by Anneli Rufus
The East Bay's only dedicated gluten-free artisan bakery, Mariposa Baking Company, is expanding. Today is opening day at its new kiosk in the Ferry Building Marketplace. The San Francisco location's offerings will include fresh gluten-free breads, bagels, muffins, and cookies, as well as frozen pizzas, ravioli, and more. Special items for Thanksgiving include gluten-free cornbread, bread cubes for stuffing, rosemary rolls, and — by special order — pies.
Mariposa is the brainchild of Patti Furey Crane, who discovered her own gluten allergy after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Wanting to help manage her illness by nutritional means, she cut wheat-based desserts from her diet, but found commercial replacements lacking in texture and flavor. With the help of friends, she leaarned how to bake her own gluten-free biscotti and brownies, and launched Mariposa Baking in 2004. In 2006, the company's dedicated gluten-free facility was completed in Oakland, and that is where the baking is now done: in small batches, using combinations of organic brown-rice flour, sweet-rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca flour.
Also in the gluten-avoidance vein, at last month's Gluten-Free Cooking Spree, hosted on Treasure Island by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, we met a bunch of local folks (and companies) who are down for the cause. San Francisco's Crave Bakery, which also began with brownies, makes custom gluten- and casein-free wedding and birthday cakes, along with tarts, cupcakes, cookies, and other desserts. San Jose-based Iamori makes gluten-free quiche, scones, focaccia, and pastries (available at Concord's Harvest House and other stores). Katie Alin launched her Walnut Creek-based Miglet's Gluten-Free Bakery after working at the Taylor Family Foundation's Camp Celiac in Livermore. (Some of Miglet's products, which include breads and pastries, are sold at Mariposa in Oakland.) Danville -based Three Senses Gourmet, founded by working-mom Amy Phillips, makes gluten-free soufflé (sold frozen at Berkeley Whole Foods and other stores). Mill Valley-based Hipp Kitchen prepares low-sugar, mainly organic meals free of many allergens including gluten, dairy, soy, shellfish, and peanuts; its online newsletter includes allergen-free Thanksgiving recipes. — Anneli Rufus