The gluten-free life can be a bit of a culinary safari. No sooner do you have the shy creature in sight, then it slips into the brush and you are left wistfully holding your binoculars, waiting for something else to emerge.
This was the story of my favorite cheese crackers: They simply vanished for no good reason. I even went to the bakery’s Facebook page and tried to cajole them into bringing them back (to no avail).
Then, in pursuit of some g-free graham crackers for Magic Bars, I stumbled across Marilyn’s Gluten Free Gourmet products in the natural foods section of an out-of-the-way Publix outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
I grabbed the graham crackers and a pack of their cheese straws as well, ever hopeful that I might find a replacement for my late, lamented cheese crackers.
After thanking the manager for stocking such a good variety of gluten-free products, I made haste to the car and opened the package of cheese straws. Out wafted a pungent Cheddar-y aroma that was the first hint of the Total Cheese Satisfaction that lay in store.
Can I say that they are even better than a wedge of Cheddar cheese? Because these cheese straws combine the sharp, sophisticated flavor of a fine Cheddar cheese with the crunch and texture of a delicious gluten-free cracker.
Now, this is not a diet product. Marilyn’s is based in Georgia, so it is a rich and celebratory treat in the Southern tradition. The great part is that they are so satisfying, you don’t have to eat a whole package in one sitting—although some may choose to do so (ahem).
But one to two straws can hold you down very well between meals. They would also make a great party snack, though one that would quickly disappear, so plan accordingly.
As a bonus, Marilyn’s cheese straws come in several varieties: Traditional Cheddar, Jalapeño Cheddar, and a White Cheddar & Chive. Of these varieties I have to confess that the Jalapeño is my favorite; the spice of the pepper enlivens and cuts the richness of the cracker.
Marilyn’s Graham Crackers. Photo courtesy Agrafrutti.
Marilyn’s also makes a great graham cracker, with a hint of cinnamon, and a line of bread mixes that I am eager to try, particularly their Rosemary Sea Salt.
All products are safe for those with gluten intolerance and Celiac disease and contain no trans fats, preservatives, artificial flavors or artificial colors. Some products do contain dairy, so please read the label; and they are produced in a facility that also uses tree and ground nuts.
Marilyn’s products are available at Agrafrutti.com and in some Whole Foods Markets.
Five-ounce boxes of each variety are $5.99.
Eight-ounce gift boxes are $12.95.
The brand also offers Artisan Flatbread Crackers and Cheese Buttons, not yet tried by us (but we look forward to them).
— Georgi Page
ABOUT MARILYN’S GLUTEN FREE GOURMET
After many years of passionate baking at home, Marilyn Santulli was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. To continue enjoying gourmet baked goods and share them with other GF consumers, she decided to open a gluten-free bakery.
Her American Gra-Frutti Bakehouse & Shop in Roswell, Georgia is open weekdays from 9 to 5 (fresh breads need to be ordered in advance). In addition to breads, muffins and cakes, the shop carries all varieties of the Marilyn’s Gluten Free Gourmet packaged line.