[Mike] I have been facing a rather substantial (and growing) backlog of gluten-free blog topics including gluten-free and wheat-free product-reviews, recipes, baking discussions, news, etc. My "to-do" list really started expanding, coincidentally, with the purchase of the new property (that includes ample farmland for our gluten-free produce and grains), and I have been overwhelmed with the work surrounding getting our prior home sold, changing address, moving, and so on.
To alleviate the backlog and start getting the Gluten-Free blogging back on track quicker, I have been searching for some assistance with all those product reviews and the like. I decided it would also be helpful if I could find someone that could offer a fair comparison between "real" (gluten / wheat containing) foods and the gluten-free counterparts.
Introducing our Guest Author: Nick Pacione
As fate would have it, my quest was fulfilled when I recently encountered a perfect guest-author candidate for the Gluten-Free Blog while attending a party at a relative's house. It turns out that, although Nick still consumes that (evil) Gluten substance all too regularly, he highly suspects that it may be causing him some issues. He also realizes that, if he has confirmed Celiac Disease, he needs to fully eliminate gluten from his diet quite soon.
So Nick and I got to talking more about the subject of food allergies and diets, and his desire to learn more about Celiac Disease, gluten intolerance, and gluten-free / wheat-free diets in particular,... I could not help but notice that he showed promise as a blogging protege.
One "qualification" Nick Pacione brings to the table (quite literally) is his recent consumption of both "normal" and gluten-free foods. Ultimately he may well migrate to a totally gluten-free diet if it turns out that he has Celiac Disease or substantial gluten-intolerance, but in the mean time, he is able (and/or willing) to ingest enough of what would be toxic to us GF folks in order to make direct side-by-side comparisons of "real" foods to the gluten-free counterparts. I personally do not have this option, and have not for quite a few years thanks to Celiac Disease, and at times I wonder if my memories of "real" versions of breads, pizza, beer, cookies, cakes, and so on are still accurate; and, Nick will be able to lend validity here with up-to-date comparative experience.
So, without further delay, I will let Nick take over and give a brief autobiographical introduction before he writes his first gluten-free product review series. We will see how this goes, and what kind of reception his blogging gets, and with luck, this will produce a nice addition to The Gluten-Free Blog for a while!
[Nick] Greetings everyone! My name is Nick Pacione and you’re probably wondering who I am and why – of all things – am I BLOGGING about gluten-free products and related topics, especially if I still consume foods containing gluten?
Well, for starters I am a 34 year old Midwestern guy that – although undiagnosed – may have an allergy to gluten. In fact, I’m quite sure I have Celiac Disease, but I have yet to go through the whole ‘white coat and a ton of guess-work’ routine with any physician. As you may have guessed, I’m still able to eat most non GF foods with varying degrees of discomfort.
As fate would have it, I was recently pursuing employment with a software development company (Intersoft Development, Inc. — Mike Eberhart's company) in the Cleveland, Ohio area; and, though I am still in "probation mode" as I prove that I have, or can develop, the skills needed to be an integral part of his software firm, it turns out my potential future boss just happens to have Celiac Disease.
Being a fellow blogger and someone who really enjoys writing, Mike told me to take a peek at his blog and see if I would like to research some GF products and author some brief product review(s) as I let my taste buds compare/contrast those GF items with your everyday, non-GF products.
Needless to say, I was hooked after trying – of all things – Gluten-free beer. So here I am, very enthusiastic about trying these Celiac-friendly products, and prepared to post my findings here on the Gluten-Free Blog for all to read.
Get ready for my first series of posts: a gluten-free beer roundup as judged by someone recently familiar with a variety of "real" specialty beers. I plan to soon thereafter move onto reviews of everyday gluten-free treats including pretzels, cookies, soups, and many more (Mike has a list a mile long that he wants me to review!)
So sit back, read on, and I hope you enjoy my subsequent and soon-to-follow blog posts.