Imagine a food market where there’s multiple gluten free stalls, gluten free beer on tap and handy demos of gluten free cooking? Say hello to Against the Grain, the second installment of the Camden Market gluten free festival. I was excited to go after my empanadas, fish & chips and donut joy last year.
The gluten free festival took place in a yard within Camden Market’s main food section (around the corner from Honest Burger and Cookies & Scream). There were some great gluten free choices: Arancini, crepes, curries, nachos, empanadas, breads, cakes, cookies, gluten free beer on tap.
David and I tucked in. Read on to see my photo diary, and some thoughts cross-contamination…
David drank most of it. 😉
David had a glorious curry from The Naughty Roti. Served with rice rather than roti to keep it gluten free.
There was a real variety of foods – cuisines from all over the world. I liked the look of this stall’s falafel wraps.
I demolished these cheesy chilli nachos from Louisiana Chilli Shack.
There were gluten free cookies from Cupcakes and Shhht.
Gluten Free breads and pastries galore from Artisan Gluten Free Bakery.
As a street food-loving coeliac, it was great to have all of these gluten free choices in one place.
However. On the Camden Market website, they say of their gluten free festival, “This time, it’s bigger and better than ever and it comes with a brand new name: Against the Grain – because we know that if you can’t eat gluten, you really mean it.” Much as I enjoyed the festival, I’m not sure this is entirely accurate. There may have been a lot of gluten free choice, but not all of it was safe for people with coeliac disease.
There was a small section of gluten free stalls, but there were also stalls in the wider market that had gone gluten free just for the day, or served one or two “gluten free” items, as opposed to being a specialist gluten free provider. The divide wasn’t clear (especially when it got crowded later on) and the risk of cross-contamination on some of these stalls made me nervous.
For example: I was about to order a meal from an Indian stall that stated everything was 100% gluten free, when I saw the stallholder fry gluten-filled bread in one of the pans. The same pan that I’m pretty sure they went on to fry their ‘gluten free’ fillings in. Lola’s Cupcakes were in a prime pitch in the supposed gluten free section of the market, when their website states that their products are not suitable for people with severe allergies to gluten.
Making it clearer which stalls are safe for those of us with severe reactions to gluten would be helpful for next time.
With that said, eating our way through Camden’s gluten free market stalls on a sunny afternoon was fun, and I really appreciate getting the chance to try foods from lots of different gluten free producers.
Did anyone else make it to the festival? What did you think, and what did you EAT?
Until next time,
P.S. You can read more about this year’s gluten free festival, including full list of stallholders on the Camden Market website.