I really, really, really wish someone would ask a few celiacs what we think of the gluten-free foods fad. Instead, we get pieces with inflammatory headlines like this steaming poo and this pile o crap, and I just want to make all of you suffer my culinary life for the rest of yours. With extreme prejudice. (Sorry for the lower digestive metaphors, but if you were celiac, you’d understand where I’m coming from. So to speak.)
Look, I’m a child of scientists, and I do absolutely believe in basing your culinary decisions, at least in part, on science. And I would not wish a gluten-free diet on anyone, not even my worst enemy.
For me, not eating gluten free means feeling like I have food poisoning. In fact, I thought I did recently when I accidentally grabbed the gluten-filled waffles at the store and managed to eat two before I noticed.
Having to eat gluten-free foods all the time has brought me to tears more often than I’d like to admit to. Occasionally, like my first day at Apple, they’re tears of joy because there are four gluten-free soups and you’ve never seen a gluten-free soup in the wild before.
Here is what I’d most like to say to people who eat gluten free and have pressured various restaurants to have gluten-free foods available:
That’s it. Thank you.
Because of all of you, I can walk into pretty much any first-tier hotel pretty much anywhere in the world and not starve. I usually can have gluten-free food I like. Better restaurants and hotels have gluten-free bread, even though sometimes it’s so awful I’d rather not actually eat it (glares at the Hilton Frankfurt Airport).
Sometimes, there’s a gluten-free menu. I live for those days.
Sometimes, those menus have cool things on them.
I had, for the first time in the almost 20 years I’ve lived gluten free, gluten-free fish and chips for the first time in a restaurant. It was magical.
Also, I’d like to extend a warm shout-out to those who aren’t celiac but who do have genuine problems with gluten and/or wheat, rye, or barley. There are the people who are flat-out allergic, and there’s at least an arguable case for non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
But: Gluten-Free Foods!
If you don’t absolutely have to eat gluten-free foods….
Look, as much as I appreciate your support, I wish you’d consider your life choices, and also how you’re harming those of us who have no other choice.
- Because you are willing to accept gluten substitutes, you make us look flaky.
- Some people will passively aggressively serve us gluten because they don’t believe anyone needs a gluten-free diet.
- 20 ppm really apparently does harm some celiacs, and a lot of kitchens aren’t celiac safe. Like: pizza places that cut their (formerly) gluten-free pizzas in the same workspaces, with the same tools, that they cut their wheat pizzas. That may be fine for you, but it’s not fine for us. Consequently, we still have to ask All the Annoying Questions.
Doing gluten free right is hard. I get why you sometimes just say fuck it and eat what you’d rather have. (I wish I had that choice.)
While You’re Lobbying for Foods for Us…
Would you please all collectively ask for regular old meat lasagne for me? Something akin to what Marie Callender’s used to serve, but in gluten-free form?
I’ve never seen a gluten-free meat lasagne in a restaurant, and I’d very much like to.