Great Free-From Food is also just ‘Great Food’
Great free-from and gluten-free food at its very best is simply great food which can be enjoyed by a broader range of people thanks to exclusion of unnecessary allergens and safeguards to ensure those do not sneak back in via cross contamination.
The gluten-free range from artisanal producer Oast to Host is a fantastic example of great free-from food. My word of course is definitive but . . . also complimented by their foods winning both Great Taste and Free From Food Awards. Free From Food Awards are similar to those from Great Taste but with the products considered being specifically designed for or just agreeably suitable for free-from eaters. The criteria include free-from credentials and compliance alongside the flavour, nutrition and innovation virtues.
I discovered Oast to Host thanks to helping judge award entries this year. I was not involved in the ‘Food to Go’ category that the Oast to Host Quongo was the winner of but heard a really positive buzz about them from other judges.
Wait, what? What is a Quongo?
It is a gluten-free Quiche! A gluten-free Quiche-on-the-Go!
I was a little sceptical and a little curious as to why these generated so much love from fellow judges. I no longer am. Thanks to acquiring and sampling a batch Quangos I now understand! Quongos –
- Come in very smartly designed easy to transport packing, also fully recyclable
- Have extremely satisfying and satiating creamy fillings
- Have those creamy fillings blanketed by pleasingly firm but also mouth-wateringly crumbly pastry
- Taste great cold and even better warmed up, mmm
- Are simply great tasting, nutritionally virtuous quiches which are happier with being moved around than conventional quiches!
Also great is that they come in a diverse range including 4 veggie and 3 bacon-y options at time of counting. I frequently prepare homemade quiche and do it well. I rate my quiche, I love it. The Oast to Host Quongos are the first and only gluten-free quiches available to buy and eat at home, on a train, plane or automobile, at work, at a picnic, that I would happy to eat instead of my own quiche. They are simply super.
Another product demonstrating the creativity of Oast to Host are their ‘Tongos’ – Tea On The Go. Tongos are beautifully presented little packs containing mini-tartlets, brownies and biscotti. Each treat offers very different and charismatic flavour and texture.
Combine these with a Quongo, a few sandwiches and a flask of tea and you very literally have a fully featured and portable Afternoon-Tea on the go, absolutely fantastic for a picnic anytime, anyplace. However, going back to the ‘great food’ thing, you definitely do not need to be gluten-free to enjoy these.
How & What to Buy?
Availability of Oast to Host products is not yet widespread and this will hopefully change soon. In the meantime if you do not live proximate to a venue they are sold from you can arrange a purchase by contacting them directly via their website. They have a retail price list available on request and the ability to home-deliver even the chilled quiches. This is how I got my batch and the packing for the delivery was excellent. I encourage you to get hold of some to see what you are missing!
Based on my experience with Quongos and Tongos I am very keen to try out more of the pretty amazing Oast to Host range. If their Sticky Toffee Pudding is as good as their Quongos and Tongos, oh my, that would be another gluten-free wish come true.
Q&A with Oast to Host
I was very impressed by the innovation and quality of Quongos and Tongos. I was therefore delighted that Sally from Oast to Host took the time to answer a few questions.
Q1. What is the hope and intent for enabling online orders?
We have every intention of setting up an online shop but are hoping to do this initially by collaborating with an existing online retailer – nothing confirmed yet but we hope this will be announced soon. This particular collaboration will feature a few of our products initially as we test and measure the process with a view to expanding the range with them and/or set up our own online facility. We are also keen to supply direct to an increasing number of retail outlets.
Q2. If gluten-free travellers had a wish, it might be for placement of Quongos and Tongos into their in-flight catering. Can you say anything about wishes coming true?
Travel hubs are an obvious area of interest for our ‘on the Go’ range – something we will be exploring with improved production rates.
Q3. The ‘form factor’ of the Quongos and Tongos is highly innovative, down to the little detail of the Quongo packaging having the 3 cardboard lips that keep the inner housing in place. What led to these clever ideas and the end-design?
The packaging of the Quongos was born having established the tart size. We then needed a robust form of presentation which enabled us to include branding of equal quality to other products. The ‘tart’ container determined the outer packaging.
Q4. Your products have now deservedly won both Great Taste and Free From Food Awards. How does this make you feel and what are your intentions in terms of further entries for these awards?
As we continue to develop/enhance products we will certainly consider pursuing Awards which we feel creates confidence in the brand. We are enormously proud of our awards to date and have found that we are taken more seriously as a result.
Q5. What should people hungry for Oast to Host look forward to in the future?
Those ‘hungry’ for Oast to Host can look forward to easier access of products via online ordering and innovative gluten & wheat free ideas. We are always open to suggestions and feedback