This week, I have the pleasure of sharing an insight into the Gluten Free world with you, courtesy of the brilliant Caz Roberts (pictured), who is also known as the Gluten Free Foodie. Caz runs the Gluten Free Foodie Website (http://www.glutenfreefoodie.co.uk/) which is a great resource for anyone who loves to eat out but finds it tricky as a result of their food intolerances. Caz has very kindly offered to share an insight into the world of the Gluten Free Foodie with me…
“There are clearly many celiacs who love to eat out and want to know where they can go for delicious food, where they are treated well and can relax and have a great time.” And, as such, the response to the blog has been great. Eating out isn’t about food as a necessity, but food for pleasure. If you are going to spend money on eating out, Caz firmly believes that your experience should be just as great at a non-gluten free diner, and this is one lady on a mission to find just these places.
There has been a shift over the last five years in the ranges of “free from food” in the supermarkets, which are now fantastic. It is more difficult for restaurants to respond to the needs of diners with special dietary requirements, especially with smaller restaurants, as it is harder for them to quantify the effect of catering for gluten free diets, and because of that they often don’t see the point in making the extra effort. The higher end restaurants put in more effort than they used to and they understand about catering to specialized diets. As for more main stream chain restaurants, they are starting to catch on, but often don’t have the insight into being gluten free.
Caz’s top tip for eating out is confidence. “You have to learn not worry about the potential sigh or a roll of the eyes from a waitress when you ask a question. You are a paying customer, simple as that. I am always very polite, and often use shortcuts they can understand – e.g. “is there flour on that/in that?” as opposed to “is there gluten in that?”. I tend to begin with “I am allergic to gluten, so that’s flour, wheat…” and so on until you see a glimmer of recognition in their eyes.” One other piece of advice would be always trust yourself over the waiter/waitress.
Caz has been thrilled with the response to her website, which has caused several runs on various products she has endorsed. And I for one will be watching avidly to see where she visits next!
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