Saturday, 26 July 2014

Travelling gluten free - the others

Some of you might have noticed my absence last month - I've been on holiday! Four weeks of eating, sleeping, chatting,flying, swimming and hiking!
This year I opted for a low key holiday and went to the Isle of Man, Lake District and Sintra (Portugal).
It wasn't always easy to eat out though as there are very few places with gluten free options on their menus which is very upsetting  - specially when you're starving after a 4 hour walk!

In one occasion in the Lake District, I only had 2 options in the menu - one was soup, and the other was a chicken curry. I would have chosen the soup, but there was no gluten free bread to go with it, so instead I went back to the car and had my own snacks.
I feel like there is a lack of knowledge from restaurants and their teams about food intolerance's and allergies which is very worrying as many people might continue getting ill unnecessarily.
But not all was negative! I found amazing places, and met amazing restaurant owners, chefs and waiters, who do know about food allergies and intolerances and who made me feel very welcome!
In Hawkshead, a lovely village in the Lake District, i found a tea room with an amazing lemon and orange cake and they also served lovely vegetable soups with gluten free bread!

Another thing I noticed (in the UK) is that most cafes and restaurants gluten free option is usually a brownie... well, as much as I love chocolate, can you please try to have a savoury option? Plus, we don't want to put on the pounds just because we have a food intolerance - hello?! cholesterol!

In Portugal, more precisely in Sintra, you can find some of the best bakeries, that is true, but you really have to dig for your gluten free goods. If you're a celiac, it's virtually impossible to eat in one of these bakeries, but for intolerants, like me, you can try the "Tigelada" made only with eggs, milk and sugar: the corn bread - usually has no wheat flour, or a very tiny amount that i was able to tolerate. You can also try the various types of "queijadas"- pretty much all of them are gluten free. You can also eat the custard in the custard tart too!

There's still a lot of work to do but I think over all we are on the good way. We just have to make sure we ask every time we go out to eat to make more and more people aware of our needs. And sharing our recipes is a good start!

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