So a bit of a tortilla claims it can bend and fold and wrap like a rubber band -- well, why not? That's what gluten does. It sticks and goos, so to speak. So this bit of tortilla claims it, but it hasn't got the gluten going, and we're supposed to believe it?
I got samples of Rudi's Plain and Fiesta Tortillas at the recent celiac expo, and I gave them a very skeptical eye. (But I was working the Rudi's table (photos to come), and I thought -- I really ought to give this a try, or I'll be a dead-duck of a product ambassador.)
After all, they might bend. They might wrap. But my experience has been that any product trying to imitate gluten is a poser and prat from the get-go. And these products fall into two categories: a) Those that do what they say, but are filled with a boot-load chemical conglomerates, and taste like tar or b) Those other ones that taste all right, even good, but can't do a back bend (or whatever else they claim) to save your life.
So this bit of tortilla Rudi's is pushing . . . Shall begin with ingredients. "Stuff you can pronounce and recognize", they claim.
Whole Grain Flours (Sorghum, Brown Rice, Corn, Amaranth, Quinoa, Millet, Teff), Corn Starch, Tapioca Flour, Rice Flour, Water, Canola Oil*, Xanthan Gum, Evaporated Cane Juice, Cultured Dextrose and Maltodextrin, Salt, Guar Gum, Baking Powder (Monocalcium Phosphate, Sodium Bicarbonate, Corn Starch), Malic Acid, Active Dry Yeast, Apple Cider Vinegar
Those are the Plain, and it's true. They stick to basics. Nothing more bizarre than xanthan gum.
Oh well, they must be crumbly, yes? a muddle of crumbs. Useless.
I've spent a week or more experimenting with the things -- and I was highly resistant even to trying them. I have grudge, for lack of a better phrase, a grudge against gluten imitators. I don't want flour tortillas -- they're made with flour, and get their taste and texture and excellence from the gluten-bound flour, and I love crunchy corn, crisp rice, and making onigiri.
But I was surprised at how pleased I was to play with Rudi's tortillas. And even eat a burrito.
I made a few actually, to test hold-up, flavor, packing, warmed or unwarmed, all manner.
The Japanese Adzuki with Kabocha
Lentil and Lettuce
Lentil, Pinto and Crunch
More Lentil on Fiesta . . .
[some I ate too quickly to snap any proper photo. Apologies. The above are Lentil, Pinto and Crunch, and Japanese]
- bend and roll
- fold into burrito nuggets
- hold boot-loads of food
And to my surprise, I liked them. Oy, but to my surprise, they did NOT--
- become soggy and melt
It's hard to pull it out of me, because on a shoestring budget, and content to run on my rails with little deviation, and enjoy with wild abandon the unique plainness of crisp corn for all Mexican dishes . . . I loved playing with these Tortillas. And not just playing, but getting a chance to eat a burrito again.
I've spent some weeks now since the Celiac Expo in San Diego a) recovering from cross-contamination (nothing to do with the expo) and b) experimenting with the tortillas (as I said). And I've used both Fiesta and Plain -- I'd very much like to try the Spinach variety, but they hadn't any as a sample, and my current budget precludes "just trying" something.
Altogether, Rudi's hopped both the high-vaults on this one. The only complaint I've got is the exorbitant price, which seems to run anywhere from 5.79 (American) to 8.00 -- down to almost a dollar per tortilla, and one really needs two to make a meal, because one point I did not mention . . .
...they remain a tad small. Not tiny, not unworkable. But small flour tortillas, not the pizza-pie sized wonders wrapping behemoth burritos at the South Western states' Mexican tortillerias.
But I'll repeat: Rudi's hopped the high-vault on this one. These tortillas work -- not like the flaky rice flats; not like the chewy or crisp corn -- but like a burrito wrap.
My first try at Rudi's three years ago, very nearly on top of my celiac diagnosis, I almost had a panic attack. It was the bread. It was bread that I thought tasted so much like bread I thought I'd got the wrong package, and would soon be sick as Hell.
Is there a better compliment? Well, after I'm miffed beyond measure that I was frightened half-to-death, nope.
And Rudi's? If you can get that price down a few, I'll be shoestringing my gluten free meals with these tortillas. Eight in a package after all, is a good count.