Wait, wait…don’t gluten me! (I’m talking to you, Trader Joe’s.)

I hope you’re in the mood for some shenanigans. It’s the Friday before a long weekend, which means it’s time for one thing only: limericks about gluten.

In 2011, we learned that 21 percent of young people get most of their news from the Daily Show and Saturday Night Live. Judge that as you will. I myself am among the unreported mass of people who get the majority of their news from podcasts of Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me! Are you?

Who doesn't love this guy?

Who doesn’t love this man?

For me, it means that I’m always at least a week behind and that I occasionally mistake the fake news stories on the show for real news. It also means I have a thing for Carl Kasell.

In Carl’s honor, I hereby introduce to you the first ever installment of Wait, Wait…Don’t Gluten Me! I’ll share three gluten-related tidbits I recently discovered, in limerick form.

Guess the missing word in each and you’ll win my voice on your home answering machine or voicemail. Just kidding—you don’t want that. I don’t even want that.

Here we go:

Limerick #1

There once was a blind brownie test,
the results of which couldn’t be guessed.
Some with gluten, some not,
twenty mixes were bought.
And GF Betty Crocker was ____.

Highlight for answer:    BEST   

Stunning underdog victory! Full results here.

Stunning underdog victory! Full results here.

I’ve never tried this mix, but it seems I should—and fast. (May I remind you again that it’s Friday?) 

Have you tried the Betty Crocker mix? Does it live up to the hype if so? What’s your favorite brownie mix or recipe if not?


Limerick #2

I wanted to eat something green;
Trader Joe’s prices weren’t too obscene.
Skimmed the salad greens bag,
and I thought I might gag!
Wheat in lettuce? Now that’s just plain ____.

Highlight for answer:    MEAN   

photo (2)

Hey, at least it’s kosher.

Ugh. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eaten TJ’s greens over the past months. I know, I know, “If it has a label, read it.” It just didn’t occur to me that the rule would extend to lettuce! Yet another reminder to maintain “constant vigilance.”

What’s the most surprising place you’ve discovered potential gluten contamination?


Limerick #3

What triggers this illness? Not sure.
It’s genetic but likely there’s more.
No milk from your momma?
Who cares? Please just find us a ____!

Highlight for answer:    CURE   


Photo © Armin Kübelbeck
Shots! (Once again, my friends…Friday.)

Do you think they’ll figure out a vaccine in our lifetime? What’s your pet theory about the cause of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity? 

Mine is that it’s all in our heads.


That’s it! If you got ’em all right before looking at the answers and feel you deserve a reward, come back next week. I’ll be sharing a test of a different sort, giveaway included.

In the meantime, tell me: What intriguing gluten-free news have you come across lately? (Limericks encouraged but certainly not required.) And do you love NPR as much as I do?

If you’re new in these parts, welcome! Please check out my About page or skim the index to see what I’m about (hint: it’s not all limericks). If you’d like to stick around, scroll to the bottom to follow me via Facebook, Twitter, email, WordPress, or any blog-reading platform your heart desires.

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17 thoughts on “Wait, wait…don’t gluten me! (I’m talking to you, Trader Joe’s.)

  1. denisedaniel says:

    Great post, I was dying laughing! I think Carl Kasell should do your answering machine just for the homage 🙂

  2. Laurie C says:

    I’m reading The Philadelphia Chromosome right now, so my theory about celiac disease relates to chromosomes. (That’s as far as I’ve gotten in the book.) Also, I can’t believe that about the lettuce! Since it’s Limerick Friday, I’ll give it a try.

    There once was a Trader named Joe
    Who promised food healthful and slow.
    But like an evil Rasputin
    He washed lettuce with gluten
    And now he is G/F “Traitor” Joe.

  3. Ha! Love this post. I look forward to my weekly hit of Karl and Peter, and feel like a dunce when I haven’t listened to enough WNYC in the week to know what’s gone on in the world… speaking of which, turning it on now…. Love the limericks, boo to Trader Joe’s for is lettuce deception, and yay for brownies. (My favorite mix is by Kitch+Table… they’re amazing.)

    • This taste test didn’t include King Arthur Flour (which is our go-to) or Kitch+Table (which we haven’t tried). We’ll have to do a new taste test with more of the GF varieties! I do remember thinking the gluteny Betty Crocker brownie mix was surprisingly good, so it makes sense that she did the GF well too. Definitely want to try those soon!

  4. Mary Kate says:

    Oh, Joe. You stink. What gluten could possibly be processed on lettuce equipment? There’s a bad business process in there somewhere.

    • Molly says:

      Yeah, agreed. They also have some bagged salad mixes with toppings (such as croutons) included, so my guess is that they bag all the salads on the same lines. I emailed to ask, so maybe we’ll find out.

  5. Casey says:

    Great post as usual! It is definitely amazing what can contain gluten and I totally hope that one day there will be a cure. Any celiac biochemists willing to get on that? 😉

    • Molly says:

      There are actually researchers working away at it, at universities (like my alma mater) and at private companies (summarized here). And I also just came across another About.com article about two people who underwent bone marrow transplants and seemed to regain their ability to eat gluten, though it’s a prohibitive procedure for the average person with celiac because of its high risk factor.

      Exciting stuff is happening! It could be within our lifetime, who knows.

  6. Vicky says:

    OMG!! I haven’t seen anything like that in the UK! I’ll have to look more carefully at the packets, unbelievable!

  7. Lisa (GFIdiot) says:

    [insert expletives here]
    Ugh. Yeah. I kinda thought my produce was safe. Oops, guess not!!

    I just tried the Pamela’s brownie mix this weekend. Brain fog thinks it’s the only GF brownie mix I’ve tried, could be right. It was …. odd. I was happy it came preloaded with chocolate chips, but for the first 24 hours it had a weird taste to the brownies. I thought it was the oil at my moms. But after 24 hours, I didn’t pick up on the weird background taste anymore. Either that’s just plain ass weird, or my tastebuds got used to it.

    • Molly says:

      I’ve heard from several GF bloggers/authors that brownies are better the next day, but I thought that was meant to refer to texture more than taste…so I’m mystified. I’ve never tried this mix; I’ve used King Arthur Flour GF and Bob’s Red Mill so far, both with tasty results. Chocolate can cover up most weird tastes, I think…

      And YES, it’s such a bummer about the stupid lettuce.

  8. […] than Betty? Dunno, haven’t tried hers yet. But my money’s on Whipped. We got to take home a bunch […]

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