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floridanative

Paris Is Ahead Of The Us On Celiac

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Well after much research on dining out gluten free in Paris and being worried that it was not possible, I have to report that eating out gluten free there was much easier than here in the US. And from what I found out, France is about the least friendly gluten free country in all of Europe. Now that is pathetic in my opinion. Of course as someone else mentioned on another site, the French are very serious about food which translates into they don't ruin it by overprocessing it. Even the fresh produce there puts ours to shame. I mean we don't just screw up all the packaged foods here bu adding gluten and all the other crap, we can't even get a fresh tasting tomato to market here due to green houses. I am rather disgusted (with the US) that I could pop into any cafe, bistro or nice restaurant in Paris and eat safely for a week, without ever getting sick once. Of course I was thrilled to be able to enjoy my vacation but now that I'm back, I feel sad that it's back to reality of having to struggle to eat out safely here at home. Even the tiniest markets in Paris had gluten-free cookies, crackers, pasta, bread and things I can't remember now (mostly from Italy so delish) and the prices for them were very cheap too compared to here but since they didn't have far to travel that made sense.

I'm too jet lagged to list the places we ate at, but I'll get to it later this week. I kept all the rect's and there is one place I want to mention NOT to go but that was because the service was horrid and the food was the only not great meal we had in the city. They had a view of Notre Dame so that's the only way I can imagine they stay in business with so many awesome places right around them.

I'd been to Paris before so I knew the city was magical but I thought going back gluten free may be a nightmare. I certainly never imagined going back with Celiac would be like a dream I didn't want to wake up from.

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Tiffany--That sounds heavenly! Great to hear you had such a wonderful time--and eating was not only easy, but delicious! Good to have you back :D Look forward to hearing more after you've gotten some rest.

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Wow...that does sound like a dream! :)

I hope that we catch up here soon.

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WELCOME BACK-- :) WHAT A GREAT POST. LOVED THESE PARTS ESP.---

1.. I am rather disgusted (with the US) that I could pop into any cafe, bistro or nice restaurant in Paris and eat safely for a week, without ever getting sick once.

2. Even the tiniest markets in Paris had gluten-free cookies, crackers, pasta, bread and things I can't remember now (mostly from Italy so delish) and the prices for them were very cheap too compared to here but since they didn't have far to travel that made sense.

3.I'm too jet lagged to list the places we ate at, but I'll get to it later this week.

I'M PRAYING I HEAL ENOUGH TO GO BACK TO ITALY AND HOPE IT IS AS POSITIVE AS PARIS.

THIS WAS SO GREAT TO HEAR.

LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR RESTURANTS POST...

JUDY IN PHILLY

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Guest nini

Wow! I am so glad you had such a good time and were able to eat out safely and enjoy it! I'm almost jealous! (I would be if I actually LIKED to travel! LOL!)

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My sister and I decided we want to plan a trip to Italy for next summer and a post like this makes me so excited and optimistic about the amazing time we're gonna have!!! I hate that I have reservations about traveling abroad now, but this makes me so much more comfortable. Thanks!!

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WELCOME BACK-- :) WHAT A GREAT POST. LOVED THESE PARTS ESP.---

1.. I am rather disgusted (with the US) that I could pop into any cafe, bistro or nice restaurant in Paris and eat safely for a week, without ever getting sick once.

2. Even the tiniest markets in Paris had gluten-free cookies, crackers, pasta, bread and things I can't remember now (mostly from Italy so delish) and the prices for them were very cheap too compared to here but since they didn't have far to travel that made sense.

3.I'm too jet lagged to list the places we ate at, but I'll get to it later this week.

I'M PRAYING I HEAL ENOUGH TO GO BACK TO ITALY AND HOPE IT IS AS POSITIVE AS PARIS.

THIS WAS SO GREAT TO HEAR.

LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR RESTURANTS POST...

JUDY IN PHILLY

Italy is way ahead of Paris! Seriously though I think the nmajor difference is when you go somewhere new you make a lot of effort that you have given up with at home in terms of seeking out new places etc.

Its very true about the difference in how food is considered in Europe and France and Italy inparticular and buying fresh produce is the norm even in big cities... but on the otherside recognition of the disease in France is way behind the US and UK and I think Italy leads the world on diagnosis.... testing all children ...

Paris is wonderful, I love living here but I have to say its much easier in Italy and people know what celiac disease is wheras in France it is not wll known and you are breaking the ground yourself...

Anyone coming to Paris should check out

http://linuxmigrations.hd.free.fr/glutenfree/ my attempt at helping the situation and PLEASE write in your experiences both good and bad....

Unfortunately rumours about French service attitude are at least partially true... see the part on my site called "cultural tips" for how to work round this and use it to your advantage.

floridanative: please get back woith your experiences and help others. I have been REALLY busy and in it up to my neck for 2 weeks so the site hasn't seen much work but it will soon and all peoples experiences are wanted and needed.

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GFP is right about Italy being far more up to date on Celiac than France. Many places there (Italy) actually have corn pasta for the asking. Others will cook your own pasta, buy it when you get there to save money (and packing room) and then make sure you dining cards say to cook in clean water and they will totally do it. My Mother is going on a Med. cruise and she will be dining in Florance, Rome and Italy next month (gluten free). I've asked her to keep a record of her experiences so I can post here. Most of her food will be on the ship but many ports of call will call for dining in the different cities. There was a place next to our hotel in Paris that said they would cook my own pasta if I came back but there were so many places to eat, we never went back.

My point about the US being behind Paris is that I do believe that it was 10 times easier to eat out there than here, since the food is prepared fresh (well not at MCD's) and the chefs actually know what's in it. For example, I don't eat at TGIF here but my husband worked there years ago when they even ground their own meat for burgers. Now almost every single thing they make there is processed in some way and sent to the store for reheating/preparing. There are tons of additives in their stuff, hence it tastes pretty bad in my opinion. You don't find places like that in Paris or Italy, or most of Europe. Sweden and Finland offer MCD's burgers with gluten-free buns and Austrailia has gluten-free pizza in the major cities. So for dining out, there aren't too many places behind the US - just one person's opinion.

jkmunchkin and JulyinPhilly - do go to Italy, the only bad part of your trip will be coming home!

GFP - I will post on your site soon. I never got to your friends place in the 10th but if I ever get back I'll make a point to go. We ate most dinners in the 5th and 6th so we could walk. Took the Metro mostly during the day as we found it harder to navigate than expected. By the day before we left we had it figured out - LOL!

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Italy is way ahead of Paris! Seriously though I think the nmajor difference is when you go somewhere new you make a lot of effort that you have given up with at home in terms of seeking out new places etc.

Its very true about the difference in how food is considered in Europe and France and Italy inparticular and buying fresh produce is the norm even in big cities... but on the otherside recognition of the disease in France is way behind the US and UK and I think Italy leads the world on diagnosis.... testing all children ...

Paris is wonderful, I love living here but I have to say its much easier in Italy and people know what celiac disease is wheras in France it is not wll known and you are breaking the ground yourself...

Anyone coming to Paris should check out

http://linuxmigrations.hd.free.fr/glutenfree/ my attempt at helping the situation and PLEASE write in your experiences both good and bad....

Unfortunately rumours about French service attitude are at least partially true... see the part on my site called "cultural tips" for how to work round this and use it to your advantage.

floridanative: please get back woith your experiences and help others. I have been REALLY busy and in it up to my neck for 2 weeks so the site hasn't seen much work but it will soon and all peoples experiences are wanted and needed.

Welcome back, gfp! Glad to see you're still around!

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Italy is supposed to be just about the best country in the world for people with celiac, and Europe in general is far ahead of the U.S. But the U.S. is improving.

richard

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Italy is supposed to be just about the best country in the world for people with celiac, and Europe in general is far ahead of the U.S. But the U.S. is improving.

richard

Seriously, I think there is a large dose of greener grass on the other side :D

For instance the dextrines and malto-dextrines in Europe are often wheat based and in the US nearly always corn based. Its lots of small differences ... some negative and others positive in both directions.

Some things are just knowledge, for instance in Italy I beleive the pharmacies all carry gluten-free stuff wheras in france its health-food shops... you just need to know where to look. In the UK pharmacies can carry it or order it specially but the large supermarkets all carry gluten-free bread and pasta.

What impressed me with Italy was people knew about it, ice-cream shops had labels and different spoons wheras in Paris you can ask but you would be advised to stick to Haagen Daaz or American brands ...

I honestly get the impression that gluten-free is easier in the US but doubtless I would find it different in reality...

Also I think a big thing is many people who live somewhere start-off by checking everything out and get comfortable in our neighbourhoods so we don't keep checking for potential new places but when you visit somewhere you have to get active searching out new places, which is also all part of the fun of travelling of course.

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London was easy but nothing food wise was memorable except for our afternoon tea (food) at the Dorchester which is where we went for our anniversary. I had ordered gluten free food for both of us even though my hubby could eat whatever he wanted since he didn't want to risk the staff mixing up our food. Well when the brought out the tea sandwiches, we didn't think they were gluten free as they were that good. So we look around and see that everyone around us has different looking bread. I ate a ton of ours and would have reacted no doubt had there been gluten in them. When they brought out the sweets it was all something with some dark choc. which hubby's allergic too. I didn't think to tell them that when making reservation. Well the staff went back in the kitchen and brought out the biggest fruit plate I've ever seen...it was embarrassing since there was no way we could eat it all.

It was the first time I had afternoon tea since last fall since no place in town can accomodate me. In London every place I e-mailed offered gluten free options so I stopped at #9 as I had too many choices. I thought only the Ritz and The Savoy would offer it but that was not the case. The Dorchester was the lovliest place I ever had Tea and if I ever get back I'd go again. The service was impeccable and one of our servers told me that every place she worked in London had trained them on Celiac (Coelic there) and gluten and it was just something everyone knew.

Also, gfp is right - I stopped in the large Monoprix store (almost like a small WM) on the des Champs Elysees and they didn't have any gluten-free stuff at all. Someone else went to another location in Paris and they found a small selection. Italy is without a doubt the best place to be gluten free. But come over here and have a green house tomato...you will spit it out. When we flew out I could see all the farms outside the city - which is where most of your produce is coming from. We gets lots of produce from places as far away as Chile. There is no way something can be transported thousands of miles away and be as good as what you have over there regarding produce. Even the green beans were delicious. Believe me when I tell you we are ruining our food here in the US and it's really sad when you realize that. And all that over processing with chemicals is what I think causes our country to have the most imbalanced number of cancer patients in the world.

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Also, gfp is right - I stopped in the large Monoprix store (almost like a small WM) on the des Champs Elysees and they didn't have any gluten-free stuff at all. Someone else went to another location in Paris and they found a small selection. Italy is without a doubt the best place to be gluten free. But come over here and have a green house tomato...you will spit it out. When we flew out I could see all the farms outside the city - which is where most of your produce is coming from. We gets lots of produce from places as far away as Chile. There is no way something can be transported thousands of miles away and be as good as what you have over there regarding produce. Even the green beans were delicious. Believe me when I tell you we are ruining our food here in the US and it's really sad when you realize that. And all that over processing with chemicals is what I think causes our country to have the most imbalanced number of cancer patients in the world.

Even more than this I will bet you didn't even notice many of the other subtle differences...(I say this because it took me years)

For instance most eggs are farm laid with "organic" being a level above ... you can buy "gaint eggs" but most are actually free range and the same with chicken... at least 80% of supermarket chicken (and butchers even higher) and the giant chickens are not even available here.

The same goes for meat... every butcher will have farms and certificates from those farms for each steer he buys not only for its diet but also for its bloodline. When you buy meat in the butchers you ask for it by the breed...

Many butchers are actually family owned by the same family with the farms... they also sell the eggs from their farm.

Cheese is the same.. although much cheese is unpasturised (noone gets sick) the cheese can be traced back to individual groups in many cases.... foodies will criticise a producer on the basis of "ah they moved the sheep to the summer pasture to early last year" or similar.

As an example my fav resto the owner has a guy come from Italy on a regualr basis delivering his Italian cheeses.

Unfortunately this is inefficient and France is changing due to international pressure. Unfortunately the "we don't wan't artificially produced tomatoes" doesn't hold up in a international trade dispute. the first place these will be found is unfortunatly tourist resto's.

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I am traveling this summer to France and Italy with my son. My son is 10 and has not been diagnosed with celiac (I put him on the diet and saw nearly instant improvement so have not been able to get a good diagnosis) so I will be looking for gluten-free alternatives.

First, could someone kindly instruct me on how to ask for gluten-free alternatives and how to say "my son cannot eat/is allergic to gluten", or "...is allergic to wheat" for those who do not know what celiac or gluten is, in French and Italian?

And second, could anyone recommend restaurants in Paris, Rome, Venice? We will also be in the much smaller south of France and around the small hill towns of Tuscany.

Any recommendations are welcome. As I say, my son has not been off the diet in order to be tested. He can tolerate oat and bread made ancient grains. So he may really just be allergic to wheat.

Thank you for the advice!

Marsha

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