Cristian Broglia started his culinary career in his hometown of Parma, Italy, before his desire to discover new cultures, recipes and ingredients led him to cook throughout Europe, Latin America, Asia and North America. He was the long-time executive chef of Alma (the International School of Italian Cuisine), and in 2017, he opened the research and development food laboratory CHEFin LAB. In his new cookbook, The Gluten-Free Cookbook (Phaidon, 2022), Broglia shares 350 recipes from more than 80 countries that are rich in taste and gluten-free by design. Although Italy, with its pasta, pizza and pastry, does not seem like a place to start a volume on gluten-free cooking, this is exactly what prompted Broglia to begin his research. In doing so, he uncovered many treasured gluten-free recipes close to home that encouraged him to continue his search internationally.
Cristian Broglia’s Lentil Balls
1. Gluten is a protein present in many cereals (like wheat, oats, spelt, barley, rye, bulgur, and freekeh) and in all their derivatives (such as flour, semolina,flakes, and meal). Gluten develops when two specifc proteins, glutamine and gliadin, are hydrated and processed either mechanically or manually.
2. Those who want to eat a gluten-free diet must replace gluten-containing grains with other cereals that are naturally free of gluten, such as rice, corn, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, teff, and amaranth. These grains, even when reduced to flour, can be tasty alternatives and can offer a considerable variety of tastes and textures.
3. Some may think that gluten-free cooking is not very interesting because of what it excludes. On the contrary, gluten-free cuisine is not boring at all and you will find lots of variety.