UPDATE: Recipes now up, click to follow the links!
A beautiful weekend of gluten free baking and eating to celebrate Mr Halo’s birthday this weekend. Recipes for the treats below coming soon (just as soon as I’ve uploaded the photos), but for now, a comment or two on gluten free eating in general.
This weekend we had some friends over for general food and drinks in the *almost* sunshine. The menu for the braai/BBQ (depending upon where you grew up!) included, but was not limited to:
- Spiced rice and beans
- Blue cheese topped burgers in home baked brown seeded rolls. (Gluten free and made with flaxseed, YUM)
- Green thai curry salmon skewers with basil
- The obligatory potato and sweet potato salad
And for dessert:
- Rocky Road Cookies
- Cherry Pie with almond filling in a sweet shortcrust pastry
- Strawberry Tartlets with Creme Patisserie
- Blueberry and Blackberry Buttermilk Clafoutis.
All of this food disappeared pretty sharpish, down the gullets of the gluten free and the gluten not free alike, and was heartily enjoyed.
So when, as has happened today, I phone restaurants to try to book in for a celebration meal, only to be told that gluten free means I can just eat salad, or be asked to explain what gluten is, I have to wonder whether they’re really making any effort at all.
Before anyone shouts about it, I do know that catering for a number of special diets is hard. There’s people like me who can’t digest gluten, some can’t tolerate dairy, others are allergic to nuts, shellfish, the list goes on. However, if a number of home cooks can and do cater for all these different diets, it disappoints me to see how many people who have food as their business still don’t.
At my wedding I made food to cater for gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, and lactose intolerant guests. Would it have been easier to say sod it and make cheesy sausage rolls for everyone instead? Well, of course, but then I’d have been a terrible host. (And also not been able to eat at my own wedding. Nightmare.)
I don’t expect every eatery to be able to provide me, and other people with allergies and intolerances, a menu of the same size and choice as the “normal” one. I don’t think though, that it’s too much to ask those working in the food industry to bone up a bit on the major intolerances and allergies, and offer me more than wilted iceberg lettuce with a depressed tomato. (I’d be depressed too.)
To give a shout out to somewhere that I can always rely on however, and where the menu is absolutely laden with gluten free choices, in fact, they make up the majority of the menu, allow me to suggest to Birmingham based people Lasan Eatery. Clear guides on the menu, delicious food, and they even have rice dosas. So much yum in one place.
Recipes for the lovely treats above coming later this week, proving that at the Halo Baking Emporium and Chocolaterie in Moseley Birmingham UK you will always have a long list of choices!