The Local Epicurean


By Nancy Smorch

I love to learn and I am learning so much about cooking and eating without gluten.  Two foods that I used to eat a lot of - pasta and artisanal bread - both contain gluten.  So I’ve been substituting rice and quinoa for pasta, and corn tortillas for bread.  I’ve tried using gluten-free pastas but they tend to be rubbery in texture and will taste awful, so there’s no point in eating them.  Until recently.  I went to Harvest Health in Hudsonville, Michigan and found a bunch of locally made pasta - both gluten free and regular.  So I picked some of it up and tried it.  Everyone loved it!  All I put on it was olive oil, salt, and shredded parmesan cheese and it was really good.  The Local Epicurean in Grand Rapids, Michigan made it. 

I actually spoke to the owner at the farmer’s market this past Saturday in Holland and he said he would make any flavor gluten free I wanted, with a minimum of a 3 bag order.  For gluten-free pastas they have Parsley and Sweet Onion, Shiitake Mushroom and Leek, Olive Oil and Basil, and a few others. 

Their traditional pastas include Orange Bell Pepper, Buttermilk Bleu Cheese, Lemon Thyme, Meyer Lemon and Dill, Eggplant and Parmesan Cheese, Black Truffle and Shiitake Mushroom, and Butternut Squash and Sage (among many others).  All pastas are made with organic flours and eggs.  They also carry local hand crafted cheese, infused organic butters, chocolate truffles, olive oils and vinegars, and heirloom and local produce.  I think I have a new best friend :).

Check them out!