Back in the late fall I received a complimentary sampling of products from Schar to review on my blog. I am really embarrassed that it has taken so long for me to post this review, but it has nothing to do with the products themselves. There were so many goodies for us to sample (on top of all the holiday baking at the time), that time just slipped away from me. Better late than never though, right?
First, a little info on Schar (from the website):
The Schär company has been producing gluten-free foods for more than 25 years. During that time, it has acquired a leadership position in this sector of the European market and are now broadening the North American market. The principal goal of the company is the continued development of gluten-free products designed for the daily use by individuals with celiac disease. Thanks to intense research, Schär products offer a high and consistent level of quality and can ensure variety in the gluten-free diet.
We are serious about our quality and our commitment to you. Here are 10 good reasons to feel good about Schär.
– Naturally gluten-free
– Absence of lactose in many of our products
– Freshness without preservatives
– High natural fiber content in many products
– No hydrogenated fat or trans fat
– Quality oils: sunflower seed and olive oil
– Ingredients rich in nutritious components (such as isolated pea protein and lupine)
– Uses flours naturally rich in nutrients instead of starches
– Exhaustive quality control procedures to ensure a guaranteed level of maximum quality beginning with the manufacturing process.
I encourage you to check out the Schar website, there is a lot of helpful information on it. There are Tips for Kids, Shopping Tips, Travel Tips (including a list of airlines that offer GF meals), there is even a Gluten-Free Food Pyramid! Schar also has a Free E-Newsletter that you can sign up for.
We really enjoyed most of the gluten-free products offered by Schar in the U.S., and there were only a couple that weren’t enthusiastically well-received: the bread and the pasta, so let me address those first.
To be fair, the bread is actually pretty decent for “pre-Udi’s era” GF bread. It reminds me of Ener-G’s Tapioca Loaf that comes in the bubble wrap and is shelf stable for many months. Toast and Thanksgiving dressing/stuffing is a great use for this style of gluten-free bread, but I would never eat an untoasted sandwich with it.
The Schar Pastas have a good taste, but the texture left a bit to be desired. I am very picky with GF pasta, and there are very few brands other than Tinkyada that I would buy (and that is only if I need a special shape that Tinkyada doesn’t offer). I have yet to find another brand of GF pasta that isn’t temperamental in the texture department, they either turn out too chewy or altogether mushy.
Now for the Schar products that we really liked:
Unfortunately, I did not get to try the Schar Pizza Crust because I sent it to school with Sam for one of his cooking classes. He did say that he liked it though (but that was as descriptive as Sam could get!). If you are leery of a 6 year old’s opinion, be sure to check out Mike’s video review of the Schar Pizza Crust over at Switch2GlutenFree.com
I have used these to dip in chocolate and make “Magic Wands,” (in lieu of a gluten-free pretzel rod). We also like to just snack on them alone or dip them them in tomato soup.
There is only one problem with the breadsticks: the packaging. I order the breadsticks online and by the time they arrive, many are broken (this is not the only GF product I have had this issue with. My recent shipment of Edward & Sons GF Sugar Cones arrived in crumbs, and most often, the Glutino Crackers are broken too). Some gluten-free products are really fragile, so a little package insulation would be nice, especially for the price we pay.
Another product we really like are the Schar Shortbread Cookies. My husband absolutely LOVES these dipped in milk! I also use them to make GF “Twix” candy bars:
The Chocolate Hazelnut Bars come individually wrapped, so they are perfect for on-the go snacks. The wafer is airy and crisp, the perfect compliment to the chocolate. I am a big hazelnut fan so these were perfect for me!
My boys love the Chocolate O’s. Luke is a chocoholic so I knew he would like them, but Sam (who will only eat chocolate if there is nothing else around that is sweet), really liked these too. I have a feeling the giant “S” on the wafer had something to do with it!
The Chocolate Dipped Cookies were another big hit around here. I think they are perfect for that “little something sweet” at the end of a meal.
Schar has some wonderful gluten-free offerings in the US, but I have to say that I am envious of the people who live in other countries and have access to other Schar products, like these:
That is a GF KitKat!! Why can’t these be sold in the US??
What a fun snack for kids!
The Schar Gris & Ciocc does give me an idea though: what about dipping the breadsticks in Nutella or SunButter (or both)? Yum!
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