The other day I was at my local purveyors of alcoholic beverages, stocking up – which for me meant a whopping 4 cans of craft beer and one can of hard cider. I don’t drink a lot of cider, but once in a while, I enjoy it.
This particular can of cider bragged on the front of the can that it was gluten-free. Now, I’ve got nothing against gluten. I don’t have celiac disease and my body seems to be able to digest foods containing gluten just fine. I was only curious because I thought cider was made of apples and had no idea there might be wheat, barley or rye in it. I asked the cashier. “Are there ciders that do contain gluten, and if so, how does it get there?” Admittedly it’s an obscure question, and I’m not surprised that she didn’t know. I made a mental note to do some searches online to see if I could find out.
It turns out that most cider can be considered gluten-free. Some brands may contain trace amounts because the makers use a gluten-based yeast in fermentation. One website I consulted suggested that even in these ciders the gluten content is less than 20 parts per million, which is very little indeed.
The other thing I learned though, is that the cider business has been booming, coinciding with all the attention given gluten in foods. I imagine this maker put gluten-free on the can to remind folks that their product is a popular alternative to beer for those who want to avoid gluten.
It occurred to me that I make gluten-free paintings. I should start marketing that.