My trouble with traveling & being a ‘coeliac’. Enter Grumpy face (apologies in advance):
Off on a adventure? Regardless of the duration that your journey takes, I’m prepared to bet my bottom dollar that your bag will no doubt weigh a ton. You’ll want to be well prepared with food so that you’re never caught out. & Here lies another grumble of mine: this form of weight lifting contributes to my back shouting ‘owchieeee’ & pain that I could just do with out, thanks. Now in this instance, my example rant is just of a London trip, across the capital for a day of boring & laborious appointments. Traveling abroad? Well, that’s a topic worthy of its own post entirely.
I’m writing this from the waiting room of a major London hospital. & I happen think the worst place I’ve found for grabbing a ‘quick’ on the go lunch or snack free of gluten monsters are: Hospitals. The very place that’s supposed help contribute towards being ‘healthy’ (overlooking the germs & seasonal rounds of diarrhea & vomiting, but you get my drift) is the very place I fear the most for finding gluten free grub. The on site canteen may have a few options, but quite honestly looks like the dogs dinner, a monstrous pile of ‘slop‘ that I’d rather run in the opposite direction from than actually consume. You’ll find most London based hospitals now have the obligatory high street-franchised ‘coffee’ shop, oh & surprise surprise; they have absolutely no gluten free foods. Zilch. Bloody brilliant, isn’t it? Maybe I talk in a foreign tongue, for when in either of these establishments I ask the staff: what (if any) produce is gluten free? My question is often met by a blank expression & the really helpful response ‘what is gluten?‚Äô. (Um, that’ll be ‘nothing’ then?)
I don’t expect bob & his uncle (who is bob anyway?) to have a textbook understanding of coeliac disease & a encyclopedia full of gluten free products. I do think, those who are selling food should be educated/ wise with the knowledge to some level of their produce. After all, I’m not asking them to run off the whole list of ingredients. & To the point, they’re still a ‘sales(wo)man’ to some capacity, & you’re hardly ‘selling’ it to me with your blank reaction.
If you’re traveling to a static destination then I think these woes are put to rest somewhat. & If you have the luxury of time to research & find a gluten free ‘hero’ cafe & plan a diversion, this is all well & good. But on-the-go no time for diverting fills me with a little dread. What about you?
I did see on twitter just this last week that Warburton‚Äôs dedicated Gluten free range: Newburn bakehouse are now stocking a ‘wrap’ option in limited Starbucks‚Äô outlets. & Whilst I applaud this, I emphasise the limited. On the subject of Newburn bakehouse, have you tried their wraps? In old fashioned ‚Äòblue peter‚Äô style‚Ä¶.here is one I made earlier.
I‚Äôve also heard from fellow coeliac sufferers, that Caf√© Nero is supposed to stock some gluten free sarnies, but it appears we are still waiting for this to materialize. Part of the issue in theses ‚Äòhigh street‚Äô outlets stocking good ole gluten free grab & go food, could in part be down to the lack of clarity on their products & packaging (& I refer you back to my previous point earlier about staff knowledge). Lets be honest, we generally have to exhaust the ingredients list to rule out any gluten nastiness, & when time is of the essence this just isn‚Äôt practical. If you‚Äôre anything like me & have doubts you just don‚Äôt take the risk.
In the same way that the UK high street & town scene has adopted the ‚Äòcaf√© culture‚Äô where you can easily take your pick from at least 3 coffee shops all within a stones throw of each other, I‚Äôm hopeful* for a future of ‚Äògluten-free-in-abundance-culture‚Äô. A future that sees all these said ‚Äòcawfeee‚Äô shops have on offer: several clearly marked, reasonable priced, gluten free ‚Äòtake out‚Äô options.¬†*Wishful might be more fitting!
At least on my homebound journey I can report that my bag, which at the start of the day nearly touched the floor, is now considerably lighter (after ingesting my yum yums) & I can relax knowing I‚Äôm heading back to my gluten free comfort zone.