I love when I find a gluten free company that not only tastes absolutely amazing, but is also health conscious and strives to use the best ingredients possible. That is exactly what I have found in The California Food Company. I had the pleasure of meeting the president and founder of the company, Roberto Villani and his team, made up mostly of women, recently for an interview at their office in Playa Del Rey.
The California Food Company is a local company that began making a name for itself at local farmer's markets in 2009. Robert initially found interest in gluten free food because he realized that after eating strictly gluten free he started to feel better inside and out. He also, at the time, had a girlfriend who was gluten free and shopping for food was almost impossible. Robert saw a need, not just for more convenient gluten free food available in grocery stores, but for convenient HEALTHY gluten free food, filled with rich flavors that would tempt any palette.
CFC uses locally sourced ingredients as often as possible, and their crusts are Non GMO Project Verified, the most rigorous certification attainable, all prepared in a certified gluten free facility and their pasta meals are completely organic. Mr. Villani strives to make food taste better, so we we eat better and in the end makes you feel better. Their mantra is "a healthy meal does not have to sacrifice taste, and a frozen meal does not have to sacrifice quality."
During the interview I had the opportunity to taste their products and all I can say is yuuuum!!! They have 3 types of gluten free pizza: Lactose Free Margherita, Mushroom Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto. Their pizza is by far the best pizza I have ever tasted. There is plenty of cheese, its crunchy & crispy with plenty of sauce, lots of mushrooms for their mushroom pizza and they all bake up beautifully. Below is a soundbite of the crunch I experienced while enjoying the pizza:
The company's Lactose Free/Gluten Free Pizza uses Wisconsin Parmesan Cheese aged to 0% lactose, which is certified and tested for lactose levels each and every time. Lactose is the sugar in dairy products and milk. Mozzarella is used in their Mushroom and Basil Pesto pizza's. Mozzarella and Parmesan are a safer choice for those with lactose issues because both have lower sugar contents overall. Most of the lactose is drained of with the whey (liquid part) during processing, what remains in the curd turns into lactic acid as the cheese ripens. A good indicator of lactose levels in a dairy product is the sugar content amount on label; the higher the sugar it contains, the more lactose there will be present.
Non-GMO Verified Crust
Award Winning Crust
GLUTEN FREE PASTA
When is comes to making pasta, who better to create it then someone born and raised in Italy, who knows pasta and knows the importance of rich tasting sauces that burst with flavor. These 4 pasta's definitely deliver above and beyond.
All of the gluten free pasta's are created using the protein rich, fiber dense quinoa pasta with organic, non-GMO ingredients. The Pasta Primavera and Pink Sauce & Peas both have plenty of vegetables to make sure you are getting a daily dose without sacrificing any of the taste to do it. I liked the fact that the vegetables weren't mushy like I usually find with frozen meals. The Mac & Cheese drips with real cheese and has a perfect al dente consistency following throughout all of the pastas. The Penne Tomato Basil had such a succulent aroma, it made my mouth water before I even had my first bite and didn't disappoint with the taste.
Where to Find
The California Food Company is a local company and can be found in California, Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and a few stores in Wyoming and Montana. Hopefully as they expand, more grocery stores around the country will pick them up for you to enjoy as well. Here in California the pasta's are available in the DELI SECTION of Haggen's (taking over all Von's & Albertson's) towards the end of August with their GF/Organic Entrees and 12" GF Crust. You can also find their pizza's and crusts at Ralph's, Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Barons Market, Natural Grocers and Mother's Market & Kitchen. Keep in mind you might want to call your local store ahead of time to make sure these products are available.