Excelling in the Gluten-Free Art of Tea
Did you know that one of the best-ranked tearooms in the world is in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and it excels in creating the Art of Tea in a way that those restricted by Gluten-Free diets can enjoy?
The St. James Tearoom is a 4-star fine-dining British tearoom, and its owner, Mary Alice Higbie, has been on a gluten-free diet for the past 15 years. Frustrated with (as she describes it) the grainy ‘cardboard-like’ texture of so many gluten-free products, she and her staff of chefs have embarked upon a year’s long journey to create the best gluten-free breads, scones, desserts, and tea foods in the world!
“One of our stated goals is to create the traditional three-course gluten-free full afternoon tea meal in such a way that it is truly indistinguishable from a normal gluten-full menu,” says Mary Alice.
And it shows (and tastes)! See if you can spot any difference in the picture below.
“At first, we went through the normal iteration of trying garbanzo bean flour (too vegetal and too gummy) and rice flour (too grainy and gritty!) before finally, after much tinkering, settling on a mixture of flours and techniques for different applications, whether it be for a yeast bread, quick bread, and or what type of crust we desired. For example, a crust on a pretzel roll will be quite different from the crust on a scone, and you have to get the texture right, as well as the taste.”
This is truly where the Art in the Art of Tea comes from – years of practice (by someone who loves to eat!) that make a few simple elements turn into an edible work of art.
Are you interested in trying a gluten-free menu for yourself? Make a reservation for a Dine-In teatime, or even take a Gluten-Free Albuquerque menu home through our Carryout options!
*Note – For those of our guests with extreme health issues related to gluten, please note that our gluten-free menu is still prepared in a kitchen where gluten has been in use, though at a different time than the preparation of our gluten-free items. If you have questions or concerns, please call us at (505) 242-3752.