Notable absence

Categories: Expert guidance

Celia Brooks takes us on a guided tour of Borough’s best gluten-free offerings

Words: Celia Brooks

In the last decade or so, gluten has increasingly been strutting the culinary stage wearing a baddie’s cloak. While for many of us the ingestion of gluten-full goods is in no way a problem, people who have a wheat allergy or who suffer from coeliac disease must, of course, avoid it at all costs. My own sister was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and has been able to control it almost entirely by avoiding gluten, though she does allow herself the occasional indulgence (and reports that she pays for it afterwards with an arthritic flare-up).

Luckily, Borough Market takes the headache out of food shopping for a gluten-free diet. Since virtually all of the products are not mass produced, you can be absolutely certain what you are getting—and if you ask whether or not something is gluten-free, you are guaranteed a safe answer from the savvy and knowledgeable traders who really know their products and their provenance.

Borough Market is blessed with The Free From Bakehouse, where everything is made in a dedicated gluten-free bakery, so if it’s cakes, bakes and pastries you’re after, you can really spoil yourself. Try a banana and chocolate chip loaf, a bakewell slice, a generously frosted lemon meringue cupcakes, or how about a chocolate Guinness cupcake with Bailey’s cream cheese frosting? Not to mention heaps of assorted brownies, and peanut butter and white chocolate blondies. They also offer a selection of savoury muffins such as jalapeño and sweetcorn, and a ‘naked’ one made with teff flour—which would be perfect with mushroom pâté…

Injecting fun into breakfast
Pâté Moi has recently developed a gluten-free version of their famous mushroom pâté, which is delicious slathered over gluten-free bread or crackers, or scooped up on vegetable crudités. It can also be stirred into pasta for an instantaneous creamy mushroom sauce or baked in the oven as a filling for mushroom caps. Mini Magoo, meanwhile, can inject some fun into breakfast with their lovely gluten-free organic muesli and ‘fun stuff’ toppers made of seasoned nuts and seeds.

One of the Market’s newcomers, nibs etc, offers handmade crackers, cereals and loaf bakes using fruit and veg pulp left over from local juice bars—pure recycling genius! Not all products are gluten-free, but many are so just ask the cheerful and friendly stall holder, Chloë, what’s what. A mere hop skip and a jump away at Oliveology, you’ll find deliciously malty, sticky sesame and honey pasteli—an incidentally gluten-free energy boost—or take a whip round Gastronomica, Brindisa and From Field and Flower for alternative flours aplenty, such as Galician chestnut flour, if you fancy getting your bake on at home.

Of course, Borough Market is a gluten-free paradise for all your fresh meat, fish, cheese, fruit and vegetable needs. You’ll easily find all the ingredients for these recipes: halloumi-stuffed peppers and smoky aubergine timbales. Enjoy.