It really sucks being gluten intolerant, but it especially sucks being gluten intolerant in England, where it’s rare to find someone else who can’t tolerate the stuff. Less GF (gluten-free) peeps means less gluten free products to satisfy those carby, sweet cravings.
Walk up any London high street and you’ll pass Gail’s, with its puffy loaves and sticky cakes pressed against large picture windows, or Carluccio’s, with fat strands of fettucini practically unravelling out the door. It’s torture. Sheer torture. Though not quite as torturous as what is going to happen to you if you cave in and eat even the tiniest bit of it.
Then you meet your friend for lunch at the area’s most popular gastro pub; and a dusting of flour settles lightly near your plate as she bites into her plump white roll, mocking the strangely flat hamburger the chef has cobbled together for you, fussy eater, between two small pieces of bleached cardboard…oh hang on. That’s your GF-alternative ‘bread’.
“This is what you get when you don’t want to eat like the rest of the normal people!” every cafe/restaurant/shop/waitress seems to berate.
Being gluten intolerant in Australia is different. You’re surrounded by GF people. People on Paleo diets, coeliacs, gluten-intolerants like me. Heck, there are so many people here who suffer on gluten that I can’t even begin to fathom the reasons why it’s avoided.
All I’ve observed, after one month on the Gold Coast, is that if you’ve gotta suffer, suffer here, where you stumble over cinnamon sprinkled donuts at your Sunday market, where dense, fluffy bread loaves from Maleny lie in wait in Woollies, where you can choose from more than orange and almond cake at just about any cafe on any street. Where the cafes don’t even *stock* that damned orange and almond cake.
It’s liberating. It’s anticipation and hope and a freedom you had forgotten, and an extra kilo around your waist that you grab and wibble-wobble and smile at in bliss.
Yes, sometimes widespread gluten intolerance can be a very, very good thing.