Thursday, July 17, 2014

Gluten Free along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

I saw a sign along NY Route 89 that said "Wood Fired Pizza," and I had kids with me, so I pulled into the Copper Oven, located at the Cayuga Ridge Estate Winery in Ovid, NY.   I didn't expect to be able to eat, but the kids were getting cranky and you can always mollify them with pizza.

They did have a few gluten free things on the menu -- a couple of salads and meat and cheese boards.  When I explained that I was gluten intolerant, they told me they could bring me almond crackers instead of flat-bread with my meat and cheese board.

The cheese board was lovely.  They brought out a wooden plank with three kinds of cheese (one was a blue cheese, which I don't eat, but the other two were excellent), some blackberry jam, and honeycomb.

Here's the thing about honeycomb.  I have had it a couple of times before, and always assumed you were not supposed to eat the comb itself, as it was waxy and tough.  Just recently though, I read an article about honeycomb that explained that older honeycomb may be tough and brittle (especially if you bought it at a tourist shop where it may have been on that shelf for ages), but that fresh honeycomb (less than a year old) will be soft enough to spread on a cracker.

So I spread it on my crackers and topped it with the sharper cheese -- Yum!  The other cheese (chevre) paired very nicely with the jam.

The gluten-eating children gave the place mixed reviews.  Copper Oven does not have a regular pizza sauce, the kind most kids would expect on a pizza.  The had two choices -- a bbq sauce and a white sauce.  All the kids were skeptical, but in the end, two of them actually liked their pizza a lot (they ordered the Fun-Guy, which has mushrooms, green onions, and cheddar with a white sauce).  The other refused to try the pizza and got a charcuterie board with salami, ham, and mortadella, served with pickles and a corn salsa.  The mortadella was not a hit, but he enjoyed the other two meats.

(Note: Copper Oven does NOT have a gluten free pizza.)

To soothe the disappointment over the non-traditional pizza, we next headed south a few miles to the Cayuga Lake Creamery.  To my surprise, they had gluten free ice-cream cones on the menu!  I had a chocolate and vanilla swirl soft serve (custard, not the fake non-dairy stuff you get at fast food places) in an actual cone.  Wow!  I had a moment of nostalgia remembering all the swirl ice-cream cones I had as a child, and enjoyed the sensation of biting into the cone, getting ice-cream and crunchy cone in one bite.  Mmmmm.  The cone itself was not great, but as I recall, the regular gluten-containing ones weren't gourmet fair either.  They pretty much all tasted slightly like Styrofoam.   That wasn't the point then, and it isn't now.  The point is, I got an ice-cream cone!


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