For the most part, it doesn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to find out if something is gluten free or not. A scan of the ingredients usually will give you the answer.
If there are some unknown chemicals or additives or colorings or flavorings (gotta love the food industry), the next step involves going to the company’s website and crossing your fingers that they have the answers there. I’d say about half the time, they do. And the other half, you can search the rest of the web to try to find out (did I tell you that having celiac disease can be very time-consuming??)
But then you get a company like Mr. & Mrs. T and it all goes to hell.
While on vacation, Mrs. Dude and I had a craving for a bloody mary. (So what if it was noon? Did I mention I was on vacation?) While a homemade batch was preferable, we did not have the ingredients so we had to use a mix. The only mix in the house is pictured to the left. I figured this would be a no-brainer. What could possibly be in the mix and if there was uncertainty, a company as big as theirs would certainly provide a clear answer.
I’m sure you know where this is going…
Here are the ingredients:
Really?? You need high fructose corn syrup in bloody mary mix?
Anyway, there are a few yellow flags. Spices, disodium inosinate, disodium blah blah blah, natural flavors. Who the hell knows?
So I proceed to option 2 and go to their website. First I tried it on my ipad, but their website is 100% Flash so nothing came up. Note to company: this isn’t 2003 anymore.
Luckily, I had access to a computer as well. Went to the Blood Mary Mix page.
Ironically, it says they use “authentic” spices and ingredients in every bottle. Have they not looked at their own label??
But no mention of gluten. Hmmm. Let’s see…there’s an FAQ link on the bottom of the site. Maybe it will be there.
Home run! Question: Does the mix contain gluten? Answer: No.
But wait a minute…what mix are they talking about? There are 10 mixes on their website. The question wasn’t “do your mixes contain gluten?” It was singular. And it wasn’t particular to any specific product. Dang…swing and a miss.
It’s now 12:30, I’m losing my patience and I may forego the mix and go with straight vodka at this point.
My last ray of hope is searching the web and trying to find the answer.
Tell me oh wise Google. Is Mr. & Mrs. T Gluten-Free?
It turns out that many before me have had this same dilemma and have called the company directly. Here is what they were told: “All mixes EXCEPT THE BLOOD MARY MIX are gluten free.”
So here we are at 12:45 and I finally have my answer. And not the answer I was hoping for no less.
So how could the Mr. and Mrs. have made my life easier? By doing any of the following:
- Adding Gluten as an allergen right on the label.
- Being more specific on their website.
- Making a more natural mix so I don’t need to jump through hoops to drink it.
But alas, they were 0 for 3 and now have lost me as a customer and most likely many others as well.
And by the way, us celiacs are not expecting you to MAKE your mix gluten free. Would be nice, but not expecting it.
Just make it easy for us to KNOW if it’s gluten free or not.