Gluten Schmuten: Hebrew National 97% Fat Free Franks

GLUTENSCHUMUTENGluten-free foods are expensive and their flavor profile, in many cases, is suspect. The Al Dente blog is going to work through the good and the bad from the perspective of a toddler who known for her picky eating and her parents. We’ll collect these, as well as the rest of our journey with The Kid’s Celiac disease diagnosis, under the Gluten Schmuten category tag.

Wait. You got her to eat a hot dog?


The Kid’s picky eating is legendary. It took nearly three months of badgering before she would try a fresh strawberry, never mind that she will eat strawberry yogurt and ice cream, and drink strawberry-flavored drinks and smoothies. 

After a long day of driving, I suggested hot dogs to The Wife for dinner. We like Hoffman’s, a locally produced product which is not gluten free. Or, I cannot verify this on the package due to a filler called “modified food starch.” This could mean corn- or gluten-based starch. Either way, I need a direct answer from the company (who will likely say that they cannot guarantee that their product is gluten free due to cross contamination).

I thought I would give hot dogs a try and went right for Hebrew National. Now, kosher foods do not always mean gluten free, but I know that the production process is tightly controlled and the chances of cross contamination are less. Kosher food wins again.

THE SELL: Our 97% fat free franks are a favorite item with health-conscious consumers—worth only 1 point on the Weight Watchers® weight-loss program. They taste great and they’re 97% guilt free, too.

THE PACKAGE: Each 11 oz. package has seven franks.

THE INGREDIENTS: Beef, water, modified potato starch and less than 2% of spices and flavorings.

THE STATS ON A SERVING: One frank has 45 calories, 1g fat, 6g protein and 3g carbs.

THE COST: $4.29 at Syracuse Wegmans stores, but they seem to be on sale for the summer.

THE REPLACEMENT: Hoffman’s hot dogs are $3.29 per pound at Wegmans deli counters.

THE ADULT TASTE TEST: They taste like a stadium hot dog. Salty, tough and in need to mustard.

THE KID TEST: Oh, she didn’t get near it. After saying that she wanted one, she refused.

THE VERDICT: Not horrible, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get them.



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