With a somewhat belated nod in the direction of Coeliac Awareness Week, I decided to go and try that Pizza Express gluten-free pizza that I was raving on about two weeks ago. Would it live up to expectations?…..
Well, I am delighted to say that it did! Thin, crisp and not at all chewy – although weirdly, very difficult to cut with a knife and, as yet, they do not have dedicated gluten-free pizza cutters. But actually very flavoursome – and with, of course, the usual selection of fresh and tasty toppings. (About 2/3 of their normal toppings are gluten free and those that are not are clearly marked up.)
The waiting staff at my ‘local’ were very helpful and well informed about the new g-f range and, I am delighted to say, when I asked for a pizza cutter, explained that they did not have any that were not also used for ordinary pizzas. However, it was only when I started chatting to the chef that I was told about what I feel is Pizza Express’ trump card – the fact that they now only use gluten-free flour in all of their restaurants, for both gluten-filled and gluten-free pizzas so that there is no chance of loose flour blowing around and contaminating their gluten-free offer or indeed any other part of the restaurants. (Interestingly, the feed back on the gluten-free flour is that it ‘works’ exactly the same as ‘normal’ flour – no discernible difference.)
However, the new gluten free offer does not only involve pizzas. A tasty little ‘Risotto d’oro’ with roasted butternut squash, a Leggera ‘superfood’ salad, Melanzane Parmigiana topped with gluten-free breadcrumbs, not to mention a very yummy-scrumy little gluten free brownie and some Green’s (FFFood Awards winners….) gluten-free lager!
All gluten free dishes are prepared in a separate part of the kitchen with dedicated utensils and gluten-free pizzas have their own metal bases and are cooked on separate shelves in the ovens. Read all about it here on their site!
Now we just wait for them to go the final step and create some dairy-free and gluten-free pizzas!!!