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andrew_70

Western Europe, Help!

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Ok, so my seven week sweep goes like this: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, France (again), back up to Belgium. I'm 23 and will be staying in youth hostels, backpacking and traveling inexpensively. I also know none of the languages. Except English.

I suppose I'll try and translate a statement of allergy (or intolerance, whatever) in several different languages. Is there anyone who's traveled in these countries who could help me out with advice? PLEASE? I am an avid weight lifter and expect to lose quite a bit of weight through malnutrition. I'm sure I will eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. Sigh. BUT, I am extremely excited to hike in the Alps and visit the myriad of art museums and sights. And party in Amsterdam and Prague.

So please, fellow gluten-freer's, can you help?

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Hi Andrew, I am German (normally living in Canada), and I am visiting my family in Germany right now. I am in Hamburg with my oldest brother.

You can find gluten-free food here very easily. Most grocery stores have at least a small selection. But Budnikowski has quite a few gluten-free items, and if you go to a health food store, called Reformhaus, you will find tons of choices. I was amazed at the array of gluten-free foods, that are far cheaper and tastier than what I am able to get in Canada.

Most people here in Germany speak English, so you really shouldn't have a problem. Especially if you ask young people your age for the way to find a Reformhaus, because young people here speak English amazingly well for the most part.

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Hi Andrew, I am German (normally living in Canada), and I am visiting my family in Germany right now. I am in Hamburg with my oldest brother.

You can find gluten-free food here very easily. Most grocery stores have at least a small selection. But Budnikowski has quite a few gluten-free items, and if you go to a health food store, called Reformhaus, you will find tons of choices. I was amazed at the array of gluten-free foods, that are far cheaper and tastier than what I am able to get in Canada.

Most people here in Germany speak English, so you really shouldn't have a problem. Especially if you ask young people your age for the way to find a Reformhaus, because young people here speak English amazingly well for the most part.

Ahh, thank you

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Hi Andrew, I am in England.

You will find nearly all the big supermarkets stock gluten-free items (bread, pasta, biscuits , crackers) in their 'Free From' area.

The big supermarkets are Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda's, and Morrison's (unfortunately all quite expensive though :angry: )

Most foods are labelled quite well and have an 'Allergen' box (e.g 'contains wheat') on the back with the ingredients list.

Good Luck!! :)

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For Holland, www.livaad.nl is a great resource. It's a database of over 20 000 gluten free products sold in Holland. There's a list that you can search with key words, but also separate lists of different supermarket chains you can print and take with you if you really want to do serious food shopping. There's also a list of celiac friendly restaurants , click on "horecaad".

The supermarket chain Albert Heijn marks products of their own house brand AH with a gluten free and/or milk free symbol, and they have good allergy info on the labels. You'll probably run into one of their stores in Amsterdam.

Gluten free bread and cookies etc. can mostly be found in health food shops, just ask a loccal for the nearest one. I don't know Amsterdam well enought to recommend one.

The labelling law in Europe is that gluten has to be marked on the label, either separately in an allergy statement or so that you are able to make it out from the ingredients (of course assuming that you know the language). The only thing you need to watch out for are the words (in Dutch) "glucose stroop", "dextrose" or "maltodextrine" on labels, because those can be made from wheat, and they are excepted from the labelling laws for now. If you don't usually react to very small amounts of cross contamination, you probably won't react to those either, but you should know so you can make the choice. Most celiacs that I've spoken with in Holland do eat products with glucose syrup etc. without problems (which is why for now they are an exception in the labelling).

Pretty much everyone I've met in Holland speaks excellent English.

Hope this helps!

Pauliina

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For Holland, www.livaad.nl is a great resource. It's a database of over 20 000 gluten free products sold in Holland. There's a list that you can search with key words, but also separate lists of different supermarket chains you can print and take with you if you really want to do serious food shopping. There's also a list of celiac friendly restaurants , click on "horecaad".

The supermarket chain Albert Heijn marks products of their own house brand AH with a gluten free and/or milk free symbol, and they have good allergy info on the labels. You'll probably run into one of their stores in Amsterdam.

Gluten free bread and cookies etc. can mostly be found in health food shops, just ask a loccal for the nearest one. I don't know Amsterdam well enought to recommend one.

The labelling law in Europe is that gluten has to be marked on the label, either separately in an allergy statement or so that you are able to make it out from the ingredients (of course assuming that you know the language). The only thing you need to watch out for are the words (in Dutch) "glucose stroop", "dextrose" or "maltodextrine" on labels, because those can be made from wheat, and they are excepted from the labelling laws for now. If you don't usually react to very small amounts of cross contamination, you probably won't react to those either, but you should know so you can make the choice. Most celiacs that I've spoken with in Holland

do eat products with glucose syrup etc. without problems (which is why for now they are an exception in the labelling).

Pretty much everyone I've met in Holland speaks excellent English.

Hope this helps!

Pauliina

Ahhh, I'm new to the forums and I really appreciate all this community help!

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Hi Andrew!

It sounds like a great trip!

I'm in France and there isn't a lot of public awareness about gluten intolerance here. You can't get gluten-free food in the supermarkets as far as I know, but you can in health food stores. I buy mine at La Vie Claire, which has a good selection. You can also order on Internet (parallerg.com, rizen-sans-gluten.com.....). I don't think there are any specialized restaurants so you'll have to be careful about cross-contamination!

Have a nice time!

Rosey

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Hi, I'm English but live in the Netherlands. You can buy gluten free food at Albert Heijn, the Co-op, and Plus (the bigger stores). You can also find it at health stores and De Tuinen.

In England you can find it in all of the supermarkets and health shops. In Germany I found the restaurants very helpful, but not the motorway cafes. Much of the gluten free (gluten frij) food in Dutch stores comes from Germany. In France I found food in health shops.

Here is a link where you can print off little restaurant cards in many languages to hand in at restaurants. I used it with success in France, Germany, and here in the Netherlands in fact. It's easier and saves all the explaining. No matter how good people's English is, you always get young people who don't have a clue and don't want to ask for you.

http://www.celiactravel.com/restaurant-cards.html

I hope that helps.

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Ok, so my seven week sweep goes like this: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, France (again), back up to Belgium. I'm 23 and will be staying in youth hostels, backpacking and traveling inexpensively. I also know none of the languages. Except English.

I suppose I'll try and translate a statement of allergy (or intolerance, whatever) in several different languages. Is there anyone who's traveled in these countries who could help me out with advice? PLEASE? I am an avid weight lifter and expect to lose quite a bit of weight through malnutrition. I'm sure I will eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. Sigh. BUT, I am extremely excited to hike in the Alps and visit the myriad of art museums and sights. And party in Amsterdam and Prague.

So please, fellow gluten-freer's, can you help?

I have spent time in Munich and the Alps and I can tell you there is a lot of options in that area. There are several gluten-free restaurants in Munich and I know there is one in Oberammergau (in the Alps). I have read that Weiner Wald has gluten-free sausages- though I have yet to try it out. When I went, we stayed in an apartment and I had pre-ordered gluten-free bread form a bakery and had it mailed to the apartment. If you know your schedule, perhaps you can have the same done to one ofthe hostels... but this wasn't cheap. Though the bakery I used had to die for pretzels. Nice big soft ones that I remember form my childhood: ) Garmisch-Partenkirchen has a reformus that is like a gluten-free mecca- not far from the train station. I know ther is also a place outside of Stuttgart to get gluten-free Italian food... I am attaching some links form when I went:

http://www.minderleinsmuehle.de/glutenfrei...ndex_start.html gluten-free bakery I ordered from

http://www.zoeliakie.or.at/index.asp?pg_nr=466&lang=de Austrian celiac site- there is an email for zoliakie tourism, i'd email them and ask for help. Most likely they speak English.

Click the pdf and have a print out in 6-7 languages to pass out at places. I made several copies and kept them on me at all times to hand out.

http://www.dzg-online.de/-djh-projekt.131.0.html youth hostels in Germany with gluten-free facilities

http://www.zoeliakie-suedbayern.de/ Site from the Bavaria region. Has hotels and restaurants listed.

HTH-

Heather

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Hi Andrew!

It sounds like a great trip!

I'm in France and there isn't a lot of public awareness about gluten intolerance here. You can't get gluten-free food in the supermarkets as far as I know, but you can in health food stores. I buy mine at La Vie Claire, which has a good selection. You can also order on Internet (parallerg.com, rizen-sans-gluten.com.....). I don't think there are any specialized restaurants so you'll have to be careful about cross-contamination!

Have a nice time!

Rosey

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Hi Andrew.

We are english, but live in the French Alps, and work as chefs in a ski lodge. We have catered for several celiac (amongst other dietary requirements) and find that Carrefour and Auchan supermarkets provide the best range of gluten free provisions.

If you are concerned about weight loss whilst on your travels, you should try Tartiflette whilst in the Alps - a good wholesome meal suitable for celiacs, consisting of potatoes, Reblochon cheese, onions, lardons, creme fraiche - yummy!!!. We have found that most restaurants in our region of the Alps have a basic understanding of english, so you should be able to tell them of your dietary requirements. If you need any further help, please contact us and we will help in whatever way we can.

Best of luck and enjoy your trip.

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I just returned from a 6 week trip to France and Switzerland. Here are a few tips for both countries. In France, ask where there is a Bio store. These are health food stores and there seemed to be one in just about every decent sized village. Of course selection varied, and I found I became really partial to the Schar brand of products (from Germany I think, yellow and red label). I believe they sell throughout Europe as we bought them in France as well as Switzerland. Very good stuff and they make everything from baguettes to muesli to pasta. It also seemed that most regular large supermarkets had their own brand of gluten-free products interspersed with the regular stuff and I could find pasta, cookies, crackers and a few other things at these stores. The Casino/Giant market had Allegro (not very recommended unless you like strange tastes and dried bread that is destined to crack a molar) while the Manor in Switzerland had DS (very good brand, yellow and purple colors) and the Migros had Glutafin. The DS brand also had some bread rolls frozen that was amazing when baked. In all of these, you are looking for "Sans Gluten" on the label. Also watch out for "farine de ble" meaning "flour of wheat" literally when reading labels of regular food. So, farine de maize" is fine (corn flour) etc. I also did some eating out, but as in most places it can be a challenge. I had my travel cards with me, but mostly just ordered salads with oil and vinegar to be safe. Kind if a bummer when everyone else is eating pizza, but then I would go get a scope of ice cream and get over my pity party. Besides, I was in Europe, how sorry could I feel for myself! Mostly, I ate a lot of veggies and fruits. We did lots of cooking ourselves while camping and the rest of the time we were with relatives who were so considerate and understanding, even in this world where wheat is worshiped and everyone has a loaf of bread under their arm. I am sure you will have a great trip, and you will find things to eat. Just stock up when you can!

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Ok, so my seven week sweep goes like this: Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, England, France (again), back up to Belgium. I'm 23 and will be staying in youth hostels, backpacking and traveling inexpensively. I also know none of the languages. Except English.

I suppose I'll try and translate a statement of allergy (or intolerance, whatever) in several different languages. Is there anyone who's traveled in these countries who could help me out with advice? PLEASE? I am an avid weight lifter and expect to lose quite a bit of weight through malnutrition. I'm sure I will eat a lot of fruit and vegetables. Sigh. BUT, I am extremely excited to hike in the Alps and visit the myriad of art museums and sights. And party in Amsterdam and Prague.

So please, fellow gluten-freer's, can you help?

Andrew you legend! I'm going to most of those places next year, so I'm stoked I found this thread. I'm 21, from Australia, leaving in April 2008. The plan at the moment is to go Turkey, Greece, Italy, Croatia, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, UK.

I've already printed out the restaurant cards in about 15 differenct languages haha im so excited! From what I've read we should be pretty fine in continental Europe, Franch Italy Germany etc seem to all have a lot of gluten-free awareness and products. Spain is also great apparently. What I'm worried about it Turkey and Croatia... I think they might be hard.

So anyone who has heard anything on those areas let me know please!

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Each country is different ...

UK you can get stuff in supermarkets reasonably easily .. there are quite a few that label reasonably well but look for WHEAT FREE as well as Gluten free. Some of the London supermarkets have almost nothing in the specific gluten-free ranges. You can usually buy cooked meats etc. ready sliced and many are gluten-free

Eating out is a mixed bag.... many places will say no problem but in reality you will get CC etc.

France: Harder but stick to the simplest. In summer I eat Carpaccio and steak tartar since they are uncooked ... this means they have to be handled and stored seperately = less chanceof CC and not cooked in the same pan .. watch out for fries cooked in the same oil

If you can pay for the better resto's then you have a better chance...

Italy.. A dream... Many resto's have specific menus there are even gluten-free pasta and pizza places.

http://www.celiachia.it/ristoratori/ristoratori.asp

List them by region. In Italy you can actually get really cheap safe food ...

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Hi - I'm American, living in France...

As some previous posters have said, it can be quite difficult - most French people have never even heard of gluten. (Then again, they also think allergies of any kind are a rare medical condition ;)

You can most likely find gluten-free products in health-food stores (as someone said previously, you need to ask for "bio" - but bio is pronounced here as bee-oh. Some places to try are chains such as Naturalia, La Vie Claire, and Les Nouveaux Robinson - though each store is different, so some of them will have lots of gluten free products and some of them will have practically none. Some Monoprix's and Inno's (supermarket chain) carry gluten free products as well - though I can say with experience that they are not very good, and there isn't much variety - they'll usually just have a couple of things and they don't restock very often.

Cross contamination can definitely be a problem in restaurants - as gfp said, if you can afford better restaurants, you will have less of a problem. I would avoid all Chinese restaurants (traiteurs chinois) as I have always gotten sick after eating there. Indiana is a chain of "tex-mex" food (not as good as what we have in the US) but I have eaten there a few times and not had any problems. Another great place to try is a restaurant called Guenmai in the 6th arrondissement of Paris - it's an organic restaurant and you can ask for your dish to be "sans gluten" - they are very accomodating to food allergies, intolerances, special diets, etc. If you can stomach it, definitely go for a steak tartare, as gfp recommended (though understandably, it is a very strange concept for Americans to eat their beef completely raw).

Also, be careful of things like ham and sausages - they usually have wheat dextrose in them, and I've gotten sick a few times after eating them.

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I have spent the last month in Turkey and Greece and wanted to let you guys know how it is being gluten-free here. While I haven't been contaminated once, my diet has been pretty repetitive.

Gluten-free bread/pasta/crackers/anything do not exist here. At all.

Once you accept that, then you can start working out what in their diet is naturally gluten-free, and work from there. They eat a lot of bread, in kebab (Turkey) / gyros (Greece) form etc, so they look at you like you're retarded when you ask for things with no bread. I have had some success getting a kebab with no bread (in a cup, in a french fries bag, on a plate etc) as these are by the far the cheapest fastest foods. Some places will do it, some won't, it's just luck. Some places will be incredibly rude about it and talk about the freak who wants a chicken pita with no pita for about 15 mins. Seriously the guy told every other Greek in the restaurant about me. That was a low point.

So yeh anyways the kebab/gyros meat is safe, as is shishkebab/souvlaki (meat on skewer). Mostly these come with salad and/or french fries. They don't eat much all that much rice here in Greece, it's usually not that great when you do get it. In Istanbul the rice is really good though, I love it.

Corn on the cob is available from street vendors in Turkey, I recommend that you go for the boiled not the bbq'd.

If you see an Indian or Thai or any other restaurant that are good in terms of gluten-free food, go for it. On Mykonos there is an awesome Thai place called Blue Ginger, you MUST go there. The view, the service, the decor are all excellent as well as some of the best chicken satay sticks I've ever had in my life.

In Rhodes Old Town there's a good Indian called Bombay I think. Delicious. Also a traditional Greek place called Rustico modified one of the dishes for me and they were great. We had the Kleftico and the Vlacho's Plate. Tasty stew type dishes.

In Santorini, stay at a place called Rena's Villas in Fira. After reading my little Greek translation of the Coeliac restaurant card, he not only organised for me to have free omelletes with fetta each morning (originally not included in the continental brekky, woulda cost me 3.5 Eu per day) but then went and researched Coeliac's, got a whole lot of info from the Greek Society, told me he'd be getting in gluten-free bread for the breakfasts, and was generally an incredibly lovely and helpful host. Mama Rena is also very kind but doesn't speak English. She was intrigued by the curry we made in their kitchen. (If you're a curry freak like me, take curry pastes with you as they're not commonly available. We stumbled across a few jars of Patak's in the Big Supermarket in Kamari, Santorini. Unfortunately after only one use this got taken off me by Customs when I stupidly left it in my carry-on luggage. Too used to travelling by ferry, not plane.)

If you're trying to eat cheap, lunch is by far the hardest. I found rice cakes in one mini-mart, so for a while I was eating cheese tomato cucumber and Hungarian Salami on those. Obviously check all the salami ingredients, that packet had the ignredients in English but some don't. They eat a lot of processed meats here, it's tough to get unprocessed conveniently. Thats the big thing I think. Good gluten-free good is available but it's expensive and inconvenient.

Can't think what else I wanted to or should say, any questions feel free to email me. Have one more week in Greece and then heading for Croatia, so I'll let you know how I go there too.

Hope this was helpful :)

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hi

your trips sounds great. i hope you was a wonderful time.

i know you have no plans to come to spain, but if you change it and decide to come, i know of some really good places to eat gluten free.

good luck!

marta

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