As we well know, one of the challenges of eating gluten free is finding suitable bread. Even the best brands tend to crumble in your hands when you try to pick up a sandwich.
So I was quite pleased to receive a sampling of breads from a Dallas area company called Local Oven. I received hamburger buns, hot dog buns (which I actually used as a sub roll), baguettes and pitas. And they were all good.
What sets these products apart are their texture. I don't know anything about baking bread but one of the problems with gluten-free rolls is that when you cut them open, you can basically see holes in them. That explains some of the flimsiness.
But the Local Oven products had a very thick texture, which probably explains why they hold up so well. Todd Fitzerman, Local Oven's director of sales, hopes that will appeal to those of us who had to give up gluten.
"We created a product with the same texture and taste of what people remember eating," he said.
Local Oven sells its products in individual wrappers and recommends keeping them in the freezer until ready for use. After thawing, it recommends toasting or putting them in the oven.
But I also found the hamburger bun held up well without toasting. That's important, because I like to take my own bun to a place like Five Guys, which has gluten-free burgers and fries but no buns.
So yes, the Local Oven products passed all my tests.
The company's products are available at a lot of restaurants in the Dallas area and are also available for sale through its website (localoven.com).
Fitzerman said the company is looking to expand the products into other markets. So maybe we'll be seeing them at restaurants in the Jacksonville area soon.