Sunday, July 17, 2011

Taste with a Twist: Kim & Scott's GF Pretzels

Do you miss soft pretzels?

I do too.  Or I did, that is, until one magical day I heard that Kim & Scott's Cafe Twist in Chicago was serving up a mythical GF Soft Pretzel.  Now anyone who has read my blog knows that mimicking specialty bread products to taste exactly like their gluten-filled counterparts is not my strong suit.  Nor is it the strong suit of many companies that also attempt to mimic them.

Of course, when I read that Kim & Scott's was saying they made a Gluten Free Bavarian Pretzel at first I was skeptical.  Then the reviews of visits to the cafe broke out into the blogosphere, and raves were traveling faster than you can say "hot mustard."

But I don't live in Chicago, and I hadn't actually planned a trip anytime soon to the area.  And so I resolved sadly to take my salivating tongue and roll it back into my deprived mouth.  I would have to wait until I could make it to Cafe Twist in person.  Or would I...

About a year after hearing about Kim & Scott's, I nearly plotzed as I passed a Whole Foods Freezer case that had their fantastic GF pretzels.  It seemed to be surrounded by a halo of light while angels sang a choral, but then I reasoned it was probably just the fluorescent lighting and the smooth adult contemporary and my excitement was playing tricks on me.

Then, I saw the price tag.  $6.99 for two, yes TWO frozen pretzels?!  Ouch!  Well, I was no closer to Chicago than I was a year ago and decided if I wanted to taste the legend that was the real GF Bavarian Pretzel, I would choke down and swallow my bargain hunting pride, buying the expensive treat.

I opened the box and unwrapped the brown, twisty goodness and decided I would first try it microwaved.  They do offer salt packets for the more ballpark inclined, but I like my pretzels without all the fuss.  Don't worry though, if you skip the salt, the pretzels is anything but bland!

The consistency, smell, texture, and flavor nailed it, just NAILED it for those of us who have been waiting in vain for such a reminder of childhood outings to the city or ballpark.  Of course, the oven heated version was a little bit better than the microwaved one, but only because whenever you microwave a bread product is has the occasional tendency to get harder in one part than another. 

I also added a little Soy Free Earth Balance on one for a little extra flavor- and BAM- heaven from a freezer aisle.  Who knew?

More importantly, Kim & Scott's is very allergy aware using a nut-free production facility and offering dairy-free, egg-free, and GF options in their cafe for those seeking alternatives for themselves and their loved ones.

The only downside of this whole review is that I really can't purchase the pretzels more regularly because of the price, but I entered this relationship with my eyes open and *sniff* I guess we'll just have to part until a special occasion pops up!

Look out for Kim & Scott's in your freezer aisle or if you're in Chicago, go to Cafe Twist (2218 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60614.)  But don't tell me about; I'll just get jealous ;)