Welcome to the book blog of writer and creative writing tutor, Diane Paul.

Thanks to the publishers and kind PR people who send me books and releases about their clients' books for review. Press releases and review copies of fiction and non-fiction are always welcome. (No sci-fi, fantasy or erotica please.)

Due to the barrage of requests from self-published authors for reviews, I'm unable to deal with them all, although I'm sometimes drawn to non-fiction for the subject matter. And because I love print books, the smell, the touch of the paper and the sight of the words, I don't have an electronic reader or review e-books.

E-mail to: bookblogforbookworms@keywordeditorial.com for the postal address.

My writing website: http://www.keywordeditorial.com/

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Gluten-free bread is good! Check out your fingerprints!

Artisan's gluten-free Quinoa bread

As a postscript to my gluten-free cookbook post, the Artisan bread arrived in a neatly-packed box and well within the use by date; sliced them and put them in the freezer ready for toasting. Can recommend the quinoa as it's soft and springy and the pea and alpine herb bread tastes like, er pea and alpine herbs.

Good customer relations

The thing I really appreciated about Artisan was that at the end of their phone sits a human being, ready to answer questions and chat about their products, so that I didn't have to waste valuable time pressing buttons, being cut off and running up a phone bill in line with my blood pressure; no recorded messages that brought me round to the place I first started, or that produced a human robot who read to me from a script. Big business hasn't got around to listening to public opinion yet and instead of dispensing with these ridiculous, time-wasting technologies, they seem to be on the increase. So, top marks to Artisan and firms like them who've understood that keeping the customers happy is the key to keeping customers.

And another thing...most firms who send goods via snail mail don't give them another thought once they've taken the money and sent them off. Artisan ask where to deliver the goods if you're out when they arrive and they're plastered with labels warning posties of the perishable goods inside that need to be handled with care and delivered fast. I realise this is beginning to sound like an advert for Artisan Bread Organic (ABO) but I think with today's attitudes in the marketplace, any company that shows care and respect for their customers deserves a public acknowledgment.

ABO's Real Bread award

Fingerprint clue to gluten intolerance

Ingrid Eissfeldt, director of ABO says: 'We care about what happens in your body after you have eaten our bread - we don't stop at "mouthfeel"'. Their products have been influenced by the work of naturopathic physician Dr Peter D'Adamo, noted for his Blood Type Diet. So their breads are labelled with the different blood types and genotype compatability. 'Did you know that you can tell the digestive power of your guts by looking at your fingers?' asks Ingrid. She tells me that if I can see my fingerprints I'm OK. I can't, of course. They're covered by little lines going this way and that. Gripped by fear, I learn more. 'If the lines are worn and hard to see you are probably gluten intolerant.' So that painful bowel biopsy was all for nothing...I rather suspected as much when I came to in the middle of it.

Gluten-free fresh flour

Artisan also sell fresh gluten free flour and Ingrid warns that it needs to be fresh as once it's milled it oxidises and tastes bitter. 'That's when industry reaches for potato flour and egg powder to mask the off flavours. Because they don't understand the water absorbing properties of gluten free grains, they stick the bread together with Xanthan gum.

'Ever made a pancake with rice flour? It's so crisp and delicious you'll never use wheat flour again,' she says. Their website contains vegan recipes using fresh flour. Who's for truffles on a quinoa Glutini? Log on to http://www.artisanbread-abo.com/ and check it out for yourselves. You can order by phone (01227 771 881) or online.

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