IE Grapevine Updates

Celiactive: Temecula boasts two great locations for gluten-free bakery items

Isabela Moreno

I have chronic cravings and I think they’re celiac-related. My logical process reads as the following: because I have celiac disease, my body still doesn’t absorb nutrients as well as a non-celiac person. Because I don’t absorb nutrients as well, my body sends signals asking for more nutrients causing me to become insatiably hungry all the time. Because I’m insatiably hungry, I think about what to eat constantly.

I believe this is where cravings come in. I think of food and then I crave it but I tend to crave extremely greasy or sweet foods. To be clear, Celiac disease doesn’t cause me to crave sweet or unhealthy foods. Celiac causes hunger which causes cravings.

I usually fulfill these cravings by eating whatever I want. Greasy food is fairly easy to make. Cheese is great for something quick and greasy. Cheese is so greasy that if it’s heated rapidly, it releases oil quickly. This is in part why cheese sauces are frustrating to create. This especially applies to cheese derived from cow’s milk.

Salami is great, too. Salami tends to be naturally oily. Pairing both cheese and salami together with gluten-free crackers makes for a happy writer and it only takes a few minutes. For those with dairy allergies, dates make a sweet alternative to cheese.

Sweet foods are a little more difficult, however. There’s always ice cream, but Celiac likes to bring other allergies with it. Fruit is always an option but sometimes a pastry is in order. But pastries tend to be difficult to procure because it’s so easy to bake with wheat flour. Temecula is fortunate enough to have two bakeries that specialize in gluten-free foods and have gluten-free facilities.

For those in the know, All the Above and So Good Gluten Free are havens for not only the celiac community, but for allergy ridden individuals. Both facilities cater to gluten free first and then to an array of allergies; they even have vegan options. All the Above steps it up however and offers products that are labeled “paleo” as well. Both facilities are clean and very charming in different ways. Both are well lit and are typically stocked fairly well.

So Good Gluten Free is fairly good. Their cookies are moist but can be inconsistent. If left out for a long time, they tend to become sandy. This is specific to their chocolate chip cookies. I only have one big issue with So Good Gluten Free. Their brownies taste like the same recipe as their cupcakes, donuts, and all the other pastries in the shop. I wonder if they use one recipe for them all and form them into different shapes to pass them off as different pastries. The recipe tends to be too moist and borders on mushy. It also lacks some flavor, making it a little bland. The only exception are the vegan brownies which follow a different recipe entirely.

Despite this, So Good Gluten Free makes some really good frozen food. The pizza crusts are delicious. They have a good texture and flavor that’s not overwhelming. They cook well, but tend to brown at a slower rate. It’s best to defrost them prior to cooking, however. All the Above also makes in house pizzas that are worth the price. I recommend the magherita pizza. They also make a good pre-frozen macaroni and cheese.

All of the food So Good Gluten Free offers is soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. Most of their recipes have been retooled to be vegan as well. They also take orders but require 48 hours for completion. Not only this but they’ll ship orders from here to Nevada if anyone is interested.

For full disclosure, I have some biases. I used to bake brownies in middle and high school to relieve stress and some anger issues I was having. I was diagnosed and thought that I’d never have a good brownie again. A friend told me that All the Above existed and on a bad day I went. I bit into a brownie for the first time in years. It wasn’t a delicious brownie. It wasn’t chocolately or moist but it was a brownie and I cried over it. It was overwhelming to eat something that I never thought I’d taste again. Whether my tastebuds have changed or the recipes did get better, I don’t know. I still prefer All the Above because of that first bite.

All the Above tends to stock more cookies and cupcakes than brownies but they do take orders. The cookies are consistent and have good flavor. They freeze well however I store them in the fridge. This keeps the moisture in without running the risk of them becoming soggy upon defrosting. All the Above pizza crusts are very good. They’re dryer than pizza crusts from So Good Gluten Free and are prone to cracking. They tend to brown a bit faster and become crunchier than their So Good competitors as well.

Their cupcakes are delicious. They’re moist and the frosting is gives it the right sugary kick. I have heard that the frosting is a little too sweet but I don’t mind it. These also store well. All the Above makes the best gluten free bread that I’ve ever tasted. Like all their products, it’s consistent and stores well. It’s spongey when defrosted and can crumble, but it’s not prone to it.

I recommend that all gluten-free bread should be toasted or heated in some manner prior to consumption. The texture becomes more bread-like and less like disgusting stale duck food. This is the only bread that I’ve found that toasts well. It also doesn’t have any holes in the middle like Udi’s brand bread does.

What’s great is that All the Above is that they provide products that are dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, treenut-free, soy-free, vegan, and paleo all while being gluten-free. Not all the products will have all these options and some may only have three or four but most products cater to most diet limitations.

So Good Gluten Free is located off Temecula Parkway (Highway 79) in the same parking lot as Killarney’s. All the Above can be found off of Jefferson before the creepy McDonald’s and after Rancho California.

Both facilities are charming, clean, and offer delicious food for limited diets. Both staffs are friendly and ready to offer the best they have. Although I do have bias toward one, the other has much to offer. And don’t let my biases keep you from trying them out for yourself. You may find you like one over the other.

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