August 31 2009, 10:13 AM
About three years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Celiac disease, or gluten intolerance. As a food-lover, she struggled to give up the problematic protein that's found in wheat, rye, and barley. Along the way she's discovered that although many gluten-free substitutes have become commonplace, the quality varies widely. To highlight some of the best local offerings, Mom shares a few of her favorites: For pizza: Basil Doc's made-from-scratch, crispy polenta-based dough is delicious topped with mozzarella and kalamata olives. The shop serves these pies with red sauce on the side, so the crust doesn't get crumbly on the way home. Multiple locations. For bread: Unlike many gluten-free loaves, Udi's is soft, holds together well, and comes in white and whole grain. Best of all, it's sold at King Soopers. Multiple locations. For cake: The gluten-free chocolate cake from the Bundt Shoppe is moist, not crumbly, and decadent. Always available in the three-inch "Bundtie" size, the treat can also be ordered in birthday party-size. Bundties are also carried at the Tea Box in Cherry Creek and Boulder. The Bundt Shoppe, 7437 Village Square Dr., Suite #125 (Village Square Shopping Center), Castle Pines North, 303-422-8638; The Tea Box, 2353 E. Third Ave., 303-393-7972 and 1505 Pearl St., Boulder, 720-382-2930. Bonus: For gluten-free recipes and tips, pick up a copy of Boulderite Elana Amsterdam's newly released cookbook, The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook. A fellow Celiac sufferer, Amsterdam also blogs on the subject at Elana's Pantry.