SOURCE: Boar's Head Provisions Co. Inc.

April 26, 2010 08:00 ET

Going Gluten Free? Get to the Deli

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - April 26, 2010) -  (Family Features) As more people adopt a gluten free lifestyle, questions arise about whether or not there is gluten in deli products. The answer is no -- if you know where to look.

"We are increasingly being asked about our meats, cheeses and condiments," explains RuthAnn LaMore, Communications Director at Boar's Head, creators of premium deli products. "Although gluten is found in many foods, anyone living a gluten free lifestyle does not have to avoid the deli counter where Boar's Head is sold. Our deli meats, cheeses, and condiments have always been gluten free."

Gluten is associated with grains such as wheat, barley, rye, spelt, kamut, and triticale. Most breads, unless they are labeled gluten free, contain gluten. It is also used as a thickening agent in certain sauces, soups, stews, salad dressings and more. Some people avoid gluten due to an allergy to wheat that causes reactions such as itchy eyes, skin rashes, and diarrhea. Still others are gluten intolerant and experience conditions such as bloating, joint/muscle pain, fatigue and headaches. 

The most serious gluten condition is celiac disease, a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten. When a person with celiac disease eats foods containing gluten, an immune reaction occurs in the small intestine, causing damage to the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.

For those opting for gluten free, enjoying deli products is relatively simple with the help of these easy-to-follow tips:

  • Wheat free doesn't mean gluten free. Always look for the words gluten free on a processed food label.
  • Many products contain gluten, but that fact can be hidden because the gluten can be part of another ingredient. Even some deli meats contain cereal fillers, so be sure to check labels to make sure that your favorite roast beef, turkey, chicken or ham is gluten free.
  • Ask to have your deli order sliced first thing in the morning after the machines have been broken down and thoroughly sanitized. Or, if shopping in the middle of the day, ask the deli associate to wipe the slicer using sanitizer spray before they fill your order.

Mango, Ham and Avocado Salad
Servings: 2 main courses or 4 sides

1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
1 peeled mango, cut into a small dice
1 peeled avocado, cut into a small dice
1/2 cup golden raisins, plumped in warm water and drained
1 1/2-inch slice Boar's Head Lower Sodium Deluxe Ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 ounces plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Boar's Head Honey Mustard
1/4 cup Boar's Head Deli Dressing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/8 cup water

In serving bowl, toss quinoa with mango, avocado, and raisins. Fold in ham.

Whisk together yogurt, vinegar, mustard, dressing, and oil. Slowly whisk in water, thinning just enough for pouring. The dressing will make 1 cup. Drizzle over salad and reserve leftover dressing for another recipe.

The brochure, "Gluten Free with Boar's Head," shows how to indulge in a wide array of mealtime favorites with recipes using deli meats and cheeses. The guide also offers information regarding gluten in foods as well as tips for consumers to keep in mind when shopping. It's available at local supermarkets and delis where Boar's Head is sold, or can be downloaded at