Tuesday, 14 August 2012

What do you miss eating?

 Over the past 2 years of being a coeliac and following the diet, I feel comfortable with it and how it works for me.  No matter how much I tell myself I am ok with my diet, there are times when I just wish I could eat a normal diet, to pick something delicious without thinking about it.

It got me thinking what gluten filled food do you miss the most? Lately Ive been looking at my husband eating some delicious cake or pastery or even a pie from the bakery and I miss that.  I live in a relative small semi rural town where the bakeries don't make gf cakes. I decided the other day while buying my husband a apple tart, that I would get a meringue, the only gf item in the bakery. I was most disappointed to discover that this rather sweet treat is targeted to children who love the blue sugary texture, not my cup of tea.

I was talking to a friend who had recently travelled to France and was listening to all the beautiful pastries and cakes he and his family had eaten. It got me thinking how would I go travelling overseas as a coeliac, to be in France and not to eat a crossiant! To travel to Italy and not to sample the famous pasta and pizza!

It is one of those times when you  wish that a cure for this autoimmune disease comes about, just imagine what our life's would be like!

My question to you my readers is what food do you miss the most? If there was a cure tomorrow what would you eat? If you have travelled overseas on a gluten free diet let me know how hard it was for you.


Fiona said...

It can be really hard missing out on some of those treats - whenever we're in France I watch as Andy eats the croissants and pain au chocolat with a certain degree of envy, but there is so much delicious food that is gluten free I never really feel deprived.

Italy is so much easier ... go into any restaurant and say 'sono celiaco' and they understand - waiters will make sure that your food is prepared separately and often have gluten free pastas available (you can take your own to restaurants that don't and they'll prepare it for you). It was a revelation! As the Italian diet contains so much gluten, they are much more aware of the problem than in many other countries and all kids are tested before they go to school. Go to Italy - it's an amazing place. I'm going back for a 10-day trip at the end of September and I can't wait ... best of all I know I'll be able to eat well!

It's obviously easier for me in countries that speak English (although UK restaurants really aren't very good ... but I saw a number of tea rooms advertising gluten free cakes and the supermarkets are well stocked with gluten free breads and treats). Cuba was surprisingly easy - there was a lot of rice, vegetables, fruit and I never had a problem. I live in Germany and while there is fairly low awareness of celiac disease in restaurants a lot of the local food is naturally gluten free - meat, potatoes and vegetables. Bratwurst and other sausages here aren't allowed by law to have any fillers in them and are naturally gluten free.

Wherever we're going, I make sure I take a celiac travel card with me (http://www.celiactravel.com/cards/) and I take some bread for the first morning to give me an opportunity to find where to buy some - usually at the pharmacy. I always google for information on where I'm likely to be able to buy some gluten free bread or treats before we go and have got the names of a few celiac-friendly restaurants. I try never to be put off going somewhere because of my celiac disease.

I do miss the gluten free bagels I used to be able to buy when we lived in Canada ... they were delicious but I can't get them in Europe (well, not that taste any good). Must try making my own sometime.

Sorry - I've rambled on and on!!

Sami said...

I used to miss bread. The GF bread I buy is a bit bland and I can only stomach it as toast. I have tried baking my own but most times it comes out hard as rock. When I was in Portugal where the bread is to die for,I managed to avoid eating, although I ate 2 or 3 delicious pastries...(I am not celiac, but just Gluten intolerant).When eating out I found it difficult to find stuff that was gluten free either in France or Portugal, and in the supermarkets not much was available either. GF goodies are mostly available at great cost in Health shops.

Mishaps and Mayhem of a Gluten Free Life said...

Thanks Fiona for your wealth of information! It's nice to know that you csn travel as a coeliac and manage to eat decent food! Sami thanks as well for your input, I haven't travelled overseas since being diagnosed and I love this conversation with readers like the both of you. Sami, I too have a problem with GF bread, I can only tolerate it toasted, it's too heavy and glue like to eat without toasting!
Fiona and Sami I would love if you could tell me some restaurants you eat at so I can add to my safe GF restaurants which I am updating in the next few days. Once again thanks for your input, I don't feel so alone anymore.

Fiona said...

If you're ever in the UK then I can recommend Carluccios (http://www.carluccios.com). It's a chain of restaurants originally founded by Antonio Carluccio, an Italian chef. Every branch has a separate gluten free menu (click on menus, select a city and then the menus come up - you'll see there's a great gluten free selection) and the food is excellent ... almost as good as being in Italy. I always go when I'm in the UK as the food is excellent and there's no hassle about being gluten free.

Sorry - can't give you many Aussie recommendations as I haven't been across to visit my sister in NSW since 2008. I had many good gluten free meals in Sydney (Bill's was a good experience if I remember rightly - I had to ask about gluten free, but they coped!) but we didn't eat out at all once we got to Coffs Harbour.

Mishaps and Mayhem of a Gluten Free Life said...

Thank you so much Fiona, I'll add your recommendations to my restaurant list as I have alot of UK readers. It's so nice to get personal feedback. I live in NSW and the restaurants are becoming more aware of GF although many chefs don't comprehend how many food products gluten is in, thus they might be giving thinking they are serving you a GF meal but the stock is full of gluten! I've learnt to ask lots of questions and ignore eye rolls of some waiters. In just two short years there has been a big improvement in the awareness and availability of GF food which I'm sure wasn't around when you last visited. Thanks again and I appreciate your feedback!