Gluten Intolerant

Living the Gluten Free Lifestyle

Keeping up with gluten free foods as they are released, I took it on myself to try the new Genius brand gluten free pies and slices. So far, I’ve tried the gluten free steak and ale pie and the gluten free beef slice.

The Genius Gluten Free Steak and Ale Pie is a very pastry heavy pie, encasing a very small quantity of filling. Overall, it is crying out to be eaten as a quick evening meal – perhaps alongside boiled potatoes and baked beans. It isn’t going to be the centrepiece of a posh meal – it isn’t something you would want to prepare a guest (unless it was someone who only told you they were gluten intolerant at the last minute). So what do I think:
The pastry reminds me of the Dietary Specials frozen shortcrust gluten free pastry – the thing I use to top my own homemade pies. Like Dietary Specials pastry, it tastes slightly different from home made pastry – perhaps not buttery enough – and is also a little too easy to overcook – no burn, per se, but go beyond where you want it to go. So getting these pies just right will be a bit of a learning experience. The filling is very good – a particularly nice rich gravy – (even if it has the glutinous corn flour thickened feeling). However, there isn’t enough of it – these pies are all about the pastry, while ignoring the tasty meat.

The genius minced steak slice is a better choice. Mainly because gluten free puff pastry is a bit harder to come by. Sure its a simple meal, but the pastry puffs up nicely, and there is a more sensible quantity of filling. It isn’t a sophisticated meal, but it fills a gap, and is at the better end of gluten free food.

Following my review of the new Genius bread and rolls I managed to pick up some of the new gluten free tea cakes.  As one would expect from Genius, they get the doughyness right, and the flavour is fine (cinnamon-y with the right amount of fruit).  They toasted well and went down a treat with a cuppa.  Now, I’m not a particular fan on tea cakes – I can’t honestly say they are something I missed, and the surface texture seemed a little dry – but so long as you don’t expect a quality beyond what you might normally get in  supermarket’s standard range tea cake, I don’t think the Genius brand will disappoint.

Genis, without whom I would go insane, have launched 3 new products through Tesco stores.  a multiseeded loaf, multiseeded rolls and tea cakes.  I haven’t spotted the tea cakes yet, but the others are worth reviewing.

The multiseed loaf is something I wanted to like – I’ve been missing seeded bread.  Unfortunately, all it manages to do is taste like a slightly better version of the gluten free breads on the market.  It is just about usable for sandwiches, but I’m not overly enamoured with it for toasting.  I think a seeded version of the brown loaf would have been a far better idea.  That, or maybe a thicker cut loaf with slightly chewier crusts.  My feeling is that these are in competition with the nw Warburtons loafs.  If they are, then they win, but only just.

The multiseed rolls are less impressive.  Pretty much they are on a par with Tesco own brand’s ‘squeezably soft’ gluten free rolls.  I took a few to a barbecue and while they housed a burger, they were still too crumbly to do so effectively.  Much like the Tesco Sqeezably Soft buns, they are probably going to be better toasted.

So overall, not a great result from their new product range.  But I’m holding Genius to high standards here – their brown loaf s fantastic, and their white loaf very good.  And it is always good to see better products on the market.  Dspite being below what I would hope for, these are actually still raising the game in the gluten free marketplace.  Surely it can’t be long until we see the end of vacuum packed slices of cardboard bread.