Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Glutenfreeda Roast Beef with Caramelized Onions & Provolone Cheese Pocket Sandwich

I was on the fence about ordering this.  I don't like onions.  I understand the need to flavor things with onions, but I don't want big chunks in there.  Caramelized onions can be great.  At best, this would be some kind of savory Arby's-meets-Hot Pocket Philly cheesesteak thing.  At worst, it might be like the nastiest Hot Pockets with a bunch of sweet onions in it.
What can I say?  I've had enough gluten-free failures over the past ten years to know what not to buy.  I felt this was worth the risk because I have good luck with the burrito-type items, and I need fast cheap savory food like every other American.  So I took the plunge.
The packaging says this is made with a minimally-processed whole-grain gluten-free bread.  In my experience, this can mean just about anything.  Some brands make a glorified white bread with a little less bleach and call it 'Whole Grain', some are sickeningly sweet, relying too much on rice, and some are soft with hard chunks of millet and flax in them, thus ruining the texture.  I'll be looking carefully at the texture of the bread as well as the filling, and ease of cooking.

The package says to take it out of the plastic wrapper and put it on a plate for cooking.  I NEVER DO THIS.  In the Lynn Wilson Burrito days, I discovered you could open one end of the plastic wrapper and microwave it in the wrapper.  the wrapper wouldn't melt, and you'd have a perfectly steamed tortilla for the new two minutes - about the amount of time it took to eat it.  If you were lucky, you'd get the whole thing down after it stopped being molten, but before the tortilla starts hardening.

After 1:30, the thing was still cold in the middle.  I did one more minute.

Microwave Directions: Remove sandwich from plastic wrapper and place on plate in microwave.  Microwave on high for 1 minute to one minute and 15 seconds.  let cool 1 - 2 minutes, enjoy!

Modified Directions: Open plastic sheath, remove sandwich to ensure ice crystals aren't too thick, dust it off if needed.  Shake out the plastic sheath.  Re-insert sandwich in sheath, microwave for 90 seconds, then turn, microwave another 60 seconds if center is still cold.

Of course, it's not bulging with filling like the press photo.
But can you imagine how hard it would be to cook the center if it was any fuller?

The ends hardened, which made them inedible.  But the center was now perfect.
I was amazed immediately at the way the bread tore.  It had a toothsome chew.  I bit in.  Is that flax seed?  Checking the ingredients list, yes, it is.  But it's good in this, it actually tastes like a chewy whole-grain product.  I waited for the onion but didn't find it.  I waited for the lack of salt, or the sting of too much salt.  neither happened.  The meat itself was kinda low-quality, but the cheese was free-flowing and there weren't big gaps in cheese coverage.  At 260 calories, a very fine micro-meal.  For most people, this would be 1/5 to 1/10 of their daily calories, and I think they are very well spent on this item.  It costs between $3 and $4 - I think I paid $4 for it, which is what I pay for a fast food sandwich with a single meat, and I have to remove the bread. PLUS I have to drive or walk to that food, I can't make it in my house.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

I don't think I've ever had a bad Glutenfreeda product.  I'll be reviewing their Shredded Beef Burrito soon.

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