Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rudi's vs. Udi’s….the GF Bread Face Off

Bread…seems a simple enough food item, but in the land of gluten free foods, a good slice of bread is hard to come by. They are either too crumbly, taste like cardboard, break apart like foam and are generally flavorless. Yet even something as uncelebrated as bread to me has to be great! I mean, what good is a BLT if the bread it’s on has no flavor or is falling apart when you are trying to take a bite? No, for me a delicious sandwich has to be great from top to bottom, and since without bread we wouldn’t have a top or bottom of a ‘sammy’, I set out to find out which gluten free bread reigned supreme. 

Over the last few years there have been a few GF breads that have come and gone in our house, but none of them were something I would write home about. Needless to say, there were always new companies out there trying to reinvent the wheel (so to speak), yet the wheel remained unchanged. However, over the last year the GF market has exploded with a bevy of new companies, or companies that are not so new but are finally able to expand and offer their product nationally as opposed to locally. For anyone with Celiac disease, gluten intolerance or parents trying to keep their children with Autism on a GF diet this has been great news. Why is this so great? Well, if you are not Celiac, gluten intolerant or care for someone with Autism, you may not understand. So to help you understand better, what if I said “in order for you to eat safely you have a choice of: 2 different bread’s, 2 different pasta companies, 3 or 4 trusted jarred or boxed items and 1 brand of cold cut. And regardless of how they taste… THAT IS IT?” Doesn’t feel so great being restricted to only a few store bought items? Worse yet, not having the choice to use a different product if you do not like a particular brand...would kind of suck, no? Such is the life in which a person with any of these issues used to lead.  That is of course until this recent boom in new manufactures. Hey, healthy competition is what drives us all to be better, and to be honest, makes my belly happier. 

So after trying a lot of different brands and testing everything from flavor and texture to color and toast-ability, I narrowed it down to two different brands, and they are UDI’s and RUDI’s. OK, I know what you’re thinking, “could their names be any more similar?” It’s OK, everyone asks that and no one seems to have an answer for it. Was it a way of being shrewd from an advertising point of view or maybe unfriendly competition? I have no idea….but all coincidences aside, these two companies have taken the GF world by storm, but which one is better? Well that was the fun part for me. Bread piled high with other goodies didn’t seem like a fair test because the goodies may have gotten in the way of the breads true flavor. So unlike other people who have done a write up on these companies separately from a “ham sandwich” point of view, I decided to go naked…the bread of course, not me. How best to do that…TOAST ANYONE?! 

“The Toast Test”….such a simple test and yet so effective, and here is how I did it:
  • I toasted up 1 piece each of Udi’s and Rudi’s.
  • To be fair, I used 1 piece of Udi’s Whole Grain bread and 1 piece of Rudi’s Multi Grain Bread (similar style breads)
  • I tasted them after toasting plain.
  • Tasted them with butter.
  • Tasted them with jelly.   
The verdict….Rudi’s wins!  And here is why:

If you take a look at the pictures below you will see Udi’s bread on the left side of the plate and Rudi’s on the right side (in all pictures). In every picture (Naked, buttered, crunch test) they both look great, toast great and hold butter beautifully. The only real visual difference is that Rudi’s bread is a little denser like regular bread (less air pockets).  The two really big deciding factors though were the FLAVOR and the TEXTURE. Since the Rudi bread was a little denser it had a better texture while eating it. And while both breads had a great almost nutty flavor, the crust on the Rudi bread had the same flavor as the inside of the bread. The crust on the Udi bread didn’t have any flavor at all. 

Sure, these are subtle differences, but to me it’s all about the flavor. I mean really, do you think I would be going out of my way for the best sopressata (Italian dry-cured salami), provolone cheese and balsamic vinegar just to eat it off a flavorless piece of cardboard?….don’t worry you don’t have to answer, that was a rhetorical question.

The Toast Test Pics:

Rudi's vs. Udi's: NAKED













Rudi's vs. Udi's: BUTTERED














Rudi's vs. Udi's: THE CRUNCH TEST













Rudi's vs. Udi's: THE CRUNCH TEST CONT.













Resources: 


22 comments:

  1. Udi's won in my Udi's vs Rudi's taste test. It is the best bread that can be eaten at room temperature, soft without needing to toast! Can pack a lunch on it or even take it on a trip and it stays soft for days!

    http://glutenfreeoptimist.blogspot.com/2010/06/review-new-rudis-gluten-free-breads.html

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  2. Just got done reading your review Marylandceliac, good job.

    I too ate a sandwich on the Rudi Multi bread without toasting it, but didn't have the problem of it falling apart. And the Rudi White bread was actually plenty soft when I had it.

    What I have noticed is that when any of these breads are left too long in the fridge they tend to get crumbly. Like anything else they must dry out over time.

    My test was based on TASTE and TEXTURE. And I compared both breads equally at the same time side by side. For me Rudi's came out ahead.

    I saw that Dayna Davis from Rudi's commented on your post and said they are always looking to perfect their product...maybe they have.

    Thanks for the feedback! I love to get other peoples opinions.

    Food-Paul

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  3. An important point is that my review was based on Rudi's breads that they shipped to me when they first came out and they were thawed when I received them, so perhaps Rudi's is better/fresher when purchased frozen. I don't think either recommends storing in the frig. Best to keep frozen and thaw as needed. Udi's can stay out on counter for days. Thanks for your review! I'll have to buy Rudi's when I see it in stores and update my review.

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  4. My vote for Rudi's. Hands down!

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  5. I'm with you KAT :)
    I am still chomping on Rudi's Bread all the time. In fact, I was recently sent some Rudi's new Pizza Crust to try. I was really happy with the way it come out in my oven AND on my BBQ

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  6. I have made 'naked' bread sandwich for work on Rudi's and Udi's and for me Udi's tastes more like regular bread, delicious! Rudi's was crumbley and the texture was not like bread, but more like uncooked polenta. Udi's is down right great raw, straight out of the fridge even after a few days. Not even a specialty bakery by my house can claim that!

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  7. Thanks for the input “anonymous.” I have found NO gluten free breads to be all that great while not at least lightly toasted. I even have some actual bakeries in my area and find this to be true about bakery bread as well. The toasting of the bread (even so slightly) helps it to stay together better.
    I have also tried to go the “no toasting” route and have been disappointed. I believe the flavor takes on more depth when the bread(s) are toasted, and I am ALL about flavor in my food. As this is the case for me, I did my review in the form of toast and with nothing else to accompany it besides butter and jelly. As far as taste and texture side by side, bite by bite, Rudi’s was the clear winner for me right down to the crust. But everyone has their own taste an opinion. And thank you Anonymous for sharing yours.

    I find BOTH breads stay together very well when toasted. However, I have had many problems with Udi’s bread as far as consistency. I have seen holes as large as an inch and a half in the bread and have never had that issue with Rudi’s bread.

    BTW; both Udi’s and Rudi’s stay fresh on the counter after they are defrosted. In fact, you should never place them back in the refrigerator after they are defrosted or they will fall apart and be crumbly.

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    1. The wholes....yup! I payed too much to open several bags and have 1/4 of the bread missing =} I like Rudi's for sure.

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  8. Perfect post! I was searching for just this taste test! Have always Been a udis girl but just tried rudis- yum! It's sweeter and a little denser which to me is more like real bread. I also tried Whole Foods brand- omg GROSS!! Don't waste your money

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    1. Have you tried the whole foods lite...It is better than the regular..Makes a great sandwich after thawing and microwave for 30 seconds..


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  9. I like Rudi, their regular bread but I prefer Udi for their cinnamon raisin bread. They are both out of Colorado; I wonder if it is a family with taste differences!

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  10. I can't find Rudi's anywhere here in Northern NJ. I get Udi's at trader joe's where it's at least slightly affordable. (personally i think we should be able to count this diet I have my son on as part of our heath care spending but I digress) I too find Udi's to have large cavernous holes at times and here's how I solve that. You take the end heel and, as needed, pull out chunks to stuff into the holes, from the back, of a slice to be made into a sandwich. that way the soy butter and fluff, yup- fluff, it doesn't soak the bread like jelly- don't ooze out all over the lunch box.I also find that if I make his sandwich on frozen bread it holds together better while spreading the stuff on and when he gets to eating it it's nicely thawed and soft from having been thawed wrapped up.

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  11. As well,I would like to mention that though I loved Udi bread and Udi's bagels as a bun and loved their oversize loaf, I like the flavor of Rudi's slightly better. I am having issues with corn as well. Most tasty gluten free things have corn in them; which is a nightmare for me. Since discovering Rudi bread, my lactose intolerance is much better, I have almost stopped taking lactaid. And gluten appears to be more tolerable. To enjoy a good sandwich bread is to have new freedom to pack an easy lunch or meal on the road. To enjoy this bread is to be able to enjoy the variety of a nicely toasted international sandwich or a proper american breakfast. Thank you so much Rudi for making a sandwich bread without corn, probably the most prolific dirivitive in
    our american food!! Go Rudy!!

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  12. Fantastic comment my friend. Udi's does have some very good product, don't get me wrong, but all around Rudi's takes it on the flavor front. And to me (a little bit a of food guy!) that makes all the difference when eating.

    Rudi's just sent me their new wraps to try out. They are fantastic! They are pliable, flavorful and a really large size (as opposed to eating a small corn tortilla). I have thus far made monster breakfast burritos and killed loaded cold cut wraps. I have to get to blogging and write a review of this awesome product. This one is a true lifesaver....

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    1. Rudi's fiesta wraps are so fantastic! I'm recently trying to reduce my gluten intake and Rudi's is a really great substitute for all my favorite gluten-packed foods.

      Posts like this have also been super helpful in aiding with grocery choices.
      Thanks!

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  13. No one seems to care about the nutritional content. I find both Udi's and Rudi's to contain alot of fillers and artificial ingredients. I prefer some of the other gluten free brands not mentioned here.

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  14. This is true Terri, these are not health foods. Bread is bread...end of story. If you want full on health, whole foods are the way to go; I know this better than most as I am a Holistic Health Counselor.
    For the purposes of this review, we are after a better slice of bread to make a sandwich; as those with Celiac disease and NCGS do not have loads of choices. As these two contenders are the most notable in this category, this review is based on their individual superiority to see who is better.
    Feel free to post the names of the other "nutritional" choices of gluten free breads. Readers love to hear about more choices, and while I am sure I have tried them before, I would be happy to put them to the test for you!

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  15. Have you tried Sami's millet bread and onion bagels out of St. Petersburg, Florida? They are delicious! I will try Udi's and Rudi's and compare them

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  16. I am grateful to have found Rudi's bread recently. It is much lighter than Udi's bread and is enjoyable toasted or not. This morning I used Rudi's to make french toast. Delicious!
    Finally, not only a tasty bread, but a lighter and and better textured bread for us that are gluten free. Rudi's is my bread of choice.

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  17. Everything you said about both breads, I have said the same before. Yay for RUDI's!!!!

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