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Gluten Free Review: Glutino English Muffins
I love Egg McMuffins. They're so simple. So easy. So international! I mean, think about it: Canadian bacon, American cheese, and an English muffin! Wow! So many countries wrapped up in one relatively healthy, delicious sandwich. Yum.
But then the gluten thing happened and I was left McMuffinless. No more staying up all night so I could head over to MickeyD's when they opened and grab some breakfast. No more finding out my first lesson was canceled and running down to the nearby McDonald's to get a breakfast value meal. I was so sad. After at least twenty years of filling my life and my stomach with McMuffiny goodness, we had to break up and go our separate ways.
It's true that an Egg McMuffin is a very simple sandwich, but that doesn't mean that it's easy to make. Getting the proper ingredients together while I was in Japan was almost impossible. Kraft singles barely exist outside of "international" markets, I always had to check the ham for gluten (usually in the form of soy sauce), and the selection of gluten free breads was pretty disappointing. Some "hamburger buns" I bought online made from straight up rice flour worked well enough as English muffins if you microwaved them forever, and finally I was able to put together something McMuffin-like. Not perfect. But it worked for at-home breakfasting (or lunching or dinnering) purposes. Of course, making that darn egg was always a challenge.
Then I came to America, where gluten free breads are a little easier to find. (Only a little.) I started my American McMuffin Experiment with one more ubiquitous brand of English muffins that had a texture that was kind like gnawing on dried glue. The flavor wasn't awful, a bit like burned rice, but it was the only brand I could find until one day I happened upon Glutino. And I almost passed up on the Glutino. Why?
Let's just say that Glutino and I ... have issues. Namely, out of all the Glutino products I've tried, very few have been any good. Their frozen dinners are disgusting, their cookies are bland, their crackers come broken into small pieces and their breads are too chewy (bagels) or too crumbly (Genius) with a very underwhelming flavor. I don't know why I keep giving them chances except that my choices are so limited here in Hawai'i that I just don't have very many options.
Well, I bought the Glutino English muffins despite all that. And they actually taste good, but I should point out that they do not taste like English muffins at all. They taste more like corn muffins and there's also something a little eggy about them. In the photo above you can see how yellow they are, and I'm not sure if it's corn or egg or both, but either way they are quite yellow. Anyway, they do make a decent fake McMuffin, even if the flavor is a little off.
However. The texture leaves something to be desired. They're plenty soft, but first you have to microwave them (especially if frozen) and then toast them. And after that you're going to find that they're a little crumbly. They already have cornmeal or something on the surface that constantly snows down while you eat, and then with the crumbliness, well, you do want to make sure you hold your sandwich over a plate. They were especially crumbly if I just thawed and toasted them without microwaving. Microwaving and then toasting seemed to make them hold up a lot better, but they still snowed quite a bit.
So how do I score these? They don't taste like English muffins, but they're tasty anyway. And they're light and fluffy, but they do crumble a lot if you're not careful.
I think I'll give them a 6.5/10. They're better than just average, but they don't taste like or resemble the thing they're supposed to be (except for the shape). The texture is okay, but they require too much work to be truly edible, and so much of the bread flakes and falls off when I cut them to put them in the toaster. And forget eating them on-the-go! They dry out too much and fall apart if you don't eat them warm.
Pros: Tasty, fluffy
Cons: Requires too much preparation, falls apart otherwise
Verdict: Will buy again for at-home breakfasting, but still looking for a good English muffin