In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
The following is a gluten-free recipe for Panforte, a wonderful Italian fruitcake from Sienna which dates back five hundred years! It must be good if it has lasted that long, right? The dried fruit mixture is predominately figs and dates, but a combination with other fruits works well, too. Note the use of the rice crackers. Typically, a special rice wafer is used to top it, but this is usually only found in certain specialty stores.
Prep: 30 minutes
Bake: at 375 for 35 minutes
Stand: 24 hours
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
1 package (3.5 ounces) thin crunchy unflavored rice crackers, pulsed in
food processor until uniformly fine
1 ¼ cups blanched whole almonds
¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons walnuts
2/3 cup toasted whole hazelnuts (see Note)
½ cup dried figs or mixed dried fruit bits such as raisins, apples,
½ cup diced pitted dates
1 cup finely diced candied citron
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg or ground mace
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black or white pepper
¾ cup light honey
½ cup rice-cracker crumbs (from preparing pan)
Topping: 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
Note: Spread hazelnuts in 9 inch pie pan. bake in 375 oven 10 minutes. Rub briskly in clean kitchen towel to remove most of brown skins.