Isn’t it romantic? Valentine’s Day is coming soon and if you were thinking of getting expensive gluten free chocolates to give your valentine, then you’ll want to pay attention!
It turns out, the biggest issue these companies have is cross contamination. Even the companies with the best of intentions admit it. Take a look at this post to see if your favorite chocolatier is on the list and then proceed with caution.
Are these gluten free chocolates?
Godiva. Nope. In fact they actually tell you not to eat their product. The FAQ on the website says, “ALL of our products including solid chocolate pieces may contain gluten. Any person with a gluten allergy should NOT consume ANY of our products.”
Richard Donnelly Chocolates: The website wasn’t as direct about gluten status for this company so I sent an email. “Most of our chocolates are gluten free. That includes about 25 flavor assorted chocolates and 20 chocolate bars. Some of our products have cookie with gluten and some of our products are made with glucose that can be wheat or corn. Some people say the gluten transfers in the wheat glucose. Others say it does not. I don’t know so I tell the customer. We tell customers there may be trace elements of anything they are allergic to in our chocolates.” — Richard Donnelly
BT McElrath Chocolatier based in Minneapolis. FAQ “All of our products are manufactured in a facility which handles wheat. The specific item which has a wheat-based ingredient is the Buttered Toast chocolate bar.”
St. Croix Chocolate Co. based in Marine on St. Croix, MN responded to my email request. Deidre Pope, co-owner of the company says, “St. Croix Chocolate Co. makes many chocolates that are gluten free. As you know, there is no gluten in chocolate or cream, so it’s a matter of whether the additions to the confections contain gluten. We do make some chocolates that have cookies, pretzels or whiskey (A customer actually told me that some whiskeys were problematic for people avoiding gluten). However, when people come into the shop and ask for gluten free chocolate, it is usually easier to show them which chocolates contain gluten, rather than which ones don’t! We are also very clear that in a small shop like ours, there is no way to have a contained area to guarantee 0 contact with any ingredients people are trying to avoid for allergen or dietary reasons. We use best practices to avoid contact but cannot guarantee it, so each customer needs to make the best decision for their own specific situation.”
Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland replied to my email request from their Chicago store: “There is no gluten used as an ingredient in the chocolate products. However, pastries and other baked goods are created within the facility. Therefore, it is possible there could be a trace amount of gluten found in any of the products. If a person has a severe gluten intolerance, we do not recommend consuming any of the confections.”
Voages Haut-Chocolat (Chicago): This company seemed the most promising. It has gluten free products and even touts them on their own page on the website. However they do manufacture in a facility uses wheat. See its gluten free product list.
Jacques Torres Chocolate answered the gluten question right on their website. “Gluten: Our baked goods and chocolate covered cereals contain wheat, but our bon bons, chocolate covered nuts or fruit and chocolate bars do not contain any wheat ingredients. However, products with and without wheat ingredients are processed on shared machinery and in the same factory. For customers with a severe gluten allergy we do not recommend any of our products.”
Norman Love Confections: I was told via email, “We are not a wheat free facility, our moulds are shared so none of our chocolates would be considered totally gluten free. sorry” –Mary Love of Norman Love Confections.
Valrhona: The FAQ page here says, “There is no gluten listed as an ingredient but our products may contain traces of gluten because of the machines used. We recommend people for whom gluten is a healthy concern not to consume our chocolate.”
There are three companies that did not reply to my request: Rocky Mountain Chocolates, Scharffen Berger Chocolate, and Ghirardelli. If I get an update from them I will update this post.
Make your own gluten free chocolates
I know receiving chocolates would be better than making them, but my friend brought this chocolate/bacon bark to our Super Bowl party and it was GREAT! Here is how you make it:
- Go find your favorite gluten free DARK chocolate, melt it in a pot on medium-low heat
- fry up 3-4 pieces of bacon (per 10 oz bag of chocolate)
- add 1 teaspoon of the bacon grease to the chocolate and mix well
- pour chocolate into a 7×11″ pan (or so, larger if you want it thinner, smaller if you want it thicker) and spread it out
- rip bacon into smallish pieces and distribute on top of chocolate
- take a coarse sea salt and sprinkle in the gaps.
It will set in the refrigerator, which is where you will want to keep it. The warmer it is, the flimsier it gets. My friend used 58% dark chocolate, hickory smoked bacon and celtic coarse sea salt.
If that doesn’t work, you can always eat up the Necco’s Sweethearts (which are perfect for school or a little gift with a card). If you would like more information on other Valentine’s Day candy click here for a good list from About.com.