Self-proclaimed font of Celiac knowledge, Libby tries to educate everyone she comes across on the differences between allergies, gluten sensitivity, and Celiac Disease.See all posts »
It's Not Easy Being a Gluten-Free Foodie
I like to consider myself a bit of a foodie. I read food blogs, endlessly look at pictures of delicious meals (a.k.a., foodporn), and obsess over new cupcake shops. But I often feel like an observer rather than a participator. While I enjoy watching the programs on the Food Network, especially Ina Garten, who makes the most gorgeous dishes, I find myself getting angry the moment gluten is added to the recipe.
I enter every café or cupcakery that pops up to ask if they serve gluten free baked goods. I even go back to old bakeries over and over asking for gf items. The answer is almost always no. And if the answer is yes, it is quickly followed by “but we don’t use a different oven,” or “but we can’t guarantee it to be 100% allergen free”.
Why do I torture myself with delicacies that I cannot eat? Maybe it is in the hope that one time, one restaurant will cater to Celiacs with a foodie desire. I want the food community to understand the gluten free lifestyle in more than a fad. If a food truck in San Francisco offers gluten free options, there is no way that purchase will be completely safe. A food truck is too small of a venue to serve dishes that are Celiac friendly. And I would know: I seem to flock to these trucks with blind hope, only to be miserable later on.
With all this complaining, there are some gluten free gems in the Bay Area: Mariposa Baking Co. from Oakland, and Zest Bakery in San Carlos both have an amazing (and entirelygluten free) selection of baked goods, snacks, and entrees that range from sweet to savory.
So listen up, food world! Make more Celiac safe, 100% gluten free restaurants or food trucks. If you open them, people will come!