Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Ricos Nacho Cheese sauce - a good thing.

I remember years ago my church used to work at the Ft Worth Convention Center in the concession stands. People would volunteer and the money went to the church. I got to go with my Mom to things like the circus, horse shows etc. Something else I remember fondly - gooey, vivid yellow cheese poured over crisp tortilla chips - ball park nachos! Creamy goodness at its best.

Sam's Club came to town and I got a card. Imagine my surprise when I saw they had VATS of nacho cheese sauce you could purchase for your very own nachos at home!! I never got it however because - honestly - who needs a vat of nacho cheese sauce?

Years later I was asked to get a vat of nacho cheese sauce for a meeting - I gladly trotted to Sam's and got it and put it into my crock pot - HOPING for left overs - I wasn't disappointed.

One day I was walking through Walmart and saw not only did they have the vats they had soup can sizes of Rico's Nacho Cheese!!! I was in heaven. That said - I decided to only use it for recreational or social use - not for personal use. About once a year I took it to casual parties - no one was disappointed.

Since I have a picky eater I was excited to see they had little individual cups of Rico Cheese sauce - perfect for school lunches! I never purchased it however for some reason. After Grace was diagnosed I checked the small cans - it appeared to be gluten free!! Yippee!!! I then checked the little individual cups and I was so disappointed - it had Maltodextron and MSG - Dadgumit!

I got on the Ricos web site and it said "I am happy to tell you that Ricos cheese and popcorn are gluten free." What??? I immediately shot off a friendly email to Ricos and quickly received a personal response. It stated that Celiac questions were becoming one of their number one questions and she knew that the #10 cans and 12 oz cans of Ricos cheese is gluten free however the individual cups have not been tested. She is sending off a request to the lab to have them properly tested and will get back to me. What??? Really??? They took my request that seriously?? I couldn't believe the customer service!! Not only did she send me this email she sent a follow up email stating the cheese was sent to the lab, the tests take about 6 days and she will contact me when they came back. Honestly I have to say I have so much respect for this company right now based on customer service alone.

With this info in hand I purchased one of the 12 oz cans and am putting into small containers for Grace to take to school with chips - she loves it.

I will update this whenever I hear back from Kara at Ricos. Yes - I know there is no natural cheese this color and honestly I am some what of a cheese snob - however I consider this to be a completely different food all together. You may think it is is junk food - and it may be - but to me it is a little florescent glob of heaven atop a corn chip - Grace agrees.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for taking the time to write this great blog! I ran across a link your husband left on a celiac website.

My son was also diagnosed just over a month ago--he's 12 and only 70 lbs. He doesn't sound quite as picky as your daughter, but he's right up there. School lunches are very difficult for us as well. I loved your cheese sauce idea and plan to look for some here.
We used to live in Fort Worth, but are now up in Oklahoma. Gluten-free foods are a bit more difficult to get up here, but I'm slowly finding my way.
Thanks again! Keep them coming!
Sherry in Oklahoma

Sandrabag said...

Thanks Sherry - I am glad it is helpful to you.

School lunches and snacks are some of the hardest thing for us as well. It is also the keeping things on hand part that I find hard.

Keep reading - I have a whole file of things to add. Please feel free to add what you find as well - we are all in this mess together!


Anonymous said...

I just found your blog...I have been diagnosed almost a year now..It gets much easier as time goes on. But I wanted to tell you, from the research that I have done, maltodextrin and msg are safe as long as they are manufactured in the US. Its dextrimaltos(sp?) that is the unsafe one.

Thanks for your blog, I love to read others experiences!

Tara in NJ

Sandrabag said...

Thank you Tara! I have been really confused by this - how some products that have these ingredients in them can be gluten free and others can't.

Good to know!