The Horrors of Gluten-Free Life


Photo Credit: Oscar Kline

Ugly Pop Bop Gluten Free, Korean style fried chicken.

Ayden Terry, Reporter

A general consensus both in the gluten-free community and the general populus is that most gluten-free options have been extremely poor and scarce. Locally, from it’s opening in 2010 until the latter half of the decade, Jake’s gluten-free Market was the only gluten-free shop.

However, as time went on, there was more competition and in 2017 the bakery, no longer a niche market, shut down. Now, there are more options for those who either choose to avoid gluten or are forced to. 

One of the most heartbreaking losses everybody talks about is pizza. But fear not because there are actual options now. And don’t worry, they don’t all taste like cardboard anymore. My personal favorite for a quick option is Daiya’s Frozen Vegetable Pizza which can be found in any grocery store. Not only is the gluten-free crust delicious and crispy, it’s also vegan so it’s all inclusive. In terms of restaurants, either Lulu’s Pizza or Luciano’s has the most realistic replica of normal crust. Both crusts are soft and fluffy and allow me to forget that a lot of my favorite flavors are forbidden by my stomach. 

Next up: Burgers! Yeah, yeah, you can always just have a lettuce wrap, but let’s be real, lettuce is a topping, not an adequate replacement for a bun. Thankfully, gluten-free buns do exist and are provided at some restaurants. My very favorite burger of all time is from Boise Fry Company. Add some bacon and pile on the house sauce and then you have heaven in a gluten-free bun. 

Another option in the downtown area is Cupbop. As someone who is used to avoiding restaurants, I was so excited when I saw all of the gluten-free options listed right on the menu. I always order their gluten-free fried chicken and rice noodles. The taste is exquisite! I was addicted from the moment I tasted it. 

Yet I am afraid I will have to deduct some points. While most of the time it all works out fine, there are a few mixups. The last time I went, I had to remind them to make it gluten-free on multiple occasions. If it were just a preference I’d be more relaxed about it, but the wrong food can cause severe pain for me. And if it’s a matter of hospitalization or death for you, I would not recommend Cupbop. It gets busy and since your food is being passed from employee to employee, the gluten-free part can get lost in the mix. 

So what if you want to make food at home? Well, you’re in luck because there are a ton of options. For bread, I find that Canyon Bakehouse does the best job at pretending to be normal bread. They are a little bit smaller, but the taste makes up for it. If bagels are your thing, Canyon Bakehouse has some great options for that too. Or you can get Trader Joe’s gluten-free bagels and I would say they are just as good.

In terms of pasta, go for Jovial! Their noodles and pasta are so good that even my family members that aren’t gluten intolerant prefer their taste and texture. 

And a quick list of snacks you can still enjoy without gluten includes the new gluten-free Oreos, Whole Foods Gluten-Free and Vegan Cheddar Crackers for a Cheez-it alternative, Lucky Charms, and rice crispy treats. 

I hope this list is helpful to anyone who reads it. There are way more options of course and finding the ones that are the best is a journey that will probably take my whole life.