The game done changed. As soon as the Gluten Free Epicurean opened for business, Vancouver became a beautiful place to be gluten free.
Go there. Park awkwardly but know it’s worth it. Step in. The interior is so white and crisp and lovely it feels like (bear with me) you’re stepping into a little corner of heaven.
Then you see the apple fritters the size of your head, the S’mores bars, the cinnamon rolls, the baking mixes, the ice cream bars in the freezer and you pass out. You wake up and realize you have some serious eating to do. This sh-t is real and it’s getting better every day.
I’d been following them on Facebook to see what new amazing concoctions they were coming up with. (On weekends when I don’t have to drive I cling close to home. So I look at gluten free food online like it’s delicious porno.) I saw promises of pizza the other day. And then milk and cookies bars. I don’t even know what those are, but I have full faith that they will be NUTSO AMAZING.
But, looking at that picture up there, that angel food cake, fully dressed, that was the reason I finally dragged my lazy ass down to the bakery.
Every celiac has that one food they would cheat with on their deathbed. Mine has always been angel food cake. I used to make them from a mix during summers spent in the country at my Grandparents. Tiptoe around while it was baking to ensure the cake wouldn’t fall - a culinary disaster that would ensure a dense chewy beast instead of a light fluffy airy concoction in your mouth.
When it was done, tipped upside down to cool, I’d carefully ease it onto a plate and if nobody was around, carry the entire thing out to the TV, settle in and steadily rip off ragged sweet chunks of cake and eat until there was nothing more.
I have never attempted to bake a gluten free angel food cake. It felt like it would be impossible - something I would get really excited about and spend an afternoon doing, ignoring my kid and making a yolk-y mess and then…what? It wouldn’t be the same. It couldn’t. Could it?
That piece of cake, nestled in a take-out bed of tangy lemon curd, dollops of cold white whipped cream and sweet slices of berries, was as good as I could hope. I sat in my car, windows down, (only minutes to myself before dashing off to a meeting) and let the flavours pass my lips, dally in my mouth and spread such a sweetness through me. The sun poured in and and even if it looked like a crazy pig eating by myself in a dirty white car, I did not give a sh-it.
I had found what I was looking for. My celiac heart was soothed. Go. Go eat there. It will be the best part of your day, anyday. I promise.