Zatarain’s Rice Mixes: Same Product, New Gluten-Free Status

By | Jul 14, 2011

JambalayaI have a love-hate relationship with rice mix.

I love that it includes all the spices I need so I don’t have to drop $20 on jars of seasonings just to get the right flavor. I love that it’s practically foolproof and puts dinner on the table in under an hour. Most of all, I love that it’s flexible enough to add my personal touches, like extra broccoli or leftover chicken, and make it into a real gluten-free meal.

I hate that, despite all their convenience, the generic “spices” or “natural flavors” included in many rice mixes make it that much harder to determine what’s gluten-free and what’s not.

Fortunately, manufacturers are starting to clue in. After more than 120 years in the business, Zatarain’s realized there was some hesitation in the gluten-free community. Nearly all of Zatarain’s rice mixes are naturally gluten-free, but the company wanted to assure celiac and gluten sensitive consumers of their products’ safety.

So, they decided to make things clear. Twenty of Zatarain’s rice mixes have been tested as gluten-free. They’re still the same formula, but the boxes now bear a gluten-free designation, making them easier to identify.

My personal favorite is the Jambalaya mix, but Whitney opted for Zatarain’s Gluten-Free Dirty Rice when she made dinner a few nights ago. See her recap, including her delicious gluten-free New Orleans-style recipe, on our staff blog, Celiac Central: Bits & Bites.

Gluten-Free Giveaway!

All this week, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) has been giving away prize packs of Zatarain’s gluten-free rice mixes. The giveaways run through Friday, July 15. To enter our daily drawing, visit NFCA’s Facebook page and answer the “Jazz Up Your Day Giveaway” question. A winner will be selected from the respondents each day.

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