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Ireland
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I went on a trip to Ireland at the beginning of May and I have to say that I have never been to a country which is so well versed and accommodating with regards to Celiac Disease. After 6 years gluten-free, I didn't have to think twice about what I was going to eat or whether or not they would get the meal right! When was the last time that happened to you?

Every single place we ate, every single waitstaff had the same response to me...."Pick out whatever you want on the menu and we'll make it gluten free for you"! Except for the pasta dishes, which I do not crave anyway, all the food I had was delicious, well prepared and not one single crumb of cc occurred because I didn't get sick. They are pretty amazing with their knowledge of cc and make Americans seem stupid, by comparison.

However, there are a few warnings....I got sick from something I ate, or drank, on the plane. I flew Aer Lingus, in business class, and the meal seemed fine. Generally, airlines do a good job of gluten free or other allergy free foods because they are prepared by food companies who have to know their business. I was mystified over what made me sick until half way through the vacation I may have found out the cause. We ordered tea via room service one night and they brought tea I had never heard of before. Good, Irish black tea and as I was reading the label, to make sure, there it was....some tea's in Ireland are apparently malted! WTF!!!!!! I have never seen malted tea and I have been to the UK many, many times. Yes, I know southern Ireland is not part of the UK but it was a head slapping moment. I thought the tea tasted different on the plane but attributed that to it being Irish tea and it would not be the same as American tea, in taste anyway. I have never been sick from tea in 6 years but now I know to check labels even on teabags in foreign countries. I cannot be sure if the tea that was served was malted but judging from how sick I was the first day, it was a severe glutening. The only tea I ever checked was flavored tea but I wanted to warn everyone to check the tea when traveling in Ireland. Other than that, the trip was fantastic, the Irish are lovely, lovely people who know all about Celiac. I didn't run into one person who didn't know what it was.

We also ate at a fantastic restaurant in Dublin, for lunch, with an extensive gluten-free menu, in case anyone wants to know, I can look up the name again. They make their own bread and I had a chicken pesto sandwich, which was grilled. It was one of the best gluten-free sandwiches I have ever had and the bread was great. I almost cried, it was so beautiful! :P The waitstaff don't treat you like a pain in the a_ss, either. They always seemed pleased to be able to provide a good, non-cc'd meal. I may retire there.... :D

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Thanks for sharing the warning about the tea! I am headed to Ireland in September and was planning to have tea while there, so now I know to check carefully.

Also, I would love the name of the restaurant you ate at in Dublin with the gluten-free sandwiches.. sounds fabulous! I am even more excited about my trip after reading about how easy it was to find good food!

Kika

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Thanks for sharing the warning about the tea! I am headed to Ireland in September and was planning to have tea while there, so now I know to check carefully.

Also, I would love the name of the restaurant you ate at in Dublin with the gluten-free sandwiches.. sounds fabulous! I am even more excited about my trip after reading about how easy it was to find good food!

Kika

Here is the link to the restaurant and menu....Dublin Gluten Free

Their fried stuff is not done in a dedicated fryer and I would suspect that lack of space is a huge factor in that. At least they are very up front about it. I ordered a side salad with my sandwich and it was delicious. The sandwiches are HUGE!

We ate in some pricey restaurants, pubs and breakfast places and I never had any trouble ordering food. We ran the whole gamut of places. I was nervous at first because I was sick the first day from the plane glutening but after that, no problem whatsoever. I am really sensitive and will become very ill from crumbs so that shows you what a good job they did. No one batted an eyelash when I said "Celiac in the house"! ;) They will all ask if you want Celiac bread with the meal...everyone asked, not just a few people at a few places. The bread that was served most often were what looked like rolls. They have to heat them in the oven for a couple of minutes so you always get warm bread and it was really very good. I ate more bread there than I do at home. Ireland has the highest concentration of Celiacs in all of Europe so you will be in good hands. It was so mainstream there I was amazed. Really...my sister and I both said we could live there when we retire. Not sure if my husband would go for that but any country which treats Celiacs so mainstream and not like we are sporting 3 heads or something has my vote!

Have a fantastic trip (you will) and please write after you get back so we can compare experiences. I want to know how it went for you. I plan on another trip there within a year or so!

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Awesome news! I just returned from Croatia/Italy and had no problems, either. Italy is particularly knowledgable about celiac disease. I've read time and time again that it is in the top 3 places in the world for being informed. In fact, it is mandatory that by the age of 5 everyone gets tested for celiac disease. It was so lovely feeling "safe" and not having to always wonder. We are actually retiring to Europe so I know precisely what you mean about that. :D

I've been to England, Scotland and Wales many times but not Ireland yet. It is on my list, though! Glad you had such a wonderful time including not having to worry about food. The gluten-free food on Air Canada was so horrid but at least they offer something. I would rather have eaten a piece of luggage, metal bits and all! :P

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Awesome news! I just returned from Croatia/Italy and had no problems, either. Italy is particularly knowledgable about celiac disease. I've read time and time again that it is in the top 3 places in the world for being informed. In fact, it is mandatory that by the age of 5 everyone gets tested for celiac disease. It was so lovely feeling "safe" and not having to always wonder. We are actually retiring to Europe so I know precisely what you mean about that. :D

I've been to England, Scotland and Wales many times but not Ireland yet. It is on my list, though! Glad you had such a wonderful time including not having to worry about food. The gluten-free food on Air Canada was so horrid but at least they offer something. I would rather have eaten a piece of luggage, metal bits and all! :P

England and Scotland are pretty good with the gluten free stuff but not like Ireland! I have heard the same about Italy also but that makes sense. With all that gluten around, and being the foodies that they are, they would have to accommodate others. I buy Italian pasta imported from there and it's the very best I have ever had. I won't eat anything else. It is something else to feel relaxed when ordering and not have to worry about getting sick.

Aer Lingus did OK with the meal....not the greatest but it was something. I did fine with the meal on the way home (no tea for me!) but you know what happens when you nuke filet mignon? It was so overcooked a hockey puck would have tasted better. I felt bad because I didn't eat the meat part but everything else was OK. Thank goodness they serve wine on board...a little of that and a good movie was all I needed! ;)

I really would love to retire to Europe. Yes, the tax structure is higher than in the States but at the rate my country is going, we may be paying through the nose like everyone else soon enough. If I am going to live in a Socialist country, then I would prefer to do so in Europe. I like the pace of life there.

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England and Scotland are pretty good with the gluten free stuff but not like Ireland! I have heard the same about Italy also but that makes sense. With all that gluten around, and being the foodies that they are, they would have to accommodate others. I buy Italian pasta imported from there and it's the very best I have ever had. I won't eat anything else. It is something else to feel relaxed when ordering and not have to worry about getting sick.

Aer Lingus did OK with the meal....not the greatest but it was something. I did fine with the meal on the way home (no tea for me!) but you know what happens when you nuke filet mignon? It was so overcooked a hockey puck would have tasted better. I felt bad because I didn't eat the meat part but everything else was OK. Thank goodness they serve wine on board...a little of that and a good movie was all I needed! ;)

I really would love to retire to Europe. Yes, the tax structure is higher than in the States but at the rate my country is going, we may be paying through the nose like everyone else soon enough. If I am going to live in a Socialist country, then I would prefer to do so in Europe. I like the pace of life there.

I haven't been to the UK gluten-free yet. So glad to hear about Ireland.

One of the reasons we have bought a house in Europe is the pace of life. No comparison with here. There are about 1,302 good reasons but that is a biggie!

BTW, on one of our flights (a shorter one, 4 hours) the movie monitors were not working so we did not have any distractions and by then I had run out of reading material. How annoying!

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I haven't been to the UK gluten-free yet. So glad to hear about Ireland.

One of the reasons we have bought a house in Europe is the pace of life. No comparison with here. There are about 1,302 good reasons but that is a biggie!

BTW, on one of our flights (a shorter one, 4 hours) the movie monitors were not working so we did not have any distractions and by then I had run out of reading material. How annoying!

Isn't the pace of life wonderful? Americans are so stressed out and grouchy. We do it to ourselves. Within days of returning from lovely, relaxed Ireland, I called my sister and told her I wanted to go back! She agreed.....it rained here for a week after we returned and people were practically jumping out of windows! All I heard was complaining and whining and it drove me nuts. I do not complain about the small things in life, especially the weather. It was overcast for our trip to Ireland and I didn't care. We still had a great time and the Irish weren't whining about the clouds either. Their outlook on life is so different and refreshing. I really think I will be spending a lot of time there once I no longer work. I'll be a happier person for it! Plus, if I ended up in an Irish nursing home, I'd probably still get a gluten-free meal, unlike the US! :P

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I went on a trip to Ireland at the beginning of May and I have to say that I have never been to a country which is so well versed and accommodating with regards to Celiac Disease. After 6 years gluten-free, I didn't have to think twice about what I was going to eat or whether or not they would get the meal right! When was the last time that happened to you?

Every single place we ate, every single waitstaff had the same response to me...."Pick out whatever you want on the menu and we'll make it gluten free for you"! Except for the pasta dishes, which I do not crave anyway, all the food I had was delicious, well prepared and not one single crumb of cc occurred because I didn't get sick. They are pretty amazing with their knowledge of cc and make Americans seem stupid, by comparison.

However, there are a few warnings....I got sick from something I ate, or drank, on the plane. I flew Aer Lingus, in business class, and the meal seemed fine. Generally, airlines do a good job of gluten free or other allergy free foods because they are prepared by food companies who have to know their business. I was mystified over what made me sick until half way through the vacation I may have found out the cause. We ordered tea via room service one night and they brought tea I had never heard of before. Good, Irish black tea and as I was reading the label, to make sure, there it was....some tea's in Ireland are apparently malted! WTF!!!!!! I have never seen malted tea and I have been to the UK many, many times. Yes, I know southern Ireland is not part of the UK but it was a head slapping moment. I thought the tea tasted different on the plane but attributed that to it being Irish tea and it would not be the same as American tea, in taste anyway. I have never been sick from tea in 6 years but now I know to check labels even on teabags in foreign countries. I cannot be sure if the tea that was served was malted but judging from how sick I was the first day, it was a severe glutening. The only tea I ever checked was flavored tea but I wanted to warn everyone to check the tea when traveling in Ireland. Other than that, the trip was fantastic, the Irish are lovely, lovely people who know all about Celiac. I didn't run into one person who didn't know what it was.

We also ate at a fantastic restaurant in Dublin, for lunch, with an extensive gluten-free menu, in case anyone wants to know, I can look up the name again. They make their own bread and I had a chicken pesto sandwich, which was grilled. It was one of the best gluten-free sandwiches I have ever had and the bread was great. I almost cried, it was so beautiful! :P The waitstaff don't treat you like a pain in the a_ss, either. They always seemed pleased to be able to provide a good, non-cc'd meal. I may retire there.... :D

Thanks for posting your experience! I'm going to Ireland in a couple weeks, and I've been a little nervous (it's my first time travelling abroad since going gluten-free). Your suggestion about the tea is life-saving, and I can't wait to try that resaurant! Thanks again!

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Be careful of gluten free bread in Ireland. I brought home a loaf from Ireland made by a reputable gluten free company, and labelled gluten free. I couldn't figure out why I always felt sick after I ate it until I read the ingredients....wheat starch. Yes, in Ireland they allow wheat starch in gluten free bread.

P.S. Australia is even better than Ireland for Celiacs.

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Plus, if I ended up in an Irish nursing home, I'd probably still get a gluten-free meal, unlike the US! :P

That is one of my nightmares - an extension (worse) from hospital food - nursing home food!!! GAAHHH

I would have to co-opt one of my nieces to sneak me food in :ph34r:

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Be careful of gluten free bread in Ireland. I brought home a loaf from Ireland made by a reputable gluten free company, and labelled gluten free. I couldn't figure out why I always felt sick after I ate it until I read the ingredients....wheat starch. Yes, in Ireland they allow wheat starch in gluten free bread.

P.S. Australia is even better than Ireland for Celiacs.

That would be Codex wheat starch which is allowed to contain 20 ppm and still be called gluten free :o

And Yes!!, I believe OZ is better. I might have to go to an Oz resthome to get any rest at night :lol:

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Be careful of gluten free bread in Ireland. I brought home a loaf from Ireland made by a reputable gluten free company, and labelled gluten free. I couldn't figure out why I always felt sick after I ate it until I read the ingredients....wheat starch. Yes, in Ireland they allow wheat starch in gluten free bread.

P.S. Australia is even better than Ireland for Celiacs.

I was pretty aware of different practices in the Uk and Ireland as I have been there many times. Not all bread contains wheat starch there. I was not able to check all the bread I ate for suspect ingredients but I never became ill from those I could not verify. The ones I did were fine and the ones I couldn't would have made me very ill if they had contained wheat starch. I don't eat from shared lines here in the States because I have gotten sick before from them. I react to very small amounts so 20ppm would have killed me.

I checked all breads in the UK before that I bought and I couldn't find any which contained wheat starch. The ones I checked in Ireland did not have that ingredient either. If you get the newer breads, the odds are pretty low. I think the prescription breads that the NHS doles out for Celiacs may the suspect ones.

All in all, the Irish are about as knowledgeable as it gets with regards to food prep and what is required to not make people ill. Instruction was not needed and they got it right every time. That's quite impressive.

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I know we discussed this after you returned from your trip and I meant to tell you..Barry's Irish Tea does NOT contain gluten. So, if you are looking for a delicious Irish tea...try that one. ;)

I have been to Ireland many times--pre-diagnosis --and cannot wait to return when I am well. We would retire there if we could.

I am so glad you posted all this. And so glad you had such a great time!!

The Irish are the most gracious, hospitable people! And with a large celiac population, they have certainly adapted to gluten-free living and accomodating the many tourists.

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I know we discussed this after you returned from your trip and I meant to tell you..Barry's Irish Tea does NOT contain gluten. So, if you are looking for a delicious Irish tea...try that one. ;)

I have been to Ireland many times--pre-diagnosis --and cannot wait to return when I am well. We would retire there if we could.

I am so glad you posted all this. And so glad you had such a great time!!

The Irish are the most gracious, hospitable people! And with a large celiac population, they have certainly adapted to gluten-free living and accomodating the many tourists.

Although Barry's does offer a malted tea, I was able to purchase the regular type in the supermarket and used that in the hotel rooms. Wise choice because it's yummy tea!

Awareness is pretty high here in Boston but not to the degree it was in Ireland. It's easy to figure out what contains gluten but trying to get the American restaurant industry or the general public here to understand CC is frustrating. It's not rocket science either so I don't get what's so hard to figure out. :blink: People seem to understand the whole issue of raw foods and contamination of prep surfaces with that so what don't they get about crumbs? Drives me crazy!

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Although Barry's does offer a malted tea, I was able to purchase the regular type in the supermarket and used that in the hotel rooms. Wise choice because it's yummy tea!

Awareness is pretty high here in Boston but not to the degree it was in Ireland. It's easy to figure out what contains gluten but trying to get the American restaurant industry or the general public here to understand CC is frustrating. It's not rocket science either so I don't get what's so hard to figure out. :blink: People seem to understand the whole issue of raw foods and contamination of prep surfaces with that so what don't they get about crumbs? Drives me crazy!

Me too

hey, I didn't know you are in Boston! I grew up there!! :)

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Me too

hey, I didn't know you are in Boston! I grew up there!! :)

You did?!?!? :D Where did you live? You can always do a private message if that's TMI to give away. We probably went to school together or something! :lol:

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