Appetite for Awareness, brought to us by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, is an event that brings together all the local gluten-free restaurants, caterers, bakeries, specialty stores, etc… All of the vendors come and give away free samples, sell their food and network with others. I recently attended this event with my girlfriend, who has celiac disease, and the food was great, despite a lot of people’s preconceived notions about gluten free diets. Keep reading my review of the Appetite for Awareness event, held today, 10/24/10, in Philadelphia, PA.
You start off getting a free reusable shopping bag from Wegmans. Did I mention that Wegmans is one of the sponsors of the event? Wegmans already had their own table there, which was awesome, but they are also just the best at everything.
You walk around and different restaurants/vendors/grocery shopping/specialty stores all have tables set up with contact info, menus, little gifts like pencils but most of all, food. Most places had samples – small cookies, bread, candy, pretzels, brownies, you name it. Bigger places actually had food – even hot food they were cooking right in front of you. The executive chef of the Cherry Hill Wegmans was there to cook in front of us. My girlfriend had recognized his name and picture from that Wegmans (we had just been there before we went to the event). Wegmans was cooking pasta and sausage. Another caterer cooked pasta with veggies in a cream sauce. Other vendors had pizza, some of which was really good and relatively cheap, sandwiches on bread that tasted like it was normal wheat bread (which my girlfriend was so excited to find). It was not bad; sometimes gluten free breads are grainy but this was good.
There was a whole selection of gluten free beers and liquors for you to try, which many people did. I didn’t get a chance to.
A lot of places gave out real food – like an entire loaf of bread, soups, sauces, packages of noodles, bags of chips, even pretzels.
Overall, it was a great time. The food was solid and gluten-free appears to be catching on with people who do not even have celiac disease.