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How Is Life For Coeliacs In Spain?
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Hi all,

I'm currently living in Colombia which is pretty much a disaster in terms of avoiding gluten as there is zero awareness of coeliac disease and no laws concerning food labelling- they stick flour in foods to bulk them out and they don't have to list it on the ingredients. I've been glutened by powdered milk (which is also an ingredient in so many products), soya milk, instant coffee, hot chocolate, packets of nuts, vitamin tablets, they put stock cubes or spice powder (containing flour) in most cooked dishes. It really comes down to preparing all my own food from scratch and I can do that a lot of the time, but not ALL the time. Sometimes I just want to buy something and believe what it says on the packet.

Anyway, I've been quite ill with it- I probably get glutened every couple of weeks, and I've decided enough is enough, I need to move to a country where they label food properly before I get iller. I'm seriously considering Spain, probably Seville. Is anyone living there and how is your gluten-free life there? Is eating out in restaurants a problem? Can you buy decent and safe products and ingredients? How is the general awareness in Spain of what coeliac is?

Many thanks for your help.

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Hi LivesIntheSun, what a nightmare in Colombia! It's great that you have the freedom to go somewhere more Celiac-friendly.

I don't have any direct experience with being gluten free in Spain, but do know of this website, which might be a good start:

http://www.celiacos.org/

I have also heard murmurs that gluten-free living is fairly good in Spain. And having lived elsewhere in Europe, I can say that general awareness and availability of safe food is very good across the continent. Reliable dedicated European gluten-free brands like Schar are definitely available in Spain, and I'm sure there are brands specific to Spain too.

Hopefully someone who lives there will chime in too. Good luck!

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ecf,

Thanks for your reply, it was very encouraging :)

The thought of food actually made for coeliacs sounds just wonderful....

It does look like I'd be better off, gluten-free wise, there.

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Hi again, glad it was encouraging. I'm sorry things are so bad in Colombia, and hope you will find a better situation in Spain or wherever you choose to go!

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I traveled in Spain last summer and had no problems at all.

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Agreed, Spain is great! And Seville has a special place in my gluten-free heart.

There's a pharmacy in Seville, in a neighborhood called Triana, that's dedicated to celiacs and has a huge neon sign outside with the word "Celiacos" on it. They stock a bunch of gluten-free foods, but they also have a big mail order list and can send away for other things that they don't have in stock. Don't remember the address but if you ask around I'm sure someone will know; it was near the river.

The main supermarket chain, Mercadona, tests all of their store-brand food and if it's gluten-free it'll have a label on it -- so you won't have to worry about hidden bulking agents there.

I also had one of the best gluten-free meals of my life in Seville at a restaurant called <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps/place?cid=7516380798329405255&q=soravito+sevilla&gl=us"> Soravito </a>. The owner is gluten-free and so they're extremely knowledgeable about what is/isn't safe.

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Hi, 

 

I've just joined this forum as I believe I can help coeliacs living in Spain. My friend who is coeliac moved to Spain a couple of years ago and uses an app called iGLU. I believe you can scan food packaging in food shops and it will tell you whether or not it is gluten free. Sounds very useful, don't know why they don't extent it to other countries (as far as I can find out it's only available in Spain). 

 

Anyway, more information can be found here (with a video explaining it):

 

http://mobileforgoodvideoplayer.vodafonefoundation.org/videos/watch/iglu-celiac-app

 

I hope this was useful. 

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I've just joined this thread in the forum, but in case it is not too late ... I know that the supermarket MERCADONA boasts that for every gluten full product they have a gluten free one available- the owner of that chain has a celiac child and in order to cater for celiac customers has come up with this clever idea- you can buy schar products in El Corte Ingles, you can buy GENIOUS glute free bread at CARREFUR but you will be amazed at the amount of products one can buy in health shops etc- hope this helps?

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