Kitchn Love Letters

I Have Celiac Disease and These Are the Only Gluten-Free Bread Crumbs I’ll Ever Eat

published Jun 8, 2022
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Hand sprinkles breadcrumbs over romaine leaves.
Credit: Joe Lingeman; Food Stylist: Cyd McDowell

Being a celiac, it’s no secret that I miss all sorts of gluten-filled foods. While there are plenty of gluten-free cinnamon buns and boxed mac ‘n’ cheeses available, with the exception of a few, most alternatives don’t hold a candle to the real deal. And while I often daydream about a crunchy, butter-heavy croissant or a flaky, melt-in-your-mouth tart (perhaps one that celebrates tomato season), it’s bread that I yearn for the most. I crave a crostini, a crusty slice to sop up sauce, and most of all — bread crumbs. I know some folks don’t even have bread crumbs in their pantry, but for me, it’s one of my most-used pantry staples. If you grew up eating eggplant parm and broccoli rabe casseroles on a daily basis like me, I bet you’re sprinkling bread crumbs on everything, too!

From Italian-American family recipes (arancini anyone?) to new fun takes on classics like this grilled caesar salad, I find myself using bread crumbs almost nightly. The only problem? When it comes to gluten-free crumbs, personally, I’ve always found something a little off. Some are like tiny, hard bits of old oyster crackers, while others are packed with so much “Italian seasoning,” the synthetic flavor overpowers the dish completely. After so many unsavory experiences, I had given up on finding the GF bread crumbs of my dreams and resorted to crushed nuts or a bit of gluten-free flour. That is, until I discovered Real Phat Food’s Italian Crumbs.

Made with very few ingredients, these keto- and paleo-friendly bread crumbs are unlike any other I’ve tried. They stay perfectly crunchy even when topping succulent, bubbling casseroles and their detectible and delicious flavor is subtle enough to complement the other elements of the dish. Because the crumbs are made with almond flour and egg whites, they don’t taste over-processed. There’s no funky texture or discerning taste from binders. If this bread crumb-alternative sounds like a dream come true, that’s because it is!

Credit: Stella Totino

Aside from their multitude of uses, unparalleled taste, and glorious texture, I also love the origin story behind these crumbs. Like some of the world’s best innovations, it was a total accident. The Real Phat founders discovered that their crackers (which are my go-to for snacking and cheese boards alike, by the way), when crushed, made a stellar bread crumb- alternative. Plus, because they’re baked with the same formula as the crackers, the crumbs come in a variety of delicious flavors. Besides my trusted Italian crumbs, there’s also Cheddar and Sweet Cinnamon Crunch (um, what?!).

No matter what flavor you pick (my suggestion: Why not try them all?), I think you’ll find yourself reaching for these bread crumbs so often, you might as well not bother putting them away. Or, if you’re like me, you might find yourself eating spoonfuls straight out of the bag — don’t knock it ’til you try it!

When it comes to gluten-free foods, I’ll admit that I’m picky. I think I have the right to be, though —just because I have celiac disease doesn’t mean my taste buds should suffer. And when I find alternatives that I really think fit the bill, I make sure to share them my friends, family, and you! They’re rare to come by, so trust me when I say that these Phat Crumbs are not to be missed.