Friday, May 4, 2007

vanilla extract

I was asked by several different people recently what kind of vanilla I use in my cooking. It never occurred to me that the alcohol in the extract might not be gluten-free, but we have never reacted to it. I figure, if it had gluten, we'd know it by now (I use lots of vanilla in just about everything I make that is sweet). But my curiosity got the better of me and I emailed McCormick about their Pure Vanilla Extract (the brand I always use). Turns out there is no gluten in it, as I already knew, but it felt good to be validated (they use a "synthetic alcohol" instead, whatever that is). Not only that, but if their label doesn't have that allergy warning stating the product contains wheat, it is gluten-free. They call any sort of gluten "wheat" in their labelling. If a product has no ingredient warning, it is gluten-free. So there you have it! I did suggest they put the words "gluten-free" on the front label. If more companies did that it sure would save me lots of time in the grocery store. I'd be much more inclined to buy a product with the "gluten-free" label rather than taking the time to read the ingredient lists of all the other different choices.

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