Yesterday, I attended the Gluten Free & Allergy Friendly Expo in New Jersey. Jen Cafferty, the founder of the GFAF Expo, started the day off with a quote she overheard from a little boy during a previous expo. The little boy described the GFAF Expo as being “better than Disney World,” and I love that quote because there is truly no other way to describe the GFAF Expo. If you have been following my blog you may know that this was my third visit to the GFAF Expo and my second visit this year. I think my favorite part of attending the GFAF Expo is that even though this was my second event in one year it was a totally different experience. There were very few repeat vendors and the ones that were repeats happened to be my favorites 🙂 .
This time I attended the Expo with my mom. My mom is one of my best friends and I was so excited to be able to attend the Expo with her this year. My mom is the one who helped me figure out what Celiac Disease meant and spent countless hours learning how to shop, cook, and eat differently in order to get me healthy. Being able to attend the GFAF Expo with her and see how far Gluten Free has come as well as try all of the new products on the market was so much fun.
I found so many things I liked, but my Top 5 Favorite Vendors from the New Jersey GFAF Expo were:
- Nona Lin
- Veggie fries
- My dad’s cookies
1~Bagelinos was one of the first vendors that caught my eye at the GFAF Expo. Bagelinos are a cheesy bagel that has a very unique texture and flavor. They were described to me as having a specially formulated cheese in order to create the desired taste and consistency. For me, discovering Bagelinos came at the perfect time because I am starting to get tired of my breakfast routine. Now, I am going to start each day with a Bagelino!
2~ Nona Lin! Nona Lin was one of my FAVORITE vendors from the Atlanta GFAF Expo! I got tons of coupons from their booth and was so excited to try it on my own. However, I had a ton of trouble finding it in my Whole Foods. I have since realized why I had trouble finding it. Nona Lin is a frozen ramen broth and noodles. I thought the broth was a liquid or powder, so I was looking for it in the Asian aisles, rather than the freezer section! My favorite broth of theirs is the Miso Ramen and I purchased a bag of broth and noodles on the spot! I am really excited to make it for lunch!
3~ Veggie Fries. This was a brand new product for me, Veggie Fries are fries made with vegetables. They have all different kinds. My mom and I tried the Broccoli and Potatoes, Kale and Potatoes, and Chickpeas and Potatoes and they were fantastic!
4~ My dad’s cookies. This vendor has always been a favorite of mine and I was thrilled to see them at the GFAF Expo because my local grocery stopped carrying them. My dad’s cookies makes various kinds of gluten free and dairy free cookies and my roommate can attest to their deliciousness as together we have enjoyed numerous boxes in one sitting. 😀
5~ Last, but not least my 5th favorite vendor from the GFAF Expo was Conte’s. I tried their Frozen Margherita Pizza and Gnocchi. Their products were extremely most and flavorful and did not break part which is always a good sign in my book. 🙂
Honorable Mention: Pretzel Crips! They are now coming out with gluten free minis. I tasted the plain and salted caramel. The salted caramel was too sweet for me but the plain ones were amazing!
I want to make a special shout out to Massel for their sponsorship during the GFAF Expo. Massel was the official blogger sponsor for the GFAF Expo and they were so kind and generous to us. The National Sales Manager of Massel was at the Expo and shared with us the story of the name. The founders made this stock for everyone to be able to enjoy and his wife said, “this stuff Must Sell” hence the name Massel. Massel gave me samples of their four different products; ultra stock cubes; bouillon cubes; liquid stock; and their seasoning in three different flavors; chicken; beef; and vegetable. I am very excited to start experimenting with bouillon in my cooking!
For those of you that have made it this far and still have no idea what the GFAF Expo is, it is a convention center filled with hundreds of gluten free vendors sampling their products. My mom and I sampled a lot more products than the one’s I just described, but those were my favorites and as I start to try more of the products I took home to sample, I will be sure to post about them!