In a few hours I will be attending the wedding of a friend who has Celiac Disease. Her wedding will be a gluten-free picnic and all the guests will bring something in this theme.
I know very little, almost nothing about what I call "alternative baking." Luckily for me crisp topping is not really considered baking. There are no eggs, no chemical leaveners, no attempt at expecting something to rise in the oven, no faerie-dust finesse needed in the mixer. I need to put a bunch of gluten free flours together with various sugars and spices and butter, and hopefully, voila! Crisp topping baked onto glorious Pacific Northwest berries galore.
"Alternative Baking" is tricky business. Little has been written about the properties of these new flours as they relate or translate to what we know of wheat flour. Although wheat has not always been a year-round crop, almost all American and European baked goods start with it.
Celiac Disease is not the only major food allergy gaining momentum today. With the prevalence of soy and corn and wheat in almost everything consume, whether we know it's there or not, we are developing allergies to ingredients we are eating far too much of. Baking, cooking and eating that is considered "alternative" today may well be considered normal/standard/conventional in a dozen years or less.