No gluten, please!

A new column about good food with no gluten. This week: The exhausting restaurant experience of a celiac.

Bread 311 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Bread 311
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Eating out with a food intolerance or allergy can be something of a hazardous endeavour. It all starts when you walk into the restaurant, with full knowledge that you are not compatible with certain common ingredients used in cooking. It’s a far cry from someone who can eat anything without problems - individuals with a stomach of steel. They really don’t know how lucky they are.
The evening will start out with high hopes; you will be wishing that the common allergens will be marked on the menu, maybe a small G for gluten free foods and a small D for dairy free ones. Next, you greet your waiter with a smile, wondering how much he will mind your, at times difficult, questions. You know that you will try to be a little bit apologetic when asking.
 Then finally comes the menu and you're ready to enjoy some delicious food, but alas you notice that there are no allergens marked on the menu and the questions will start pouring out. Might this dish be naturally gluten free? Does this one have casein in it? What about this one, does it contain nuts? Your waiter will start to look a bit panic-ridden and anxious, he hurries back to the kitchen to ask the chef about the food.
When he finally comes out of the busy kitchen he will look much more relaxed, and points to number three on the menu and tells you that yes indeed, with some adjustments, you may have that one.
You enjoy the food - it is excellent and you are very happy about the fact there was something you could eat on the menu, even if some adjustments were needed and a whole lot of questions had to be asked in order to get that plate under your nose.
 While leaving the restaurant, after giving a generous tip to your helpful waiter, a whole new set of questions begin to fill your mind. Can you really be sure there was actually no gluten in the food? Even the tiniest amount will be a problem. Some of the uneasiness will remain with you for a couple of days, but after that you will begin to relax.  You survived eating out gluten free!
  Emilia Stark is a food bloger and photographer. For more articles on gluten free foods, visit Emilia's bog at: