In PCC yesterday, I came across these Sonoma gluten-free wraps. Right off the bat: I am not gluten intolerant, and, as such, do not regularly buy products labeled gluten free. But these wraps jumped out at me because of the inclusion of one very special ingredient: teff.
You Ethiopian-food-lovers out there will recognize this as the main ingredient in injera, the sour, spongy flatbread you use to stuff mouthfuls of all that wonderful wot into your salivating maw. (Do you live in or around Seattle? Go to Lucy in Shoreline.) Everyone else: if you’re too lazy to go to Wikipedia yourself, teff is a grain in the lovegrass family that originated in or around Ethiopia way, way back when. Another tidbit: the word teff means “lost” in Amharic (you guessed it, this is a language spoken in Ethiopia) because the grains are so minuscule that, if you drop them on the ground, good luck finding them again.
I got the wraps home and tested them out in my version of this Bon Appetit gem: Crispy Black Bean Tacos with Feta and Cabbage Slaw. I have to give credit to the wonderful Smitten Kitchen, because this is where I first came across this tasty vegetarian recipe a few years ago. The combination of the coleslaw and feta and black beans is dynamite, and it’s fairly quick to throw together after work.
The wraps performed well. They have a great texture and they fry up nice and crisp, while remaining quite chewy and pliable. Unlike other not-white-flour tortillas, they didn’t get too stiff, and they didn’t remind me of seeded cardboard. When you read the ingredients you can see why they’re so chewy — it’s the tapioca flour. Also, in addition to the tapioca and teff, these contain millet flour, and, strangely, cultured corn syrup solids. From what I’ve read, this appears to be a preservative (mold inhibitor) rather than a sweetener.
The wraps do have a bit of a different taste to them that lets you know you are not eating refined white flour — but that taste is delicate, and not too noticeable when your wrap is filled with flavorful ingredients like hot sauce and feta. Another plus is that they are more filling than a flour or corn tortilla — I found one wrap to be satisfying, and I wasn’t craving another. Overall, a nice product that this gluten-eating girl would buy again sometime.
Sonoma Gluten-Free Wraps
Ingredients: water, tapioca flour, whole grain ivory teff flour, whole grain millet flour, expeller pressed canola oil, soy lecithin, cultured corn syrup solids, colloid powder (cellulose gum, maltodextrin, carrageenan), contains less than 2% of the following: guar gum, sea salt, honey, aluminum-free leavening (monocalcium phosphate, sodium bicarbonate, corn starch)
Black Bean Wraps with Coleslaw and Feta
adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Bon Appetit
refried or loose canned black beans
green and red cabbage, sliced thin
red onion, fine dice
red wine vinegar
juice of one lime
radish, thinly sliced
wraps/tortillas of your fancy
Warm your beans. Put the sliced cabbage in a bowl with some of the diced onion.
Mix up some coleslaw dressing: buttermilk, a dollop of sour cream and one of mayo, a splash of red wine vinegar, and the lime juice. Throw some of the diced onion in there, and season with plenty of pepper. Pour this over your bowl of cabbage, and set aside. (Note: If I’m using red cabbage, I don’t mix this up thoroughly, and I don’t make it ahead of time because the whole thing turns purple and it doesn’t look very appetizing.)
Put a couple of large spoons of beans in a tortilla, fold it in half and place it in a heated and oiled frying pan (just a half tablespoon of oil will do here). Fry on both sides just until the tortilla is browned and a little bubbly. Plate it, fill it with as much coleslaw and feta as your heart desires, and add cilantro, avocado, and radish slices. Top with one or two hot sauces (it was Secret Aardvark and Mezzetta’s habanero last night).