Adventures in Gluten (and Sugar) Freedom from a southern blogger chick!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Gluten Free in Portugal, Spain and France

Oh what a journey. Oh what an adventure.

Oh, that the Euro didn't absolutely suck right now.

I need more sleep than I have had to compose a clear post on our trip, but I did want to mention a few things about our adventure to Europe. Consider this a preview.

1. People in Europe "get" GF in a way that Americans just simply don't. With one exception, in a week, in three countries where I didn't basically speak the language, I ate delicious, regional, gluten-free meals. At one restaurant in Lisbon, a saintly man named Miguel took individual care of me (in a crowd of 40 plus other diners) to make sure I didn't get sick. Only once did someone mistakenly serve me food with gluten, and I caught it at only half a bite.

Miguel and Alice Trindade, our gracious host in Lisbon, get their own post, but they both go down in the GF Hall of Kindness. They made my life blissfully sweet while I was in Portugal.

2. Airlines don't get GF meals, but trust me, U.S. Air will get it when I'm through with them. I promise. On the way out -- Quaker Rice Cakes with high fructose corn syrup. On the way back? A roll on the tray. When I asked if it was GF, the flight attendant LAUGHED at me and said, how do you think I'm supposed to know that?

3. Best discovery: baked good "Sin Glutin" in the cafeteria in the Madrid Airport. I had my own Madelines (Magdelenas). I took a picture.

4. Ham, be it Portuguese, Serrano, Iberico, or Parisian, is God's greatest food invention. Emeril is right. Pork Rules.

5. And while I'm at it, God done good with the Fois Gras, too.

6. There were a couple of downsides. Here they are: I spent NINE FREAKING HOURS in the Philadelphia airport on delay yesterday -- Randy was at home asleep before my plane to Atlanta even took off. That was way worse than the roughly four-hour delay on the way out of Philly for the gas leak. I'm not sure where the bad Karma was coming from -- US Air or Philly. Either one makes me believe that I won't fly US Air or go through Philly again, even. I don't CARE that the storm that caused the delay apparently dumped hail and rain and tornadoes on Milledgeville...I was in a city I detest, with a swollen and icky knee, with no paid meds and no ice. BLEAH.

AND ALL that paled in comparison to the fact that Monday afternoon I tripped off a sidewalk at La Madelaine (cathedral) in Paris and kissed the mighty cobblestones of the city of light. Thanks to my blessed husband (who tried to pick me up, but I screamed at him to block traffic instead) and an American angel and her friend who carried me literally to the curb, I luckily was not flattened by a cab or petite voiture de Paris. But I could barely walk today on my left knee (which is still icky). I broke my glasses as well as bruising my cheek, hand and arm. I'm a mess.

But I'm home. Muchas amore, beaucoup d'amore, and much love...and more later.


The Bouceks said...

Pork does rule!

Post some fun pictures of the trip.

Glad you didn't get hit by a taxi. That would have been one heck of a blog though.

Seriously, glad you and Joy are back on American soil!

Gluti Girl said...

I'm so glad you are home safely and it sounds like you had a great time!

Pork does rule!

If it makes you feel any better, we were stuck in the Philly airport with our little dog, Triniti. It's so big we couldn't find our way to the outside to let her "relieve" herself. So Steve and I found a planter box, inside near an elevator. It had a bunch of tall plants growing it in with dirt and mulch. We both looked at each other, sat the dog in the box and then stood in front of her so no one would see her peeing in the box! Both of us, out of the corners of our mouths were saying, "Go potty, go potty!". We were sure we would get caught and tracked down by some airport authority and be in trouble! More than likely we gave the guys watching the security videos something to laugh about.