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.