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More Choices than you think for Gluten-Free Food at Target Field

You may not be enjoying the gluten-free food to it’s fullest at Target Field.  The brand new home for the Minnesota Twins is complete with a gluten-free concession menu, but I’ve tracked down additional, more kid-friendly items that are gluten-free and — so far — aren’t on the list.

This list posted on my website has been about 5 months in the making.  I actually started drafting this post with a different title and all back before the first pitch of the season, but when I saw the special concessions list on the Twins website, I had so many questions that it has taken this long to get most of my questions answered.

If you go to the Twins website, you’ll find this page with gluten-free and vegetarian food items listed.  It is a very healthy list –with everything from fresh fruit to shrimp skewers and turkey legs.  Great!  It’s fantastic I am so glad there is something like this out there.  But I had some questions.  What about the junk?  What about the fun?  What about kid food?  I sent an email off to Pia McDonough, Operations Manager of Delaware North Companies, the company that runs the concessions.  I wrote in my email, that I was inquiring about

“kid-friendlier items — which are pretty important to parents trying to feed their kid gluten-free food — Mom and Dad probably like Shrimp Skewers but my 11-year-old celiac child would skip it.”

Here are my questions– with the answers:

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Additional Gluten-Free Foods at Target Field

  • Are the nacho chips and cheese sauce gluten-free? Yes.  The chips are Old Dutch and the cheese sauce is gluten free as well. It is made by Gehls.
  • Cracker Jacks are gluten-free.  They should be on your list. And I gave her the FritoLay web address.
  • Would it be possible to find one stand that can serve gluten-free french fries?  A stand that doesn’t deep fry anything except for plain old fries? The answer on that one — NO.  So the fries are NOT GLUTEN FREE.  Hey — I gave it a shot!!
  • What about your ice cream novelties, have those been investigated for their gluten-free status?  A lot of ice cream is gluten-free if it doesn’t have cookies, malt or a cone. Confirmed the Push Up Fruit Bars and Premium Bars (vanilla ice cream on the inside, chocolate on the outside) are indeed gluten free.  — DO NOT get any novelties on a cone or cookie sandwich.
  • Kettle chips? Yes — they are gluten-free.  Brand is Rachel’s
  • North Shore Creamery, is that a company I should go through separately to ask about ice cream? Answer from McDonough:  “The North shore creamery is a branded name for our ice cream stands. They sell Land O Lakes soft serve which is gluten free.”
  • What about regular popcorn and cotton candy? (My popcorn-eater wouldn’t want Angie’s Kettle Corn). These two things she is still getting back to me on.

McDonough also confirmed the hot dogs are gluten-free without the bun, but THE HAMBURGER PATTIES ARE NOT GLUTEN FREE! I write that in caps because I often think that is so basic it should be gluten free, but McDonough says the ingredient label says “less than 2% wheat flour”.

As soon as I hear more about the popcorn and cotton candy I will update this post.  I really hope I hear soon.

The Gluten-Free Baseball Trend

The Gluten-Free food accommodations at ballparks is growing.  This spring the Sports Business Journal talked about the need to accommodate gluten-free diets at the Nation’s ballparks.  The high-profile gluten-free menus at Coors Field in Denver, Citi Field (home of the NY Mets), are done by the Aramark food service company.  You can see more about this company’s effort to make gluten free accommodations here.  Aramark even includes gluten-free buns with their gf hot dogs!  Now that’s nice.

Delaware North Companies doesn’t appear to tout its gluten-free concessions as much.  I’ve had to go to each team’s individual website to learn more.  And there wasn’t much out there.  While I didn’t ask McDonough about anything other than Target Field, I did do a separate email to Delaware North back in the spring and never heard back about the company’s gluten-free reach in other ballparks.

The gluten-free trend at ballparks and other major event venues is fantastic.  My only suggestion– When you’re researching and publishing your list, look more closely at things like popcorn, Cracker Jacks and other treats.  They may be easier than you think to confirm as gluten-free.

*Keep in mind these gluten-free food items in the above list could change.  If in doubt contact to the Twins or Delaware North. Be sure you allow enough time for a response.

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).


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