Thursday, September 16, 2010

Gluten Free Breads Taste Test and Comparison - Rudi's, Udi's, and Nature's Own

At our recent gluten free support group meeting the main event was a "Gluten Free Bread Smackdown!" A taste test comparison between 3 major brands of gluten free store-bought bread, along with a homemade gluten free loaf.

Rudi's Gluten Free Bakery, Udi's Gluten Free Bakery, and Nature's Own Gluten Free were all kind enough to send our support group samples of each bread.

I have to say as far as customer service, Rudi's & Udi's went absolutely above and beyond sharing their full range of products. They also sent coupons and lots of great literature about their breads. Nature's Own was reluctant to send the bread simply due to the fact that the product is not available in our area yet.

We tried both the "white" and "whole grain" versions of each bread, along with a loaf of homemade gluten free whole grain bread for comparison.

Each person tasted 1/4 of slice of gluten free bread straight from the package. No toasting, no sandwich fillings. Each person was asked to rate the appearance, taste, texture, and overall quality of each type of gluten free bread. The system used for rating was 1-5. "1" being worst and "5" being best.

  • The first brand to go around the table was Nature's Own. Many of our members were excited about trying Nature's Own because of the future possibility of the bread being available nationwide in grocery stores. Nature's Own bread is shelf stable and doesn't have to be refrigerated or frozen. It also has the longest ingredient list, many of which were not easily recognizable. Both loaves of bread rated high in appearance. The whole grain bread yielded the preferred texture and was rated higher overall.

  • Udi's white & whole grain breads went around the table next. Udi's bread also has several hard-to-pronounce ingredients. The bread can be stored on the counter, but for best flavor & texture Udi's recommends keeping it in the freezer. Udi's bread was the lowest in calories and was by far the overall favorite of the group. Everyone loved the appearance and taste. Udi's white bread also had the highest texture rating of all the store-bought gluten free breads. The Udi's products were also the first to get snapped up by members to take home for further "testing." Overall, Udi's was the store-bought favorite of the entire group.

Here are the tallied results of the group taste testing!
Udi's came out #1 overall, while the gluten free homemade loaf came in 2nd!

  • Rudi's was the 3rd bread to go around the table. The best feature of Rudi's gluten free bread is that all of the ingredients for the products could be found in your own kitchen. Rudi's bread, like Udi's, also needs to be stored in the freezer for best results. Unfortunately, Rudi's was the lowest scoring bread in our taste tests. The whole grain was preferred over the white, but many found it to be dry and crumbly. This bread would probably be best toasted.

  • Lastly I brought a loaf of homemade gluten free whole grain bread as a final taste comparison. I was thrilled that the homemade bread came in 2nd overall, right behind Udi's "white" bread. It also tied 2nd place in taste with Udi's "whole grain" bread. And it came in 1st with the best texture, as it was slightly moist in comparison to the other breads and very pliable! It also had the fewest ingredients. The only downfall to the homemade bread was that it was the highest in calories and has a shorter shelf-life.

Katz Gluten Free Bakery was also kind enough to send samples of their products for our members to try. The cookies and muffins were a huge hit with the group! I had a hard time sharing the Chocolate Dipped Cookies as they were my favorite! Katz is a kosher, gluten free bakery located in Monroe, New York. They are a certified gluten free, dairy free, and nut free facility.

Many thanks to my local gluten free support group for being the guinea pigs behind the Gluten Free Bread Smackdown! You guys and gals are wonderful and make living life gluten free so much easier! Thank you so much for participating!

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