There were five instances recently that have made me think that I am expecting too much of others when it comes to eating gluten free.
Number one instance - a side of relish laced with malt vinegar # 1
A recent trip to a cafe in Auckland who had a number of gluten free dishes available, all clearly labelled. The staff seemed to be very aware of what contained gluten so I ordered a gluten free fritatta. It came served with a side of relish. I hesitated at the relish but decided that because the staff seemed to understand gluten free, I decided that the relish must also be gluten free.
The next day I was horribly sick and didn’t come right for a few days. I can only imagine it was malt vinegar that caused it.
Number two instance - a side of relish laced with malt vinegar # 2
A new trendy cafe in Auckland city with gluten free options and staff who seemingly had a good gluten free knowledge. This cafe even make their own gluten free cereal. I was again served a side of relish with my fritatta. This time I thought I would ask if there was any malt vinegar in the relish and yes there was. I nicely let it be known that the relish was not gluten free.
Number three instance - a side of relish laced with malt vinegar # 3
Travelling to Pauanui last weekend, we stopped at a roadside cafe. They had lots of gluten free options, including Marx Bakery chicken pies! I was so excited. And yes, my delicious pie was served with a spicy relish and yes, the owner checked the label and yes, it contained malt vinegar. Once again I nicely informed them that the relish was not gluten free.
Number four instance - a bread roll on my side plate
I went to a wedding last weekend. The bride had informed the venue that there were two Coeliacs attending the reception. I phoned the venue a few days before the wedding just to be sure. They did all the right things. They nodded and said they will let the chef know and the lady asked for my name. At the last wedding I went to, they had asked for my name and when the waiter came round, he had a gluten free menu especially for me.
But at this wedding, when I sat down at my named seat, there was a bread roll on my side plate.
Number five instance - waiter with no gluten free knowledge, despite phoning ahead
When the waiter came round to take my order at the wedding reception, he did not tell me which were the gluten free options. So I asked him and he had absolutely no idea. He looked at me as though this was the last thing he needed (and it probably was) before saying he would check with the chef.
If the wait staff had been informed that there were two Coeliacs and they were told which options were gluten free, it would have been a lot easier for everyone. Particularly the waiter and the busy chef. I wonder if the other Coeliac had the same experience. I wonder if she (or he) expected more.
So these instances above got me thinking. Am I expecting too much? Yes, I think I probably am.
Ensuring that only gluten free food is eaten is my responsibility and no one else’s.
Just in case you are not sure whether malt vinegar is gluten free or not, see this post.