Packaged gluten free breads, cookies, and noodles are tasting more and more like the “real thing.” Companies experiment with different combinations of flours, nuts, and seeds trying to mimic wheat flour. But why aren’t more of them exploring traditional recipes that are naturally free of gluten?

Take for example, corn tortillas, dosas, injera or arepas. Each of these bread-like foods are gluten free, yet have a wonderful texture and flavor. A corn tortilla or dosa doesn’t lack character like a piece of packaged gluten free bread does. With the right recipe, some gluten free flours really shine on their own.

Mani Brazilian cheese rolls are a traditional Brazilian snack made from cassava flour (also known as tapioca starch), derived from a root vegetable native to South America. After biting into one of these warm little rolls, you can’t help but have another. They’re crisp on the outside and have a chewy center. No weird aftertaste, not crumbly, just a naturally good recipe that’s been around a long time. Founder Ms. Batista learned the recipe from her aunt and now produces Mani rolls in small batches in San Francisco. Finally, a product that isn’t trying to be something it’s not. Find Bay Area stores that carry them here.

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