Mariposa Baking Co. in San Francisco – Gluten-Free Goodness

Posted on March 10th, 2014 by Alison | Posted in Bakeries, Dining Out, SF Bay Area, Travel | ADD A COMMENT »

I can’t believe it’s been 6 years since I first wrote about Mariposa Baking Company At that time (2008), they were located only in Oakland, CA, and the next year made the move to a kiosk in the historic Ferry Building of San Francisco. Now they reside in a permanent spot in the Ferry Building, and with more room they can offer toasted bagels, sandwiches, and other gluten-free breakfast and lunch items in addition to an array of gluten-free baked goods.

On a beautiful day in February, I boarded the ferry in Larkspur, CA with my two daughters. We loved every minute of the ferry ride, with awesome views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Angel Island and San Francisco. We arrived at The Ferry Building, which is known for its amazing food, offering Mexican, Vietnamese, Japanese, Italian and Americana, in addition to its gourmet meats, cheeses, oysters and other fresh foods.

We passed up these options, however, as some were gluten-ful, and I just didn’t feel like asking so many questions (my daughter has multiple food allergies). That day was about spending time with my girls and not having to worry about a thing, so we headed straight for Mariposa Baking Company, where we could get great food and feel relaxed.

Mariposa Baking Company San Francisco

Mariposa Gluten-Free San Francisco

I ordered “the gobbler” sandwich: organic turkey with swiss, organic spinach, tomato and red onion, cranberry sauce, and mayo on toasted Faux “Rye” bread – 2 slices of bread from a round loaf of light bread with caraway seeds added. It came with a side salad and delicious croutons! I loved it! Other menu items were “cheddar hammy sammy,” “mediterranean panini,” “tuna melt,” and “empanada plate.” All are marked whether they are also vegan, dairy-free or nut-free. You can create your own sandwich if you prefer. One of my daughters ordered a toasted cheese sandwich and the other had a plain turkey sandwich, both on their Sandwich Bread, which is egg, dairy and nut-free.

Mariposa Gluten-Free Sandwich San Francisco

After lunch we walked to the new Exploratorium and then of course we had to return to Mariposa get treats and some items to take back home. We tried a few sweets and then purchased some loaves of bread — the Faux Rye was $7 per loaf and the Sandwich Bread was $6 per loaf, great prices for gluten-free bakery bread!

Mariposa Gluten-Free Bread

Whether you are visiting the Bay Area, or a native, I highly recommend my itinerary above, with a stop at Mariposa!


Gluten Intolerance Group of Marin June 2013 Meeting

Posted on May 1st, 2013 by Alison | Posted in GIG of Marin, SF Bay Area, Travel | ADD A COMMENT »

gigofmarin1

TRAVELING GLUTEN FREE

Just in time for summer traveling, GIG of Marin’s next meeting on Tuesday, June 11th will feature Laura Emmerson, creator of the blog Gluten Free Traveller.

Originally from Scotland, Laura now lives in San Francisco.  Bit by the travel bug early in life, she refused to let her celiac diagnosis in 2009 curtail her love of exploring the world.  Laura will be joining us in June after having spent the month of May in New Zealand.

Says Laura (who, being from the UK, favours British spellings): “Staying safely gluten free can be difficult enough when you’re at home in your crumb free kitchen never mind when you’re travelling somewhere new. Each country has their own unique gluten free labelling laws, different gluten free products and varying levels of awareness of coeliac disease and gluten free dieting. Travelling is arguably the most arduous area of gluten free life for coeliacs hence my decision to start my website. I’m writing it for you. I want you to spend your time making wonderful travel memories, not searching in vain for something safe to eat!”

Also featured at the meeting will be free samples related to travel so you can take them on your next trip!

Plus, CONTINUE READING »


California Pizza Kitchen offers gluten-free pizza

Posted on June 29th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Dining Out, Restaurants/Stores, Travel | Read 7 Comments - Add Your Own »

California Pizza Kitchen has officially launched a gluten-free crust. In an email sent to me today, it was announced:

“The wait is over! Today California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) has launched gluten free pizza crust, making 29 of their original pizzas available gluten free.

cpkCPK has taken notice of the increased demand with more than 3 million Americans affected by Celiac Disease and created a specialty menu with various gluten free items. Among the 29 different gluten free pizzas available is America’s favorite, The Original BBQ Chicken pizza, the Pear & Gorgonzola pizza and the Wild Mushroom pizza. CPK also offers other gluten free appetizers, soups, salads, specialties, kids items and desserts to choose from on their current menu.”

On their website, it states “Gluten-Free crust available upon request” and that the pizzas that not gluten-free are the Thai Chicken and Roasted Artichoke + Spinach.

There are over 230 CPK locations in the U.S., so hopefully there is one near you! I have no idea if they are fully trained in how to safely serve the gluten-free diner. Let’s hope so, and that they are aware of the emotions of the gluten-free diner! If you go, be sure to report back here about your experience!


Where to Find Gluten-Free Pizza in California

Posted on November 8th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Restaurants/Stores, SF Bay Area, Travel | Read 9 Comments - Add Your Own »

pizza1A few years ago, gluten-free pizza was nowhere to be found, but now many pizza restaurants are catering to the needs of those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. While there still isn’t much variety in the actual crust that the pizza places are using, at least there are a variety of places to go and get it!

Below are the names of restaurants that offer gluten-free pizza, the gluten-free crust they use (if I know), their location in California, and other products of interest they serve. Please let me know if there is another to add to the list, and please call the restaurant first and make sure they have gluten-free pizza available when you are going to be there.

Restaurants that offer gluten-free pizza in California:

Because so many places are using Still Riding pizza crust, here are the ingredients in case you have other sensitivities: Bean flour, rice flour, tapioca flour and starch, xanthan gum, salt, yeast, egg, cider vinegar, sugar, canola oil, calcium propionate.

Stay tuned for another post on store-bought pizza and making your own pizza!


Gluten-Free Allergen-Free Vacation Tips

Posted on July 28th, 2010 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Saving Money/Sales, Tips, Travel | Read 12 Comments - Add Your Own »

airplane1I just got back from a family vacation and though the summer is already half over, I thought someone out there may still benefit from some travel tips for traveling with gluten intolerance or with food allergies…

When planning a vacation, rather than start with what to pack?, start with what’s my destination? Where you are going will determine how you are getting there and finally, what you need to bring.

THE DESTINATION

kitchen?

Where are you staying? Is it a tent, condo, hotel room, someone’s house? Ideally it would be somewhere with a kitchen. There are hotels that offer kitchens, so if you are really worried about the food that you will be able to eat, you might seek out this type of hotel (Marriott Residence Inns are one example, but there are others, and even some upscale hotels offer kitchens). Timeshares and condos have kitchens, but if this is not an option, there are some small adjustments you can make to turn any hotel room into a pseudo-kitchen.

If staying in a hotel room, the first thing to do is call and see if there is a refrigerator in the room. Most hotel rooms are equipped with a mini-frig or mini-bar. If there is not one in the room, request one. Explain your situation and perhaps they will be able to put one in the room for you. Also, ask if they have a microwave and/or toaster that you can use in the room. We did this on the last trip and were told that they do not have them in the rooms, but the woman on the phone suggested we buy a microwave or toaster when we got there. My mother-in-law had a better idea: she bought a small cheap toaster and packed it in her suitcase. (It was so inexpensive, we didn’t even bother to pack it back home.) That toaster and a small frig made it possible for us to have a bit of breakfast every morning (we saved a lot of money too!) — more on that later.

driving

If you are driving to your destination, you can bring more items in your car, like a microwave, or a thermo-electric cooler. This is a cooler that plugs into an outlet to stay cool (car adapters also available). No wasted space on ice! This makes a good frig in a hotel room, or helps keep your safe food away from everyone else’s at a friend’s weekend house (no worries about someone’s knife in your butter!)

shopping

What kind of grocery stores are at or near your destination? Do a search ahead of time to see if your shopping can be done there, rather than bringing everything with you. If there are special items you need, call the store ahead of time to see if they carry them. Perhaps they can even pack you a bag and hold it for you. If you plan to do your shopping there, plan the time you will go and make it a priority. If you don’t, it will be harder to find time during the vacation.

care package

No grocery stores where you are going? Don’t feel like lugging it all? How about mailing some food to yourself? Think of it as a care package! You will be so happy to find all your safe foods waiting for you! With airlines charging for bags these days, it might even be more economical to do it this way. You just need to plan ahead! If traveling abroad, be careful of customs restrictions.

dining out

If you are going to be dining out, try reading blogs (like this one!) that are located in the area to which you are traveling. Often they will discuss restaurants, bakeries or stores where they have found a safe meal. Online support groups or local support groups can also be good resources. Support organizations in other countries can be helpful also. Gluten Free Passport has a list of global celiac organizations.

If traveling to a foreign country, don’t forget your dining cards translated into another language. Check out Triumph Dining Cards or SelectWisely Food and Travel translation cards. Food Allergy Buddy provides free cards you print yourself and CeliacTravel.com also provides free translation cards and an iPhone application. More applications are available and coming out for smartphones — do a search for your particular smartphone.

GETTING THERE

byof

Once you have determined your destination, how are you getting there? The number one rule for travel is BYOF — Bring Your Own Food. You just can’t go wrong with this option. For every plane trip, I get up early and make sandwiches on gluten-free bread. I pack them in a soft little cooler with an ice pack. I also bring lots of dry snacks like chips, crackers, dried fruit, beef jerky, cereal, bars — these will also last if needed during the vacation or to save for the plane trip home. I bring a small box of rice milk for my little one (airlines allow passengers to bring milk for children — just let the security guards know). I also bring a few lollipops (either Yummy Earth or Dum-Dums for any child-bribing that needs to be done!)

airports

Airports can be a challenge, so think ahead! If you want or need to eat a meal there, you can actually look up which restaurants are located in each airport, and even which terminal. Just do a search on “Airport Name dining.” For example, San Francisco Airport Dining. Knowing the restaurants ahead of time can help find a quick safe meal, or at least let you know that you need to bring something of your own. You can always buy chips, nuts and dried fruit at the news stores (if that works for your allergy).

airplanes

As airlines cut costs, it is unlikely that you are even having a “meal” on an airplane, unless you are in first class or are flying international. If you are having a meal, you can try requesting a gluten-free meal ahead of time, but there will be no guarantees that they will get it right! Some airlines are offering boxes of snack pack items as meals. On the way home from our last trip, we were short on food so my husband bought all three snack boxes, took out the gluten-free items in each and made his own assorted gluten-free snack box. Wasteful, yes. But he didn’t go hungry!

automobiles

Going on a road trip? BYOF of course, and pack it in your cooler. If you need to make pit stops, research roadside restaurants ahead of time. Keep my page of fast food restaurant information and links handy. And don’t forget that you can probably find a grocery store along the way.

WHAT TO PACK

Once you have figured out your destination and how you are getting there, you can decide what is necessary to bring with you.

As I mentioned before, on our vacation we were able to have a simple breakfast every morning with just the toaster we brought and the mini-frig in the hotel room. We either had a piece of toast or a bowl of cereal, and complemented it with fresh fruit or yogurt. Here is what I packed:

  • fresh bread, that I made before we left. I use Pamela’s Bread Mix to make a loaf, I put it in a large plastic bag, and pack it in a children’s shoe box in a suitcase. The shoe box is the perfect size and prevents the bread from getting smashed. (Grab one the next time you are at Target — they always have empty ones lying around.)
  • another loaf of frozen or refrigerated bread, like Udi’s or Food for Life. I left it in the freezer until the morning we left and then stuck it in the suitcase. Because it was frozen, it didn’t get smashed.
  • new jars of Sunbutter and Jelly. I packed these in a padded wine bottle carrier — it worked perfectly!
  • 2 unopened boxes of gluten-free cereal
  • paper plates and bowls, and plastic spoons and knives. I should have packed a real knife for cutting the fresh bread.
  • rice milk (if you can drink regular milk, you can easily find it nearby, or ask room service)
  • coconut yogurt and dairy-free butter, packed in a cooler with ice pack
  • Redbridge gluten-free beer — okay, that wasn’t for breakfast, but very refreshing later in the day! Pack carefully. We have never had problems bringing beer in our suitcase, even to Mexico (but they sure thought we were crazy!)

Even if you want to go out for breakfast and get eggs and bacon some mornings, it’s nice to have the option of something simple. We liked that we didn’t have to go out for breakfast. These things work as a snack later in the day too, especially for kids.

Enjoy the rest of the summer and happy travels!


GoPicnic ready-to-eat gluten-free meals

Posted on August 3rd, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Food Ideas, Gluten Intolerance, Products, Travel | Read 6 Comments - Add Your Own »

People often come to this website looking for easy gluten-free to-go lunch ideas. I have given suggestions and more suggestions. And now, I’m going to tell you about a to-go lunch and snack idea that I think is pretty cool. In fact, I read about it on the website Cool Mom Picks. So there you go!

gopicnic1You know those boxes of snacks that are now sometimes offered on planes? GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals are just like those, except they have entirely GLUTEN-FREE ones! Plus, they are much healthier than the usual “lunchables”-type meal. (Actually, I think GoPicnic is being sold on Alaska Airlines, but not gluten-free.) These meals need no refrigeration, so they would be great in the car, on a plane or to take to camp!

There are many gluten-free choices such as Zesty Break, Go Trek, Sports Munch, Explore Munch, Safari Munch (also casein-free), and Anywhere Break. Another cool thing: 5% of sales of gluten-free products goes to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research!


Eating gluten-free, allergen-free at fast food chains

Posted on February 21st, 2009 by Alison | Posted in Restaurants/Stores, Travel | Read 45 Comments - Add Your Own »

innoutburger

I almost never eat fast food. I used to — I remember going through the drive-through at the local Jack-in-the-Box and ordering 3 Super Tacos! They were delicious, in a I-don’t-want-to-know-what’s-in-it kind of way. Now I do know what’s in it, and I’m not allowed to eat it anyway since most fast food has gluten in it. Luckily we have In-N-Out Burger here in California, which is in a league of its own when it comes to fast food — and great for people who can’t have gluten!

Even for people who don’t normally eat fast food, there are those times when you’re on the road, or in a new place, or when you’re in the airport, and fast food restaurants are the only choice or the most convenient choice. I know there are a lot of people who do rely on fast food for a quick meal or when traveling, so to make it easier for you, I am putting all the allergen information for some of the most popular fast food chains here in one place.

Rather than listing out everything you can and can’t have, since fast food products and ingredients may change, I have written a little summary and compiled links to the pages of the websites where you can find all the information you need. That way, you can quickly access the info when you need it and print it out before you hit the road!

In-N-Out Burger

Thank you In-N-Out Burger for making real food, but fast! For the celiacs or gluten-intolerant out there, you can order your 100% beef burger “protein style” and it will come wrapped in a lettuce leaf rather than on a bun. You won’t see it on the menu, but you can ask for it and they won’t even look at you funny. The french fries are made from REAL potatoes and nothing else, and are fried on the spot in 100% cottonseed oil. They only make french fries so no worry about cross-contamination. The spread they use on the burger is gluten-free and dairy-free (it is mayo-based so it contains eggs). Read more about In-N-Out’s Food Quality. Find an In-N-Out Burger location.

McDonald’s

After facing lawsuits in 2006 over the presence of wheat and milk in their french fries after declaring them gluten-free and dairy-free, McDonald’s issued a statement saying that although wheat and milk were used as starting agents in the flavoring, there was no residual protein, hence no allergen, left in the final product. Since that time, however, McDonald’s lists their french fries as containing both wheat and dairy. So can you eat it? I don’t know. Some people with celiac say they eat them with no problem. Some say they have a reaction. You also need to watch out for cross-contamination, as some McDonald’s use a shared fryer with gluten-containing foods, and some use a dedicated fryer for only french fries. For the rest of the menu, see McDonald’s Nutrition Information.

Burger King

According to Burger King’s Allergen List (link no longer works as of 6/6/10 — see update below), their french fries are made in a dedicated fryer and do not contain wheat. Of course, always check to make sure that the fryer really is dedicated. Don’t get your hopes up for anything else on their menu. At the time of this writing the only other things that seem gluten-free (wheat is listed as an allergen) were a plain beef patty, one kind of salad, apple fries, some condiments and drinks. If you read all the crap ingredients they put in their foods, you might be glad you have a disease that prevents you from eating it!
UDPATE 6/6/10: I could no longer find an allergen list for Burger King, but they have a Gluten-Sensitive List. The french fries are on it, but says that they may be fried with gluten-containing foods.

Taco Bell

Tacos are usually a food that a gluten-intolerant person can have… not so at fast food restaurants! If you should venture near a Taco Bell, do NOT eat a taco. Order a tostada, rice and beans, or these other “Suggestions for Wheat and Gluten Sensitive Individuals”  from Taco Bell’s website:

  • Fiesta Taco Salad (order Chicken instead of Beef; order without the shell and without the Red Strips)
  • Express Taco Salad (order Chicken instead of Beef)
  • Zesty Chicken Border Bowl® (order without the Zesty Dressing and without the Red Strips)
  • Southwest Steak Bowl (order without the Creamy Jalapeno Sauce)

For more information, read Taco Bell Food Allergens and Sensitivities and Taco Bell Ingredient Statement.

Jack in the Box

It’s a little disconcerting that a fast food place offers such a diverse menu — from hamburgers to tacos to fish pita snacks to a teriyaki bowl! Okay, judgment aside, if you must eat here for some reason, you will need to look at two different lists: the Product Build (link no longer works as of 6/6/10) which shows you the pieces that make up one dish (like “Regular Bun, Mayo-Onion Sauce, Lettuce, Bacon Slices, Chicken Patty”), and the Ingredients List, which lists the specific ingredient in each of the pieces. If you can’t gluten, I can’t help you too much with this one. I hope you like salad. No croutons.

Wendy’s

I always liked Wendy’s for their baked potatoes. Wendy’s has a list of Items Without Gluten and a Nutrition Guide which includes allergen information for egg, fish, milk, soy, and wheat.

Carl’s Jr.

Go for the Low-Carb Six Dollar Burger and french fries for gluten-free. The fries are also dairy-free, but you will need to check to see if they use a dedicated fryer. Check the Carl’s Jr. Ingredient Guide and the Allergen Information for more info.

Kentucky Fried Chicken

If you can’t eat gluten, don’t even walk in the door unless you like vegetables that are overcooked in hydrogenated oils and chemicals. Yum. But don’t eat the potatoes — they may have wheat depending on the region. Again, better to not even walk through the door. For other allergies, consult the KFC Allergen and Sensitivites Guide and the KFC Ingredient List.

Subway

Even though this is a sandwich shop, there is a pretty big selection of gluten-free salads and the most of the lunch meats are gluten-free. To find out which ones are safe for you, see the Subway Allergen Chart and the Subway Ingredient Guide.

Have you eaten at any one of these establishments? Let us know how your experience was!


Tips for traveling with celiac disease or food allergies

Posted on July 22nd, 2008 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Travel | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

Going on a trip? Whether you or your children have celiac disease, gluten or other food intolerance or food allergies, travel is something that requires extra meal planning and safety preparation.

As an example, this is what I bring when we travel by airplane:

  • Food

    • sandwiches placed in a small, soft cooler pack with an ice pack
    • dry snacks (so it isn’t messy) like chips, crackers, dried fruit, beef jerky, cereal, bars — these will also last if needed during the vacation or to save for the plane trip home
    • rice milk in no-spill cups for my daughters (airlines allow passengers to bring milk for children — just let the security guards know)
    • a few lollipops (either Yummy Earth or Dum-dums for any child-bribing that needs to be done!)

    • I also bake a loaf of bread before the trip and bring the rest of the loaf (after making the sandwiches) to my destination. It can be used for more sandwiches or toast at breakfast.
  • Medicine
    • Bottle of Benadryl

    • Epi-Pen and a doctor’s note
  • Wipes, wipes, and more wipes for hands, the seat tray, the armrests and the windows (depending on the severity of the allergy)

We never eat any airport or airplane food. The big treat for my daughters is that they get to have apple juice on the plane (and sometimes a goodie that I have brought as a surprise).

This is our routine and my daughters know what to expect with regards to food. They have become quite the little airplane travelers… see my daughter’s first time by herself on the “people mover” (as my husband explains it)!

airplanetravel.jpg

My travel list above is a quick one, but many others have written extensively on traveling with food allergies and traveling gluten-free. Here are some articles with great tips to get you going on your next trip!

Traveling With Severe Food Allergies from Delicious Baby

Traveling With Food Allergies from Kids with Food Allergies

How to Manage a Child’s Food Allergies When Traveling from Parenthood.com

Traveling with Food Allergies and Restricted Diets from About.com

Gluten-Free and Allergen-Free Meal Availability by Global Airlines from Gluten Free/Allergy Free Passport

Airline Travel Tips from FAAN

Food Allergies and Travel for Teens from Kids Health

Food Allergy Travel Tips from Allergic Girl

Staying Gluten-Free in Hotels from About.com

If you would like to go on a gluten-free getaway, check out Bob and Ruth’s Gluten Free Dining and Travel Club


My journey to India (and a diagnosis)

Posted on March 11th, 2008 by Alison | Posted in Celiac Disease, Food Ideas, Gluten Intolerance, Symptoms, Travel | Read 9 Comments - Add Your Own »

When I was on my honeymoon in India, my stomach never felt better. Most people would think that you might get sick eating the food in India, but for me it was the best that I had felt in a long time. I know now that it was because I was eating almost entirely gluten-free for 3 weeks, without knowing it. The Indian diet, aside from the breads (naan, roti and chapati) and some snacks, is gluten-free. Rice, chickpeas and lentils, and flours made from all of these, are used in much of their food.

When I returned home, my stomach problems became worse than they had ever been — of course, because I was eating American gluten-laden food again! At the time I chalked up it up to stress at work, although I really wasn’t stressed at all, but I had no other conclusion. Right before my wedding, I had a bone marrow exam because of my severe anemia. I delayed calling the doctor for the results until I came back — I figured if it was cancer, I didn’t want to know about it before my honeymoon. Luckily, it wasn’t, but the doctors still didn’t know what was ailing me. 2 months later I was diagnosed with celiac disease. I do believe that trip to India helped me get to that diagnosis sooner.

Needless to say, I love Indian food! While I was there, my husband and I took a cooking class from an Indian woman named Nimmy Paul in her home in Kerala, India. Here I am making palappam which are “lacy rice pancakes” (but these also contain a little semolina or cream of wheat).

indiancookinglesson.jpg

In addition to the main dishes, the dal (lentils) and the rice, there are lots of other foods that are gluten-free and can be found in an Indian grocery or online. Indian people are probably the nicest people on earth, so go ahead and wander into a restaurant or market and ask for help!

Here are some of my favorites:

Papadum (there are a lot of different spellings for this word) – this thin crispy wafer is usually made from lentil flour and spiced with chili or black pepper. It starts as a round hard disc and when fried in oil, puffs up (great entertainment for the kids!) If you want a less oily version, you can microwave it until it puffs up – it won’t be a crispy as the fried one, and a little chewier, but still good. I found these mini plain versions, which also contain rice flour. They are a great size for kids and have no spice except salt. I love these and my 18 month old loves them too!

Papadum before and after frying:

papadum.jpgfriedpapadum.jpg

dosamix.jpgDosa – these are thin pancakes or crepes from lentil and rice flour that are usually served with sambar, which is like a stew. I loved having these for breakfast in South India. You can buy a Dosa mix and make your own! (Stay away from maida dosa or rava dosa, which contain wheat.)

Idli – these are little flying-saucer shaped cakes made from black lentils and rice. They are also served with sambar or chutney. There is an Idli mix you can buy, but you also need an idli steamer (Stay away from rava idli, which contain wheat.)

indiansnack.jpg

Snacks – many are made with chickpea or rice. Watch out for the spicy ones! The chips shown are made from chickpea flour.

Tip: When checking ingredients, don’t worry if you see the word “gram.” This is not the same as our word graham, which is wheat. Gram means a lentil or chickpea (garbanzo bean). For example, black gram (also called urad or urad dal or udad) is a black lentil and is gluten-free. Gram flour, or chana flour, means chickpea flour.

Beware of other allergens: nuts and dairy are used in Indian cooking.

 


Gluten-free in The Land of Pasta?

Posted on October 4th, 2007 by Alison | Posted in Gluten Intolerance, Restaurants/Stores, Travel | ADD A COMMENT »

italianflag3.jpgFor anyone on a gluten-free diet, finding a place to eat while traveling can be difficult and at the very least requires some effort. So how could one even consider traveling to Italy, the land of pasta and pizza? Seems like it would be really tough, doesn’t it?

Actually, Italy is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of celiac disease. Because of this, apparently all children are screened for celiac disease by the age of 6, whether they are showing symptoms or not. If someone of any age shows symptoms, the awareness is there to recognize that it could be celiac and get it diagnosed right away. In an article on the University of Chicago Medical Center’s website, Stefano Guandalini, MD is quoted as saying, “In Europe, it typically takes a few weeks to go from the first symptoms to a diagnosis. In the U.S., the average lag time between onset and diagnosis is 11 years.” Boy, we have a long way to go!

I have not been to Italy since my diagnosis of celiac disease, and have wondered if it would be difficult or if the awareness is really there. If you have wondered the same thing, then you must read Gluten-Free Girl’s post eating gluten-free in italy. It will make you want to go there ASAP!