I get a lot of questions about the diet I follow. Customers assume that I am gluten-free, dairy-free, etc. The answer is pretty confusing. I am 95% dairy-free, 80% grain-free, and try to stay away from refined sugar… sometimes. Qualifications: If I eat dairy, it’s usually grass fed, local yogurt or ghee. If it’s sugar, I prefer maple syrup, dates, or local honey. But also? Sometimes you need traditional chocolate cake. So basically, I am your typical, privileged, confusing omnivore – the one you dread having over for dinner because who knows what I’m eating this week.
As you may know, I (mostly) stopped eating dairy about three years ago. Just couldn’t tolerate it anymore. Of course, as a pastry chef and sweets fiend, I still had to eat desserts. I started experimenting with my recipes – thus, how Goldenrod Pastries was born and became a bakery where we are inclusive to alternative diets. There’s a lot of chatter about why and how people are choosing to eat these days. I mean, even South Park has an episode about being gluten-free. Whether it’s trendy, a physical necessity, healthy, interesting, cool, or fun – alternative diets are the reality of our omnivorous world.
So, what’s the deal with alternative diets?
At the bakery, we see the needs of the general public on a daily basis. Our job is to provide people with safe food that supports the lifestyle they want and/or need to maintain. We see a lot of very sick people with celiac disease who become sicker and sicker each time they ingest food with gluten. We see people who suffer from very painful fibromyalgia – and finally, after dozens of years of being in pain, have started feeling better on a paleo diet. One of our regular customers just celebrated her one-year veganniversary! I don’t know the specifics of her journey, but it’s important to her and we are pleased to have snacks for her on a regular basis.
The stereotypical CrossFit enthusiasts looking for paleo sweets come in – as well as the people who just think they’ll be healthier if they choose to eat one way or another. And even those brave souls on the Whole30 who think they can sneak in something made with dates. The possibilities are endless. Our job is never to judge or question why these customers come through our doors – just to help them find something sweet, and most importantly, that is safe for them to eat. I picked up possibly the most niche cookbook I have ever seen: The New Yiddish Kitchen: Gluten-Free and Paleo Kosher Recipes for the Holidays and Every Day. I know, right? I mean, of course I want to make paleo, kosher, gluten-free chocolate babka! Why make traditional when you can use cassava flour and cashews instead??
The creative side of this business is amazing. We get to experiment with new flours, fats, sugars, fruits, etc. It’s amazing. But it is also incredibly finicky. We see failures in our products for every success. It’s a science, yes, but the best food always comes from people who understand the science enough to break the rules a little – that’s the part we are still figuring out.
We’re on this journey together – figuring out what we want to eat today and this month, and then changing our minds tomorrow and next year.
* Today’s a little preview on what’s to come – we will be posting on alternative diets once per month. This will include recipes, anecdotes, and other fun and relevant work we’ve been doing. Have a specific request or question you want us to answer? Never hesitate to send us a message on Facebook, or send us an e-mail. We want to give you what you want! *