OK, I give in.
Ten years ago, when I was a cookbook review editor, my first gluten-free cookbook arrived. I passed on it; I had not heard of celiac disease (nor had anyone else who didn’t have it). Here is yet another book, I thought, on a dilemma (wheat intolerance) that is emblematic of the first-world—not unlike being a book review editor. At the time I felt the same about a vegan diet. And while I’m not planning on converting anytime soon, in the intervening years I’ve simply become more accepting.
“Gluten-free is the new vegan,” says Lissa Warren, VP and senior publicity director at Da Capo. “The excitement we used to see for vegan is now being seen for gluten-free.” And judging by the publisher’s list, Da Capo’s titles are definitely selling: The Gluten Free Vegan, over 20,000 copies; Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free, over 25,000; and You Won’t Believe It’s Gluten Free! over 30,000). With three more books pubbing this season (Gluten-Free in Five Minutes; Gluten-Free Makeovers; Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food), they’re sticking with the formula.
Matthew Lore, publisher of The Experiment, argues, after culling his research, that there are 30 million people in the U.S. who have gluten intolerance—“and that’s nearly 10% of the population.” The first gluten-free book Lore published (and one that I surely passed on) was with Marlowe & Company in 2006, Eating Gluten-Free by Shreve Stockton (this and his other vegan/gluten-free titles have since been acquired by Perseus).
Two years ago The Experiment published what has become, one of their bestselling books Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli and Peter Bronski . Last month they published the authors’ most recent book, Artisanal Gluten-Free Cupcakes.
But there’s more…and more. The number of books publishing this season is pretty generous, even I have to admit:
Quick-Fix Gluten Free by Robert M. Landolphi (Aug.)
The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten & Lactose, by Barbara Kafka (Nov.)
Deliciously G-Free: Food So Flavorful They'll Never Believe It's Gluten-Free by Elisabeth Hasselbeck (Dec.)
The Cooking Light Gluten-Free Cookbook (Aug.)
Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes by Kim Lutz (Sept.)
Ten Speed Press/Celestial Arts
The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More by Laura B. Russell (Aug.)
The Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef by Shauna James Ahern and Daniel Ahern
Gluten-Free Baking for Dummies (Dec.)
This is all great news for those with celiac disease and wheat allergies. And looking at the recipes, it doesn’t seem as if home cooks will be missing too much in flavor. Landolphi’s Quick-Fix Gluten Free offers a solidly delicious recipe for parmesan potato gnocchi with roasted garlic butter. Beth Hillson serves up recipes for pot pie and pizza in Gluten-Free Makeovers, and in Gluten-Free Vegan Comfort Food, Susan O’Brien delivers a tasty-seeming key lime pie I’m ready to try.