Gluten-free food options are becoming more readily available as more and more people try to limit the amount of gluten they consume. Some people have celiac disease and cannot tolerate even small amounts of gluten in their diet. But many many others are intolerant or simply don’t like the way gluten makes them feel. As we generally start to take more care in what we eat, shopping for organic or what were previously labelled “health” foods, more and more specialty shops are sourcing better tasting products. At the best gluten free shops in Fort Myers, for example, truly delicious gluten free breads and other types of foods are favorites even with those who tolerate glutens well.
So what is Gluten?
According the Celiac Disease Foundation, gluten is “a general name for the proteins found in wheat (wheatberries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, farina, farro, graham, KAMUT® khorasan wheat and einkorn), rye, barley and triticale – a cross between wheat and rye. Gluten helps foods maintain their shape, acting as a glue that holds food together. Gluten can be found in many types of foods, even ones that would not be expected”. Until recently, glutens were pervasive in cereals, breads and many processed foods.
Sourcing Gluten-free Alternatives
Gluten free breads and baked goods don’t have the best reputation for taste. Many are dense in texture and taste stodgy on the tongue. But that is changing as talented cooks and bakers are experimenting with gluten free flours such as rice, amaranth and tapioca. And many foods are naturally gluten free – pretty much all fruit, vegetables, meats and fish – so it becomes a question of seeking these foods in unprocessed form, without added glutens.
Best Gluten Free Food Shops in Fort Myers
Word gets around fast when foodies trade tips about gluten free food so check local bloggers such as Gluten free Liz who posts regularly about new shops and products in the Fort Myers area. Posting queries on platforms such as chowhound.com and reddit.com may lead to additional delicious discoveries. And here are some bricks and mortar storefront options:
Pizza Fusion is a small pizzeria chain dedicated to supporting sustainable farming and responsible food manufacture. Their Fort Myers and other Florida locations offer gluten free pizza and other menu items. They also host a blog and “Fusion Club” that shares information about gluten free products and other news.
The Skinny Pantry on the Tamiani Trail in Fort Myers is another great source of information and stocks the newest gluten free products, including dressings and sauces for the home cook.
Finally, Ada’s Market not only sells gluten free products and supplies, they host regular sampling and tastings. They also have an extensive healthy foods (including gluten free baking) recipes collection available on their website.
Preparing food, baking and eating gluten free used to take a ton of work. No more. With just a bit of research and asking around, a wealth of good-tasting gluten free options is easy to access and enjoy.