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There are challenges in eating gluten free. This is not as big an issue in Europe and the UK, where most restaurants will offer gluten-free bread service at meals to their patrons if they are asked. Not every single restaurant, mind you, but more often than not, if you ask, you will get bread. Most of the time that bread is out of the freezer but occasionally the restaurant is bringing in fresh gluten free baked goods.
All of this is good news, and while I expect that it will take another ten years for this to become normal in the U.S., the better news is that gluten free breads are more widely available and the quality continues to improve. We have reviewed a few of those over the years and I was prompted to give the Against The Grain rolls a try. Their pizza is one of the better gluten-free products we have reviewed and their baguettes are a good choice.
The nice thing about being able to have rolls is that if you individually wrap them in foil and take them to the restaurant with you, most of the time the waiter can get them heated in the oven. While it is not ideal to have to be responsible for your own bread service when dining out, it is just what folks who are gluten intolerant have to put up with.
The first roll tried, their Vermont Country Roll, was in this format - at a restaurant, in foil and heated up. They were kind enough to bring it to the table still wrapped, which gave me good confidence that there was no cross-contamination. The roll is great when warm. It has a good sweet, slightly molasses flavor that one might expect from a "country" roll. The texture is not as dense as most gluten free rolls and is more airy – along the lines of a baguette. The rolls are a bit drier than one might want, but this is a problem with both gluten free products and with frozen baked goods. There is not much change in using this roll at home, thawed and for sandwiches. Still a bit dry, but overall a good product.
Their Original Roll is not as good. It has a good flavor, but the texture is much drier. When heated in the oven (even at a few different temperatures), the roll dries out and is too crumbly and hard to eat. Nothing we could do made this a good roll for the purpose of being a roll. As sandwich material this is better, but still not a perfect product. Some mayonnaise or mustard makes a big difference in the dryness of the roll, but there are better gluten-free sandwich options.
The nutrition info is fair: no fiber, of course, as is the case with most gluten free baked goods, about 250 - 300 milligrams of sodium (they could cut this by 25% and should), and 220 calories each.
So one hit and one miss for Against The Grain rolls, but in this day and age that's not bad as gluten free baked goods continue to get better and better.
Reviewed: December 9, 2016