and integrity, and that will win them friends everywhere.


At last, a gluten free spaghetti that tastes like spaghetti. “I adore it”

Check out this review of La Buona Vita pasta…

“At last a spaghetti that tastes like spaghetti. I adore it”

la buona vita
Some say the best gluten free pasta by far…

or this…

“We all love this pasta… It has great taste and texture and is by far the nicest gluten free pasta I have found in the market place. We like our pasta al dente and this cooks beautifully along with whatever sauce combination you prefer… This will be on my shopping list weekly for the whole family!!”

With so many options for gluten free pasta out there it’s great to have one that speaks for itself.

Another reviewer went into good technical detail about La Buona Vita’s spaghetti saying that it never sticks together or breaks up like normal gluten free spaghetti  but holds its shape. Best of all… “my mum didn’t realise it was gluten free!”

La Buona Vita boast that key research and a love for good pasta has led to the creation of this succesful staple. Their gluten-free pastas are made with a special formulation and production process, developed to ensure consumers can enjoy the same high quality pasta in a gluten-free version. Made only with easily digestible, gluten free flours from maize and rice, la Buona Vita does not contain eggs or lactose, just reputedly the best free from pasta around.

Gluten, egg or dairy free meals for kids? Bob can fix it!

If your child has a food intolerance, then educating them about food couldn’t be more important.

gluten free kid's pasta
For kids with food intolerance – Bob can fix it

Involving children in the cooking process is a great way to help them learn about food generally and gluten free or dairy free food specifically.

Fun Foods have gluten, egg and dairy free Bob The Builder pasta shapes to help with the transition from a destructive diet to intolerance aware mealtimes.

It’s organic, 100% natural and there’s a pasta sauce to match too.

Ideal for any child who needs a bit of a lift with their meals.


A noodle so low in calories… it’s a miracle!

What do you call a noodle you can eat any amount of and not worry about calories?

Low carb pasta Shirataki Miracle Noodles
Only 5 calories in 100g of noodles!

A miracle!

Which is why the Japanese Shirataki noodle is branded as Miracle Noodle. It’s made from a root vegetable which is why it has enough natural fibre to leave you feeling full without piling on the the carbs.

It cooks really quickly too. All you need to do is drain it and boil it for 1 minute, then mix with your favourite sauce. Alternatively you can pan roast them in a skillet for a minute to give them slightly more bite.

In addition to being carb-free, big plus point however is that they are generally allergen free with no gluten, wheat or soya to trouble anyone with an intollerance.

Shirataki Konjac has been known and used in Asia for over 2000 years. It is also known as Moyu or Juruo in China, and Konnyaku in Japan.

Barkat foods, especially for allergies

Barkat is brilliant because it meet the needs of those who can’t tolerate certain foods. They go the extra mile in catering for the gluten free and wheat free market particularly.

If you have an intolerance or allergy you’ll already know: food that is right for you and your body can be hard to come by.

Barkat serve up breakfasts like cornflakes, chocolate rice crunchies and porridge oats which are gluten, wheat, milk, egg and soya free.

Barkat foods
Made especially for people with allergies…

There are snacks too. Cream filled wafers or crispbreads if you’re looking for a light snack. Or ice cream cones and Belgian waffles for a more indulgent treat.

Then, how about falafel for dinner? Or maybe Alphabet Shape Pasta for the kids?

Whatever meal of the day, Barkat are serving up a menu especially for people with allergies.

Authentic Italian pasta from Mr Organic

Mr Organic's pasta
Mr Organic's pasta

Mr Organic are impressive. Not only do they do a range of organic pasta sauces, they score very highly as an ethical company, sourcing tomatoes from their farm in Italy.

But it makes simple sense that if you’re an Italian based family producing beautiful Italian tomatoes then you should produce the pasta to go with them…

So now it’s here: lovely organic Italian pasta. Whether you like Fusilli (twists), Penne Rigate (quills), Spaghetti or Tagliatelle (long and flat), you get to be completely authentic with Mr Organic’s pasta. They’re transported without air miles, are vegan and approved by the Soil Association.

Buon appetito!

The 2012 FreeFrom Food Awards shortlist is out

If you’re gluten free or dairy free, vegan or avoiding yeast take note the FreeFrom Food Awards judging panels have chosen just under 170 freefrom foods to go on the 2012 shortlist.

Many of these new free from foods really pushing at the boundaries of ‘freefrom’ manufacture. From coconut yogurt to nettle ‘beer’! Here’s the 2012 FreeFrom Food Awards shortlist. Winners to be announced on the 17th April.

1. The Innovation Award
Bessant & Drury Fine Ice Cream Co. – Lemon
Bessant & Drury Fine Ice Cream Co. – Chocolate
Bessant & Drury Fine Ice Cream Co. – Vanilla
BoojaBooja – Banoffee Toffee Truffles
Conscious Chocolates – Wild at Heart
CoYo – Coconut Milk Yoghurt – Natural
CoYo – Coconut Milk Yoghurt – Mixed Berry
Foodswild – Cornish Stinger Nettle Beer
Knead Bakery – Carrot Cake
Provamel Botanicals – Alternative to Yoghurt Apple & Green Tea
The Foodamentalists – Brown Bread Mix
Triano Brands – Tofutti Ricotta Soya Cheese Alternative

2. Dairy and/or lactose-free animal milk, butter, yogurt – sponsored by Swedish Glace
Delamere Dairy – Natural Goats Yoghurt
Delamere Dairy – Semi-Skimmed Goats Milk
Delamere Dairy – Goats Butter
Woodlands Dairy – Gooseberry & Elderflower with Natural Sheep Milk Yoghurt
Woodlands Dairy – Rhubarb & Ginger with Natural Sheep Milk Yoghurt

3. Plant ‘milk’, spread & cheese – sponsored by Pure Dairy Free
Bessant & Drury Fine Ice Cream Co. – Chocolate
Bessant & Drury Fine Ice Cream Co. – Lemon
CoYo – Coconut Yoghurt Natural
CoYo – Coconut Yoghurt Mixed Berry
Delamere Dairy – Sweetened Soya Milk
Essence of Eden – Virgin Coconut Oil
Higher NatureOmega Excellence Organic Virgin Coconut Butter
Its Only Natural – Fruit Freezies Orange and Mango
Kara Dairy FreeAlternative to Milk Original + Calcium
Vegusto – Melty Dairy-Free Cheese
Vegusto – Mild Aromatic Dairy-Free Cheese
Vegusto – Dairy-free cheese sauce

4. FreeFrom Breakfast Cereals – sponsored by Fria Gluten Free
Bob’s Red Mill – Pure Traditional Oats
Groovy Food Company – Corn Flakes
Groovy Food Company – Choco Crispies
Juvela – Fibre Flakes
Morrisons – FreeFrom Gluten Free Oats
Nature’s PathMaple Sunrise
Sainsbury’s – FreeFrom Oaty Granola
Tesco – FreeFrom Special Flakes

5. Gluten-free breads and bread mixes – sponsored by Genius Gluten Free
Butterfly Snacks – Gluten Free Rotis (Naan/Bread Wrap)
Crazy Bakers Bundies Brothers – Brown Bread Rolls
Finax – Oat Bread Mix
Fria – Grova Dark Seeded Sliced Loaf
Fria – Grov Minibaguette Dark Seeded Roll
Glutafin – Gluten Free Wheat Free 4 Fibre Rolls
Juvela – Gluten-Free All Purpose White Mix
Sainsbury’s – FreeFrom Soft White Seeded Rolls

6. Gluten-free pasta and pizza bases/mixes – sponsored by Tesco
Bob’s Red Mill – GF Wholegrain Pizza Crust Mix
Co-operative Foods – FreeFrom Fusilli
Doves Farm FoodsOrganic Tricolore Pasta
Eskal FoodsCorn Pasta
Farabella – Acini di Pepe/Pasta Grains
Molino di Ferro – La Veneziane Penne

7. Freefrom foods manufactured for food service – sponsored by Livwell
Costa  – Gluten Free Fruit Cake
Doves Farm FoodsGluten Free Plain White Flour Blend without Buckwheat
Doves Farm FoodsOrganic Brown Rice Penne
Foodamentalists – Golden Batter Mix
Red House Foods – Gluten Free Chicken Bites
Sauces of Choice – Sauces for Kids Tikka Sauce
Triano Brands – Tofutti Grated Mozzarella Soya Cheese Alternative

8. Freefrom Ingredients – sponsored by Juvela
Anila’s Sauces – Goan Green Sauce
Black Farmer – Spicy Muscovado sauce
Bob’s Red Mill – Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour
ClearspringKuzu Gluten Free Starch Thickener
Finax – Psyllium
Go Free Foods – Pancake Mix
Mesquite Company – Pure Mesquite Pod Flour
Pepper & Stew – Jollof  Sauce
Sauces of Choice – Balsamic & Garlic Sauce

9. Raw foods and superfoods – sponsored by Asda
Elements for Life – Raw Chocolate Making Kit
Elements for Life – Spiced Hot Chocolate
Higher Nature– Omega Excellence Raw Organic Walnut Butter
inSpiral – Raw Blackout Tart
inSpiralRaw Dehydrated Kale Chips: Cheesie Purple Corn
James White DrinksBeet It Organic Stamina Shot
Mesquite Company – Pure Mesquite Pod Flour
Pulsin’ – Beond Organic Acai Berry Bar
Raw Health – Organic Chia & Flax Dippers
The Living Food KitchenRaw Hummus

10. Gluten-free savoury pies, flans, sausages and ready meals – sponsored by Delamere Dairy
Meat-based meal centres:
Black Farmer – Pork Meatballs
Black Farmer – Pork, Onion & Chive Sausages
Cloughbane Farm – Gluten Free Beef Sausages
Cloughbane Farm – Gluten Free Steak Burgers
Co-operative Foods – Truly Irresistible Pork Sausages
Co-operative Foods – Truly Irresistible Minted Lamb Burgers
Pies, flans, pizzas, one pot meals:
Amy’s KitchenGluten Free Vegetable Lasagne
Amy’s KitchenGluten Free Bean and Rice Burrito
Butterfly Snacks – Gluten Free Chicken Spring Rolls
Dr Schar – Gluten Free Tortellini
Dr Schar – Gluten Free Bonta d’Italia Margherita Pizza
Easy Bean – New Mexican Chilli Fairtrade Red Bean with Sweet Pepper One Pot Meal
Foodamentalists – Pork, Black Pudding & Caramelised Red Onion Pie
– Mozzarella Cheese & Tomato Pizza
Gluten Free Kitchen – Ovencrust Steak Pie
Gluten Free Kitchen – Ovencrust Chicken & Bacon Pie
stewed! – Chickpea, Sweet Potato & Feta One Pot Meal
The Food Resource – Fusilli al Funghi
Worthenshaws – Chicken Tikka with Brown Basmati Rice
Worthenshaws – Thai Green Vegetable Curry with Brown Basmati Rice

11. Gluten-free savoury biscuits and snacks – sponsored by Genon Laboratories
Multiseed Crisp Bread
Conscious Foods – Millet Crackers with Rosemary
Crazy Bakers – Half Pipes Swedish Crispbreads
Darling Spuds – Fire Roasted Jalapeno Crisps
Darling Spuds – Sour Cream with a hint of Mexican Chilli
Darling Spuds – Tomato, Olive & Oregano
Juvela – Crostini Bites

12. Gluten-free scones, sweet tarts, Bakewells, cake bars, muffins etc – sponsored by Tesco
Asda – FreeFrom All Butter Lemon Sicilian Shortbread
Conscious Foods – Ginger Thins
Co-operative Foods – FreeFrom Triple Chocolate Cookies
Co-operative Foods – FreeFrom Fruited Teacakes 4 Pack
Crazy Bakers – Oaties
Heavenly Cakes – Gluten & Wheat Free Millionaires
Molino di Ferro – La Veneziane Coconut Biscotti
Morrisons – FreeFrom 6 Assorted Jam Tarts
Sugargrain – Almond, Apricot and Tahini Flapjack
Sweetcheeks – Almondies
Tesco – FreeFrom Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tesco – FreeFrom Ginger Cookies

13. Gluten-free cakes and mixes – sponsored by Mrs Crimbles
The Brilliant Bakers – Cupcake Gift Cake
Cake Angels – Traditional Cherry & Almond Cake
The Cake Crusader – Gluten, Wheat and Dairy Free Carrot Cake
The Cake Crusader– Rich Fruit Cake
Cakes Divine – Dairy & Gluten Free Carrot Cupcakes
Cariad Cakes – Gluten Free Orchard Plum & Ginger Cake
Fria – Kladdkaka Chocolate Brownie Cake
Incognito Cakes – Choc Fudge Cake
Incognito Cakes – White Choc Raspberry Muffins
Lewis & Cooper – Gluten-free Fruit Cake
Ms Cupcake – Cupcakes
Sainsbury’s – FreeFrom Chocolate Chip Muffins
Steph’s Free From Cakes – Lemon Drizzle Cake
Sugargrain – Banana & Chocolate Chip Loaf
Sweetcheeks – Maple & Pecan Cupcakes

14. Gluten-free puddings, desserts & cheesecakes – sponsored by Hale & Hearty
Food Heaven – Summer Fruits Cheesecake
Food Heaven – Sicilian Lemon Cheesecake
Tideford OrganicsButterscotch Rice Pudding
Mamma CucinaMango & Passionfruit Non-Dairy Cheesecake

15. Dairy/gluten-free chocolate and snack bars – sponsored by Tesco
BionaOrganic Sour Snakes
Booja BoojaRum Sozzled Sultana Chocolate Truffles
Celtic Chocolates – Choices FreeFrom White Choc Easter Egg & Buttons
Conscious ChocolatesEssential Orange
Eskal FoodsChocolate Coated Pretzels
Eskal FoodsYoghurt Coated Pretzels
Gourmelli – Secret Passion Organic Strawberry Dark Chocolate Bar 74%
Kinnerton – Dairy, Egg, Gluten and Nut Free Bar
Nut Free Chocolatier – Pomegranate & Elderflower Truffles
Pulsin’Raw Choc Brownie
Tickety Boo Cakes – Roo’s Crunch

16. Dairy/gluten-free Christmas foods – sponsored by Produced in Italy
Cariad Cakes – Christmas Cake
Conscious Chocolates – Cherry Christmas
Christine’s Puddings – Rum and Ale Pudding
Foodamentalists – Frangipane Mince Pies
Friendly Food and Drink – Xmas chutney
Genius – Gluten-free mince pies
Lewis and Cooper – Plum Pudding
Livwell – Christmas cake
Morrison’s – FreeFrom Christmas pudding
OK Foods – FreeFrom Mince Pies
Pyman Pates – Chickenliver with port, brandy and cranberries
The Heavenly Cake Company – Christmas cake

17. Gluten-free beer – sponsored by Asda
Daas – Ambre Beer
Daas – Blond Beer
Foodswild – Cornish Stinger Nettle Beer
Gluten-Free Shop – Ambar
Green’s – Bottle Refermented Blonde Ale
Green’s – Premium Golden Ale
Wold Top – Against the Grain