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Traveling To France & Germany


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28 replies to this topic

#1 tanyad

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Posted 09 February 2006 - 07:19 PM

Hello Group-
I will be traveling to Paris, Northern France, and also to various parts of Germany including Cologne. Does anyone have any good advice... stores to buy gluten free foods, restaurants that serve safe foods, french & german dining cards, suggestions on flying there, and suggestions on what gluten free foods to pack along.

Any advice would be wonderful! I am very excited to go, but I do not speak french or german.

I would love to hear some stories about your travels to these places... your good stories and maybe your advice on what to watch out for.

Thank you,
Tanya D
Chicago, IL
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#2 Ursa Major

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 04:15 PM

Beware of their 'codus alimentarius' or whatever they call it. They allow 20 ppm of gluten in their so-called gluten free foods. Also, they are adamant that there is no gluten in wheat starch or wheat germ oil. From what I've read, those should be avoided when you have Celiac disease.

The store to go to in Germany to buy gluten free food is called 'Reformhaus'. Since I've never been in one (my sister and brothers told me about them) I don't know where to find them or what they are like.

You would probably not be safe finding foods by yourself there, if you don't know German (unless the ingredients are listed in English as well, which they often are), so sticking with naturally gluten free foods would be the wise choice, as far as I am concerned.

You will need to let the airline know you are coming, and check if they have a gluten free menu. Unfortunately it seems, that now you have to actually buy your meals on board a plane, they don't include your food in the price of the flight any more! At least Air Canada has gone that route, I don't know about the other airlines.

I read that some airlines will provide gluten free meals, if they get enough notice (some need up to six weeks for some strange reason), while others are adamant in their refusal. Pick an airline that will accomodate you.

In Germany almost everybody knows English, including waiters. And if your specific one doesn't, there will be one in the restaurant they can call. It will be much better to call ahead though, to make sure they can accomodate your diet, and know what you're talking about.

The packages of dining cards you can buy on this site DO NOT include French and German, unfortunately. If you would like me to, I can design you one in German and send it by PM (you'd have to transfer it to your computer, reformat it, print it out and laminate it), or you can give me your e-mail address (not in the forum, by PM) and I can send it as an attachment that you can print out as it is to be laminated. I don't know French, but maybe somebody else here does.

When are you going? I'd like to know, so I know how much time I've got to come up with a good version. Also, do you have any other intolerances to include?

P.S.: After writing the above, I went to another thread about travelling to Europe, and read that the 'Gluten Free Bible' has dining cards in the back of the book, in French and German as well. Do you have the book? If not, I can just copy it for you and send it. But if you have other food issues, I could include those, at least in the German version.
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I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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#3 sasha1234

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 07:23 PM

I spend all my summers in France. I'm from Canada and find that France has more Gluten Free options. The Biologique stores are the best places to look though I've also found that "Dietheques" have a wide range of gluten free stuff aswell. The company "FranceAglut" makes really good vacuum packed breads, sweet breads, cakes etc. There's another company that I can't remember the name of, but they make baguettes also vacuum packed but unbaked. They are super tasty coming fresh out of the oven and it's definitely no hardship walking past the boulangerie when you can go home to a tasty bread of your own. Also the best pasta I've found is a corn pasta (i don't know if you can tolerate corn) it's organic and called "MolinodiFero" its in a green square package, and in my opinion tastes better than semolina pasta! As for restaurants I just try to order non gluten items. There's lots of rice in France and fish etc. so I just go no sauce and I've never had any ploblems. If you're driving all the "aire's" (little pull-outs on the main autoroutes) have salads. Lots of times the dressings have gluten so I often just eat it dry, or you can buy little packages of mayonaise that are usually gluten free. Best of luck.
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Negative Bloodwork November 2002
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Negative Bloodwork February 9th, 2006
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*Diagnosed as being Gluten Intolerant
Dad being tested for Celiac in October


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#4 Suezboss

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Posted 11 February 2006 - 07:29 PM

I went to France over the summer, and yes, I notified the airline in advance about a gluten-free meal (although, it seemed like they did not fully understand, but I did get just salad, and a plain chicken). While In France, I had a translated dining card that stated what I could and couldn't eat. Most of the waiters brought it to the Chef and were able to accomidate me. I went into a supermarket there and they actually carried gluten-free foods which was awesome! (I can't remember the name)... but it wasn't as bad as I thought it woudl be having to eat out every meal.
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#5 tanyad

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 10:37 AM

THANK YOU FOR EVERY REPLY!!!!

I am so excited about this trip... but a little nervous about the air travel and how much food I can fit in my suitcase! It sounds like there will be some potential options of buying foods while I am there. I assume that we will be eating out for almost every meal, so that sounds tasty but nerve-racking. I am still looking forward to it... and if I get to have salad for every meal, I think I will survive...

Do any of you wonderful people travel with anything that helps in case of a gluten reaction? I do not usually take anything, just sit it out (if you know what I mean)... but as this is a trip, I want to utilize all the time I have for exploring!

THANK YOU for your replies!
Tanya in Chicago!
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#6 Ursa Major

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 05:50 PM

The one thing that helps my stomach ache when glutened (or otherwise 'poisoned' by something I am intolerant to) is a homeopathic remedy called Sepia. You get it in the health food store. It usually works within minutes of dissolving six little white pills under my tongue.

Since all herbs and spices and a lot of chemicals are poisons to me, I can't use Imodium (it's derived from wild strawberry I heard, all berries are bad for me, and it makes diarrhea and stomach upset much worse for me). The same applies to antacids.

Anyway, try if the Sepia will help you. It's natural and has no side effects.

Oh, and another thing, did you want me to make the German dining cards for you? To send me a PM, all you have to do is click on the "PM" button in the bottom left hand corner of this message.
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I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

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#7 floridanative

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Posted 14 February 2006 - 08:00 AM

Tanya - have a wonderful trip and please post when you get back any places your may find in Paris that you felt safe eating at. I'm going over later this year and I'm pretty concerned myself. Hope you have a fantastic time!
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#8 NJKen

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Posted 15 February 2006 - 12:29 PM

[quote name='Ursula' date='Feb 11 2006, 07:15 PM' post='102033']
Beware of their 'codus alimentarius' or whatever they call it. They allow 20 ppm of gluten in their so-called gluten free foods. Also, they are adamant that there is no gluten in wheat starch or wheat germ oil. From what I've read, those should be avoided when you have Celiac disease.

The store to go to in Germany to buy gluten free food is called 'Reformhaus'. Since I've never been in one (my sister and brothers told me about them) I don't know where to find them or what they are like.

I read that some airlines will provide gluten free meals, if they get enough notice (some need up to six weeks for some strange reason), while others are adamant in their refusal. Pick an airline that will accomodate you.


Regarding the 20 ppm threshold, I believe that this is the limit of detection for the test that is used to check the gluten content in foods. They can't require less than 20 ppm if they can't test for a lower amount than that.

A Reformhaus is essentially a health food store. You'll find several in the big cities, and many of the smaller towns (especially tourist destinations) will have at least one. Typically, they will have all of the gluten-free foods together in one part of the store. Generally, I've found the selection to be less extensive than I have at home (for example at Wild Oats), but I've been happy for what they have, and it's been fun to have different products (especially cookies) than I get in the U.S.

Continental offers gluten-free meals on overseas flights and cross-country flights (e.g. New York to Los Angeles), but not on shorter flights.

Ken
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#9 marfil

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 05:57 AM

Hi Tanya
I live in France and my kid is gluten free, it's easy to find here :
check on :
http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/pj.cgi
type : "diététique : produits biologiques, naturels et de régime (détail)"
under "activité", and the town (paris I assume)and you'll find lots off health food stores.
They all sell gluten free products now (if you are looking also for corn free it's a bit harder, but still, you can find it too)
I recommend : la vie claire (it's ok and rather cheaper).
For restaurants it's a bit harder. We usually go to japanese restaurants with my kid, but the sauce is not gluten free usually, so you have to bring your own soja sauce (for my kid it's not a problem, he takes digestive enzymes and for him it works well for traces of gluten as in a soja sauce). There are lots of japanese restaurants now in france and they are much cheaper than used to be, and if you like sushi and rice, it's fine.
bye
Martine
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#10 tanyad

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Posted 16 February 2006 - 10:25 AM

[quote name='marfil' date='Feb 16 2006, 09:57 AM' post='103927']
Hi Tanya
I live in France and my kid is gluten free, it's easy to find here :
check on :
http://www.pagesjaunes.fr/pj.cgi
type : "diététique : produits biologiques, naturels et de régime (détail)"
under "activité", and the town (paris I assume)and you'll find lots off health food stores.



THANK YOU!!!! I appreciate all of your thoughts! I do not have a corn allergy, thank goodness... I eat a lot of corn chips...

I went to the web site... thanks again!

Have a great day! And thank you for taking the time to reply!
Tanya in Chicago

Thanks Ken for you information as well. I really appreciate you taking the time to advise me... I am so excited! I just want to go over there as well prepared as I can...

Thanks again!
Tanya in Chicago
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#11 NJKen

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 06:02 AM

You can find the location of Reformhauses in Germany and Austria at this website: http://www.reformhau...formhaeuser.htm

Just enter the name of each town or city that you are visiting in the "Ort" box, and click on "Suchen". This site is in German, so you'll need to use German spelling.

Ken
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#12 penguin

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Posted 17 February 2006 - 07:11 AM

As anyone who has taken a foreign language class can tell you,

bablefish.altavista.com

or

www.freetranslation.com


are invaluable. I know babelfish has an option for translating pages, so does google. I've used it for french, spanish, and greek classes (ok, so I was to lazy to do the homework :P )

I'm sure it will help in your research. :D
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Alright, don't worry even if things end up a bit too heavy
We'll all float on, alright
Well we'll float on good news is on the way...

#13 Ursa Major

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Posted 19 February 2006 - 06:21 PM

Actually, if you already know the languages, you will be able to figure out what the translation says (even though you might die of a laugh attack). But since German sentences are generally backwards from English ones, the translations usually don't end up making much sense at all. You can get words translated, maybe a sentence, but a page?

This is the 'translation' I got for the above paragraph from Babelfish:

Wirklich wenn Sie bereits die Sprachen kennen,SIND Sie in der Lage, darzustellen aus, was die Übersetzung sagt (obwohl Sie an einem Lachenangriff sterben konnten). Aber, da deutsche Sätze im Allgemeinen rückwärts von Englisch eine sind, beenden die Übersetzungen im Allgemeinen nicht herauf das Sein vielen sinnvoll an allen. Sie können Wörter erhalten übersetzt, möglicherweise ein Satz, aber eine Seite?


It makes partial sense, but a lot of it is just nonsense. And that is just ONE paragraph!

Below is the same paragraph 'free translation' from Freetranslation.com. It's slightly better, but not much. I would never rely on either for any accurate translation, if I actually want somebody who doesn't speak the language to really understand what is being said.

Tatsächlich wenn Sie schon die Sprachen kennen, werden Sie lösen können, was die Übersetzung sagt (obwohl Sie von einem Lachenangriff) sterben könnten. Aber da deutsche Sätze gewöhnlich rückwärts von Englisch derjenig sind, beenden die Übersetzungen gewöhnlich nicht auf Machen viel Sinns überhaupt. Sie können Wörter übersetzen, vielleicht ein Satz, aber eine Seite lassen?


The reality is, that you usually have to do quite a bit of paraphrasing in translating, and a computer is simply not programmed (or able, or both) to do that.
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I am a German citizen, married to a Canadian 29 years, four daughters, one son, seven granddaughters and four grandsons, with one more grandchild on the way in July 2009.

Intolerant to all lectins (including gluten), nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) and salicylates.

Asperger Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Addison's disease (adrenal insufficiency), hypothyroidism, fatigue syndrome, asthma

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

#14 penguin

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 07:17 AM

The reality is, that you usually have to do quite a bit of paraphrasing in translating, and a computer is simply not programmed (or able, or both) to do that.


Yeah, I should have mentioned that, I just got so used to fixing the translation when I did homework that I forgot. It works best if you're translating from the other language to english, because then it's easier to figure out what they meant in the other language.
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Alright, don't worry even if things end up a bit too heavy
We'll all float on, alright
Well we'll float on good news is on the way...

#15 tanyad

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Posted 23 February 2006 - 02:14 PM

You can find the location of Reformhauses in Germany and Austria at this website: http://www.reformhau...formhaeuser.htm

Just enter the name of each town or city that you are visiting in the "Ort" box, and click on "Suchen". This site is in German, so you'll need to use German spelling.

Ken


THANK YOU!!! This will come in very handy I think! We are going to be in several different cities along the Rhine River while looking at castles and scenery...

You guys rock. Much appreciated.
Tanya in Chicago!!
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