The number of people being diagnosed with celiac disease has risen dramatically in the past few years. Those with celiac are recommended to adopt a gluten free diet. Others have chosen the healthy gluten free lifestyle, as a way to improve diet and quality of life. The health benefits of a gluten free lifestyle for those who do not suffer from celiac, are debated. However, with the rise in the number of people going gluten free, there has been a parallel increase in the number of gluten free restaurants, gluten free flours, and gluten free products available. Pasta is one of the world’s favorite foods. But it contains gluten when made the traditional way. More and more, varieties of gluten free pasta are cropping up, making the gap between regular diets and gluten free even smaller.
Types of Gluten Free Flours in Pasta
There are many types of gluten free pasta available. Many come from Asian-inspired origins, as wheat is barely used in Oriental cuisine and pasta dishes are common. Rice noodles are probably the most common pasta replacement. These extremely fast-cooking, typically borderline translucent noodles, lend themselves best to light Asian dishes. However, brown rice noodles, since they are heavier, can be served with tomato sauce and heavier toppings. Quinoa noodles and corn-based pastas are other great gluten free pasta options. Each of the gluten free flours yields a unique taste and texture in pasta, so chefs should experiment with them to find which toppings are best for offering with these types of pasta on a menu. Gluten free restaurants may want to offer multiple gluten free pasta options, while regular venues may opt to offer one dish as a healthy gluten free option on the menu. Though homemade pasta is undeniably tastier than store-bought varieties, using gluten free flours gets tricky, as the absorption and desired texture of the dough differs for each flour type. Therefore, for the most part, buying the dried or fresh gluten free pasta is the best option for restaurants. Businesses should be careful to research the products before serving gluten free pasta dishes, as sometimes the non-wheat flours are mixed with some wheat flour to improve the texture of the product.
Gluten Free Pasta
Gluten free pasta does not have to be advertised as gluten free. Many customers are likely to be drawn to Asian food offered on a menu, and may not even pay attention to the fact that non-wheat pastas are being used in the dishes by default. Non-wheat pasta was being used in dishes before the concept of gluten free was even popular. Being gluten free is just an added perk they have, especially with the recent increase in gluten-sensitivity. Non-wheat pastas are usually rich in vitamins and minerals as well; more so than regular white wheat pasta, making them ideal for healthy gluten free meals. Non-wheat pasta is sure to make its way onto more and more menus, as gluten free foods become in higher demand. Learning about them and adding them to a restaurant menu can be a great business booster.