Schär Frozen Croissants

Schär is an exciting new brand in the gluten-free isle. They’re an Italian bakery and arm of the Dr. Schär Institute providing a wide range of gluten-free products to support people living with celiac and other gluten-sensitivities. The company, founded in 1922 has an interesting history as a health-food brand selling rice cream as a solution for digestive issues, long before the modern understanding of celiac disease. So Schär finds itself right at home in the American grains isle alongside the likes of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, for better or worse.

Today we’re looking at Schär’s frozen croissants. I would not have even considered croissants a possibility eight years ago but Schär has taken up the sisyphian task of creating a flaky and light croissant without gluten. Googling “gluten free croissant” provides you with this product, a $95 offering from Williams Sonoma, and several Etsy listings. So if you’re looking for gluten free croissants from a regular grocery store at a reasonable price, Schär looks like the best option at the moment.

The rolls themselves are certainly light and flaky all the way through, maybe not as much as those giant bakery croissants you see around town, but for a frozen food without gluten it’s very impressive. The roll is a little dry and very crumbly, expect to loose the outermost layer of the roll, but the core is very stable. The dryness isn’t too unsettling, if eaten with cheese or chocolate in the middle. It makes a wonderful turkey and cheddar sandwich for lunch, providing a light and chewy compliment to the more flavorful contents. These can defiantly be eaten plain, but the slight dryness might get to you (although the dryness may depend on your particular bag and preparation). The flavor is subtle and butter-esque, as is expected from a plain roll, but pretty good. I can’t actually say I really love the flavor of these rolls, they’re not bad but I think the “natural butter flavor” as claimed in the ingredients list doesn’t taste like real butter and is kinda unappetizing.

Unfortunately after eating these rolls I became slightly sick in my stomach. I don’t think it’s the gluten-free wheat starch not really being all that gluten-free. I mean, it’s a pretty dubious claim, but I’m sure the science behind their products is safe and sound. I think it’s whatever “natural butter flavor” is made out of happens to disagree with my digestion for non-celiac reasons. I can’t say for sure what caused it, but if you had a negative reaction to this product leave a comment!

The instructions dictate these rolls be thawed for an hour before baking, which I think is much too long a prep-time for a breakfast food. So, in my opinion, these are best enjoyed as a lunch sandwich.

All-in-all a Schär’s croissants are very technically impressive, and I think they’re almost a masterpiece.I’m disappointed in the lack of real butter, I don’t know if it’s cost prohibitive, or technically prohibitive but I’m hoping for a reformulation in the future with either real butter or a better butter alternative.