There are some similarities between Starbucks and the Cafe that is inside a Barnes & Noble store. Most (if not all) of the drinks are identical. The big difference is in the food and pastry options.
Starbucks has a gluten-free pastry that comes in a sealed package (to prevent cross contamination). It is called the La Boulange Marshmallow Dream Bar. Barnes & Noble has a gluten-free pastry that comes in a sealed package, too. It is called Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow.
The two versions of what amounts to a “Rice Krispie bar” are slightly different from each other. Both are gluten-free. At a glance, the Sweet Street version has larger marshmallows than the La Boulange version.
Most people, who don’t have to avoid gluten for health reasons, do not realize that Rice Krispies are not gluten free. Rice, all by itself is gluten-free. For whatever reason, Kelloggs puts malt flavor into its Rice Krispies. Just like that, something that could have been a safe choice for a person who has celiac disease, an allergy to wheat, rye, or barley, or who has a gluten intolerance, becomes dangerous.
Somehow, both Sweet Street and La Boulange are able to make “marshmallow bars” with a cereal that resembles Rice Krispies and that doesn’t contain gluten. There was a time when Kellogg’s did have a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies, but they decided to discontinue it due to “disappointing sales and manufacturing constraints”.
It is situations like that one – where a gluten-free version of something disappears from the market – that makes life more difficult for people with food allergies or celiac disease. That’s why it is so awesome to find not one, but two, companies that are willing to make gluten-free marshmallow bars. It’s not like people can buy a box of gluten-free Rice Krispies off the shelf and make the treats at home anymore.
As you can see from the photo, the Sweet Street Chewy Marshmallow bar comes sealed in a package. This keeps it free from cross contamination with the other pastries at the Barnes & Noble cafe (that are not gluten-free).
Here are the ingredients:
* Marshmallow (corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin)
* Gluten Free Crisped Rice (rice, brown sugar, salt, monoglycerides)
* Corn Syrup
* Salted Butter
* Browned Butter
* Sea Salt
* Maltodextrin – NOTE: maltodextrin is on the Safe Foods List at Celiac.com. It does not contain gluten.
The package says:
* Contains: Milk
* It has the Certified NSF Gluten-Free stamp on the back.
* It says Gluten Free on the front.
I love these little Chewy Marshmallow bars! They are the perfect texture and stickiness and would pass for “real” Rice Krispie treats. It’s nice to have a gluten-free pastry option at Barnes & Noble Cafe. I’m not sure I could tell the difference between the Sweet Street and the La Boulange versions in a blind taste test. That’s ok, though, because both are very good.