We love Heinz here.
16 years ago, when we were first navigating the gluten free diet, it was a huge relief to find that Heinz clearly labelled their products as gluten free (if they were).
This meant that I could say to people feeding my daughter: give her a jacket potato and Heinz baked beans. A reasonable meal, and more importantly, a gluten free meal that could be rustled up by anyone, even those people without experience of the gluten free diet.
And I regularly recommended this as an easy ‘first-night’ meal for those children diagnosed as gluten free, when their parents were worried about where to start.
These days, of course, there are many, many more options, and more manufacturers carry the magic words on their labelling. But the amount of brand loyalty that those two words generated has stuck, and we still love Heinz.
So we were delighted to find out that Heinz are now manufacturing gluten free pasta, and pasta sauces.
To be honest, I’m less excited about the pasta sauces—though I can see they are a natural brand extension—because most tomato-based pasta sauces that I’ve come across are naturally gluten free. (Do watch out for flour used for thickening, and any added items such as sausages, of course).
But the pasta is intriguing.
In ‘the olden days’ I used to create a home-made version of Heinz tinned spaghetti, to go to nursery with our coeliac, so that she was eating something that at least looked a bit like the food the other children were eating. Obviously getting the taste and texture exactly the same would have been tricky!
So when Heinz offered to send us some samples, naturally I leapt at the chance. We received a pack of spaghetti and two cartons of tomato and herb sauce – and were pleased by our taste-test results. We eat a lot of pasta meals…
Our coeliac commented that the spaghetti strands are slightly thicker in diameter than she’s used to—not that that’s a problem, as pasta comes in all shapes and sizes. And she enjoyed the sauces. I’d say it was a success.
In a sense, it’s a surprise that Heinz have waited so long to join the gluten free market, but since Bi-Aglut is one of their brands, I guess it was only a matter of time until they made the move.
And the pasta (spaghetti, penne and macaroni) are available in supermarkets now – at least, in Tesco, Morrisons and Asda. I’ve even seen it in our little local Tesco, and the packaging makes it look attractive. Plus, of course, it has that name behind it. It should do well.
So here’s the challenge, Heinz: tinned gluten free spaghetti! My daughter has outgrown it now, but I’m sure there’ll be parents of small children who’d just love to see it on the shelves…
I’ve written a book summarising what we’ve learnt over 20 years of dealing with the gluten free diet, and it might be just what you’re looking for. It packs the lessons we’ve learned into what I hope is a helpful and straightforward guidebook. It’s available on Amazon, as a paperback or for your Kindle…