At times it feels like I do a lot of writing about gluten-free pizzas. I review GF pizza crusts, and review pizzerias offering GF pizzas, and write about the scratch pizzas we make for ourselves at home. Kelli is kind enough to point out when she thinks I’ve been covering pizza a bit too much. But now, it appears there’s been a reason for it all: a growing pizza pandemic. Across the country, the demand for gluten-free pizzas is causing more and more pizzerias – from the national franchises to the independent pizza parlor down the street – to offer a GF pizza.
Just take a look at this article in yesterday’s Bergen County Record in North Jersey. Whether it’s because a pizzeria owner (or their spouse) was diagnosed with Celiac, customers asked for it, or a company offering GF pizza crust said “Hey, you should be offering this!” Pizzerias are taking note. In six short months, one pizzeria (A Mano in Ridgewood) went from not even offering a GF pizza, to selling 50 in one week!
Of course, one of the biggest concerns when it comes to GF pizzas at a pizzeria is the issue of cross-contamination. Wheat flour is everywhere – on hands, on shirts, on countertops, in the oven. Pizzeria’s handle this risk in different ways. Some choose not to have the risk, and don’t offer a GF pizza. Some bake their crusts on a pan, to avoid contact with floured surfaces. A Mano, to its credit, has a dedicated oven for GF pizzas. Most choose not to make their own crusts, instead sourcing par-baked GF pizza crusts from local vendors. Such is the case here in Boulder, Colorado, where the Gluten-free Bistro is supplying its GF par-baked pizza crust to a growing list of local restaurants.
And on that note, keep an eye out next week for our review of Gluten-free Bistro. After my negative experience with Abo’s a few weeks ago, I contacted GFB to get samples of their pizza crust and flour blend to independently test and review. I’ve finished my review of the pizza crust, and will soon be finishing up my review of the flour blend as I use it to bake recipes. The results of that evaluation are forthcoming soon!