Chef Carmela with Executive Director Barbara Martinez Goshen Farmers’ Market.

Barbara:
Good morning everybody. Happy Friday and we are hanging out at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce’s Farmer’s market. And guess what? I just got word that we are the reader’s choice awards winner for 2019 this is the eighth year in the row that we have won readers choice as the best farmer’s market in Orange County. So we’re going to have a photo op and pictures and more information on that.

But in the meantime today we are focusing on our featured vendor of the week. So as you know, every week we highlight a different vendor that is here at the Goshen Chamber of Commerce’s farmers market. And this week we’re hanging out with Carmella from Senza Glutine. You know it’s funny because she has been here for five years and when I said I was going to interview her, people say, wait a minute, you have gluten free at the farmer’s market. And it just blew my mind.

So that’s why we do these. We want to bring awareness and we want to talk more about what’s available to you here at the farmer’s market. Now she’s not a vet, she’s a veteran to videos. So she might put me a shame here, but I’m going to bring you in and I’m going to introduce you to Carmela. And Senza Glutine by Carmella, now you’re a chef, right?

Carmela
I’m a trained chef, from the CIA four years, four years.

Barbara
So why gluten free?

Carmela
Well, I got diagnosed with Celiac about nine years ago, so that’s what people started doing this. I started experimenting with recipes. Just fast stuff. My brother also has Celiac disease, my nephew and my niece also has Celiac Disease. So, um, I just was doing it for us, for the family, you know, started with Biscotti, Rugelach. some of my favorites, the scones some of my favorite ones. And then, um, my nephew and nieces are saying, oh my God, this is so good. You have to package and sell it.

So, um, I decided, I was like, Ooh, that’s an idea. I was a, I just got it call from my job. So, you know, we are, you know, my mom passed away. She was very sick and she passed away and we go through some life changes and everything. And, um, my husband said, you want to do it, go for it. So you adjust, years later i’m going strong,

Barbara
Going strong and you know what a lot of people think that going gluten free is a fad or that it’s just people decided I just don’t want to eat gluten. Let’s talk a little bit about that, the myth behind that and what the reality is when it comes to a gluten free diet. I’m going to turn this camera and I want people to look to look with you directly.

Carmela
Okay, well, uh, yes it is gluten free. Like I have Celiac, which is a Celiac disease, which is a very serious, we have to eat gluten free if we don’t eventually will kill us a lot younger, they probably want to be, um, then you’ll have people that they are allergic to gluten, you have a little bit sensitivity, higher sensitivity. So depends on what they’re diagnosed with. And then you have people where they just want to feel better and they eat gluten free because of that.

Barbara
So when you said gluten free, what does that mean? What is that removing a certain item or a certain ingredient,

Carmela
Removing all the gluten, you know, it’s wheat. So you’ll be removing all the wheat from the food. All of course, all the regular flours or soy sauce. Um, anything that contains a wheat in it we’re not allowed to have. And you have to be very careful because I didn’t realize until I went gluten free.

So many words that you don’t know what they mean. You have to research it because that could also mean that there’s wheat in it, wow. So, so, you know, I was really mind blowing for me when I first got diagnosed with it because my doctor told me, make sure you read all the ingredients and know what it is that you know you’re eating. So, um, and that’s when I realized,

Oh my God, everything that I’m eating as gluten, like dressing, I was, I used to get sick. I’m just eating a salad. If I got diagnosed, that’d be like, well, I’m just in the salad. I can, I get sick. It was from the dressing. Wow. To have wheat in it. Okay. So you know, so it’s very, very bad enough for someone when they get, you know, sick because they are eating something that they think is gluten free and it’s not, you know.

I give you one example is pasta. When you go to a restaurant and they have gluten free pasta, you have to make sure that they put the pasta with fresh water, with water, boiling water, that they’d be cooking the pasta and then be eating it in the same water that they’d be heated. The regular pasta. Oh they’re contaminating that. And my brother went through that. He went for a restaurant, he got sick.

Barbara
And it’s so funny. And so you’re, you’re a chef. So would you say as a chef, if someone in a restaurant said, you know, I really want to make sure that it’s gluten free. Are you making sure that it’s not boiling? Will you get offended or would you understand as a chef,

Carmela
No, I’m going to understand that. I understand that if you offering us as a chef in a restaurant, if you offering gluten free choices, you have to make sure that your staff is trained. And that is training up here. I took it, I took the training online, so it was $122 dollars. You could take it with train your staff. Once you take it, then you could train your staff and cross contamination and all that.

Or so us, when we go out, anybody that’s allergic to wheat, we’d be able to eat safely in a restaurant. Then we’d have to be concerned that this is gonna make us sick on out. So, and that’s basically what it is. And, and people take shortcuts and I have a discussion with a lot of my chef friends and I get mad at them, you know, because I’m like, you know, doing gluten free is, it’s not a big deal. You know, a lot of stuff are gluten free, you know, like seafood, them, all the meats and the vegetables that you buy and everything.

So is what you put into it that makes it not gluten free and everything else, the sauce and stuff like that. So if they just put a little bit of time into that, they should be able cater to us. Right. Basically not to cater to everybody because let’s be realistic. When I could walk to dinner, there’s four of us, you know, with Celiac we always go to restaurants. I go to cater to asked one needs, you know, so we avoid restaurants that not gonna do that.

Oh, so for them you don’t lose the business because guess what, I’m going to go somewhere where I know I’m going to be safe and I’m going to eat good food. You know? So basically that’s what it was done to it. But another thing too is with Celiac we also cannot eat any, Rye and barley uh people that just allergic to gluten diet or you know, didn’t avoid wheat I Celiac, we also have to avoid rye and barley So also we have to stay away from that.

Barbara
Let me ask you a question and I know that there are people like me that are not very well versed in gluten free. And so we always think to ourselves out back five years ago when you would go get something that was gluten free, it didn’t taste good, it was very dry and you were like, okay, this is, I know there’s been, of course a lot of experiencing and it’s evolved now.

Sometimes you can’t even tell that it’s gluten free, that’s how good a job being really in the process has become. Yes. So do you find that even people that aren’t necessarily looking for gluten free, they say, you know what, I don’t need gluten free, but I really love the way this tastes and it makes me feel better anyway. So it’s kind of like the lifestyle and how they feel because it had become a part part of your diet, right?

Carmela
Yes. Yes. And that was my goal when I started doing this was that all the stuff that I’m making my, you know, my biscotti my rugelach, my scones, my special Italian cookies, my sweetbreads, my biscuits. When you taste them, they don’t taste gluten free. You know, I do weddings where I do baskets with my Biscotti and my rugelach. And my customers always come back and say, I know how to people coming up to me and saying like, “are you sure that’s gluten free because it doesn’t taste gluten free, you know, same thing with my food.

You know, people I do catering for people and everybody, I just did a catering for my niece for her graduation. And people came up to me and say everything that we ate was gluten free?. And I was like, yeah, you know, I said, I’m not going to make two meals, you know, so, um, and you should not be able to tell the difference if you use fresh ingredients, fresh herbs. I’m an herb freak, I love fresh herbs. Um, this, this, no, you should not be able to tell the difference.

Carmela
All right, so you just mentioned not only are at farmer’s market, you also cater, so they go to your website if they want to hire you to cater maybe their event and they want to be gluten conscious. Yes. When I do that, it’s www.senzaglutinebycarmela.com and you have to make sure you put the Senza Glutine by Carmella. If you put Senza glutine and you’re going to get the restaurant in New York State. Okay. And we’re not the same. So I get so many emails.

Barbara
I’m going to turn this camera around so you guys can see the actual a sign here. So here’s the sign and here is her email senzaglutinebycarmella.com make sure you put the whole thing in so that you can get her website Carmela. How about you? Show me some of the stuff that you have here at the market so that people you can explain what they are and what they can expect when they come shopping here.

Carmela:
So my Biscotti, I have six different variety.

Barbara:
You got Almonds, you got chocolate espresso. Cranberry okay. Lemon ginger biscotti, okay,

Carmela: 
this are all my Italian Specialty Italian love knots, the anise flavor and limoncello of course, it has limoncello liquor in it. And then lemon flavor. And then I have a small selection of dairy free, also gluten free, but also dairy free.

Barbara
Oh, okay. For those of us that are dairy free, i’m a dairy free. Yes.

Carmela
So dairy free & gluten free, this is all my specialty Sweetbreads a chocolate cardamom. I have a sweet spring bread and a soda of bread. Okay. Not only for saint Patty’s day now. And then over here of course I have my rugelach and then I have my scones.

Barbara
Okay. Scones.

Carmela
You know, I’ve got a blueberry, cranberry orange and then this is my savory biscuits. Cheddar chards are great for sandwiches. Yum. And then this is all my food.

Barbara
Oh Wow.

Carmela
This is all my food.

Barbara
So bring your coolers. If you’re planning to come grab yourself a nice meal here. Gluten free meal by Carmella, Chef Carmella. Bring your coolers. Yeah, they, you can come and shop and she is the featured vendor of the week.

So today she has got the Goshen Indy. So make sure you grab one, it’s free. And if you go to the batch or the back of the Goshen Indy, you go to the back. It gives you her story. And also one of her very own recipes. So grab the Goshen Indie from Carmela and I’m gonna let you go cause I see customers behind me. So thank you so much and happy Friday, Friday.

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