One thing I have found since developing Celiac disease is that people love to ask you if something is gluten free. Unfortunately my answer is usually rather unsatisfying – “well, it depends.”It depends on how it is prepared, on how it is manufactured, where is it manufactured? Different rules apply for the US vs Canada vs Europe. I learned this the hard way shortly after I was diagnosed.
I was pleased to find out that the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce I had in my fridge was gluten free. When one of my friends offered to make me a gluten free dinner I was so excited. He asked me about various ingredients.
Jeff: “I’m going to make a roast. Can you have Worcestershire sauce?”
Me: “Oh, yes I can!”
Jeff: “How about rice?”
Me: “That’s ok too!”
I offered to bring some fresh veggies and a loaf of gluten free gingerbread.
When I got to his apartment that evening I discovered some hard truths. Not all Worcestershire sauces are gluten free – the Heinz brand he had purchased had “WHEAT” right on the label. We then looked at the rice – he had made rice from a box with a flavoring packet that included “GLUTEN” as one of the ingredients. Yikes! Well, he had discovered this before I arrived and threw a chicken breast on a pan for me. Only he used a contaminated Teflon pan so I couldn’t even have that!
Luckily we discovered all of the contamination before I ate any of the gluten-containing goodies. But it was truly soul-crushing to sit there eating just the vegetables and later the gingerbread that I had prepared. It was on that night that I really began to understand how different my life would be from now on.
I now have a handle on what it means to be gluten free and all of the intricacies involved. I have a much better attitude. I probably eat much better than most of the general population, focusing on fresh, whole ingredients and the best spices and herbs to complement a dish. (Use your gluten free worcestershire sauce to make these Sauteed Mushrooms. )
We all have those moments when it just becomes too hard – that’s ok, know that there are others who understand. And hopefully, eventually it will get easier for you too.
PS – I still can’t figure out how to pronounce Worcestershire – can anyone help?Tweet Pin It
Is there a restaurant or bakery you want me to check-out? A product you want me to review? Any other questions or feedback?
glutenguide at gmail [dot] com