Gluten-free crackers with a Danish twist

By Christine Lunde

WORKING FROM A recipe tested and perfected in her apartment just off Jackson Street, Susan Gabiati has launched Kettel Krakkers, a line of gluten-free, mostly organic, traditional Danish crackers offered in four flavors: sesame, caraway, garlic and rosemary.

Although the traditional Danish cracker is gluten-based, Gabiati decided to adapt the recipe when her granddaughter Lisa was diagnosed with Celiac disease a few years ago.

“Lisa was always so tired, for several years. We were like, ‘How can you be so tired when you’re 15, 16, 17?’ ” Gabiati says. “It took her a whole year to get off gluten until she started feeling better. It took her another year to come to terms about her illness.”

That was before the gluten-free craze hit its current fever pitch.

“There was nothing savory on the market, and making the crackers gluten-free didn’t compromise the flavor, which was really wonderful,” she says.

Gabiati was sent to culinary school in Denmark when she was 17 and she has loved to cook ever since. She came to Tiburon from Copenhagen 45 years ago, and moved into a lofty apartment in the neighborhood after her husband died several years ago.

“I have such a tiny kitchen and you know the food doesn’t know, it’s only the cook,” says Gabiati.

Kettel Krakkers take their name from Gabiati’s married surname, Kettel, and krakker is the traditional Danish spelling. Available locally at Ales Unlimited at Jackson and Webster and at Bryan’s in Laurel Village, the crackers are handmade in an industrial kitchen supervised by Gabiati’s son Morten Kettel.

Gabiati tasted more than 30 olive oils before settling on one to use for her cracker creations. All the ingredients are sourced from local, family-owned companies.

In Denmark, no one leaves the table without saying “tak for mad” or “thank you for the food,” and the Kettel Krakker label is printed with that saying — a nod to where she first learned the art of cooking.