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Becks85

Poland Gluten-Free

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Hello,

I'm traveling to Poland this summer for a couple weeks, and I'm really nervous about eating gluten-free and dairy-free. I've been to Poland before, but it was before I was diagnosed. I've also travelled abroad a couple times after diagosis, and I can't say that I've ever been very successful at avoiding gluten (due to the newness of the diet). Does any one have any tips or experiences to share? I appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Becks

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Do you speak Polish?

No, but I hope to find some gluten-free restaurant cards.

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I buy food from markets when I travel (even before gluten-free). It's a lot cheaper and you know what you're eating. True, you aren't sitting in some restaurant with a glass of wine, but you can use the money you save to take a taxi somewhere fun to eat your picnic of sliced meat, fresh fruits and veggies, and even a bottle of wine if you are so inclined.

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http://www.celiakia.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120&Itemid=105

- oficial webpage of Polish celiac society.

Otherwise, I'd say Poland should be quite safe - they are the main exporter of gluten-free food in Eastern Europe and even their exported food that is not designated as gluten-free is very well labelled everywhere in the world (they export a lot of typical central-european food to North America). I've never been there after my diagnosis, so it's just my guess. (I lived gluten-free in Czech republic, right next to Poland.)

The only "problem" is that they use almost exclusively wheat starch, so if you have to avoid wheat in general, not just gluten, that might make it dificult.

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Excellent point, Jestgar. I've always eaten in restaurants while travelling, but I guess I just need to realize that this may not be the best idea anymore. I'm planning on staying in hostels, so I'll try to stay at one's that offer kitchens. I'll probably save some money, too!

Pac, thanks for the website. I'm a little confused about wheat starch, though. Is this put specifically in gluten-free foods or in all foods? I've read that some wheat starch is still unsafe for people with Celiacs but other forms would be ok. I'm guessing any product labelled gluten-free, even if it contains wheat starch, would be ok then? I had no idea about wheat starch, but I guess you learn new things every day.

Thanks for your responses!

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Excellent point, Jestgar. I've always eaten in restaurants while travelling, but I guess I just need to realize that this may not be the best idea anymore. I'm planning on staying in hostels, so I'll try to stay at one's that offer kitchens. I'll probably save some money, too!

Pac, thanks for the website. I'm a little confused about wheat starch, though. Is this put specifically in gluten-free foods or in all foods? I've read that some wheat starch is still unsafe for people with Celiacs but other forms would be ok. I'm guessing any product labelled gluten-free, even if it contains wheat starch, would be ok then? I had no idea about wheat starch, but I guess you learn new things every day.

Thanks for your responses!

Wheat starch used in gluten-free products is special deproteined one. The regular 'non-gluten-free' food wheat starch is not safe. Most czech gluten-free flour mixes based on wheat starch have about 17mg of gluten per 1kg, it's just slightly more than naturally gluten-free products and withing the "safe" limits. (except for sensitive freaks like me who react to amounts undetectable by ELISA)

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'Bezgluten' the Polish Gluten Free Manufacturer has a range of Breads, Flours and Pastas.

bezgluten website

Best Regards,

David

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If you're going to be in Krakow, I'd recommend a vegetarian place called Momo. I've eaten there many times. The staff speak English and are helpful if you explain what you can't eat. Also be on the lookout for Schar products (usually sold in the bio shops) and like others have said markets...and even regular supermarkets will keep you sustained :) (Drug stores sometimes carry gluten-free products as well).

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Heres another handy website maybe, they make gluten free products

http://www.glutenex.com.pl

http://www.balviten.com/_en/

http://www.schaer.com/en/

Maybe email them and find out where you can buy their products in Poland?

Theres also a company in germany that makes celiac cards www.delicardo.com, I'm not sure if they have Polish cards but could probably have them made considering their are som many poles in Germany.

all the best

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Thanks again everyone for your responses! They will be very useful as I prepare for my trip!

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Did you already go to Poland.

I have not traveled to Poland much after I went gluten-free, but I have to worn you that eating out in Poland might be a bit challenging given that wheat and dairy products are a very common ingredient in Polish kitchen, starting from soups ending on desserts. Most salads should be safe, but you still need to make sure. Potatoes and rice should be fine, but you need to make sure that butter is not used (I am assuming that you cannot have butter).

You might need to alter previously suggested text due to your dairy-free restriction, I put the items you want to remove in "[ ]" and ADDITIONS IN CAPS. This is the edited text from http://www.celiakia.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120&Itemid=105, :

"Jestem na diecie bezglutenowej i bezmlecznej. Nie mogę spożywać produkt

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Oops! I added "SERDECZNIE" and meant to remove "BARDZO" from the following sentence: "SERDECZNIE DZIĘKUJĘ BARDZO ZA POMOC!" You can either leave "SERDECZNIE DZIĘKUJĘ ZA POMOC!" or "DZIĘKUJĘ BARDZO ZA POMOC!"

Did you already go to Poland.

I have not traveled to Poland much after I went gluten-free, but I have to worn you that eating out in Poland might be a bit challenging given that wheat and dairy products are a very common ingredient in Polish kitchen, starting from soups ending on desserts. Most salads should be safe, but you still need to make sure. Potatoes and rice should be fine, but you need to make sure that butter is not used (I am assuming that you cannot have butter).

You might need to alter previously suggested text due to your dairy-free restriction, I put the items you want to remove in "[ ]" and ADDITIONS IN CAPS. This is the edited text from http://www.celiakia.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=120&Itemid=105, :

"Jestem na diecie bezglutenowej i bezmlecznej. Nie mogę spożywać produkt

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Hi Becks,

If you intend to visit Krakow, I'd recommend you the gluten-free restaurant. This is the only one I've ever heard (so and eaten there).

They offer special gluten free menu containing dozens of dishes (including traditional polish cuisine). The food is really delicious. I assure.

http://www.podbaranem.com/english.html

gluten-free menu (in polish, but I believe, the restaurant's staff speak English:

http://www.podbaranem.com/menu17.html

If you're going to eat outside during whole journey, the best solution would be to speak with the cooks (not with the waiters) directly or show the printed card as bezgluten wrote in the message above.

Eating in fastfoods, apart from french fries, I think you can also order kebab meat (very popular in most cities via avenues) of course with no bread, just meat and salads on the plate.

As a "packed lunch" for trips you can buy rise-bread SONKO (almost in every grocery store - even in the small ones) http://www.sonko.pl/x.php/1,35/Produkty-bezglutenowe.html

You can choose lots sorts of this bread and the rice cakes with coating (strawberry, yoghurt, chocolate)

What else can I add... If you need any help during your time in Poland, don't hesitate to call me (I'll send you my cell number via contact information).

Good-luck

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I am going to poland soon, thanks for the warning about the wheat starch.

There is a minority of celiacs who do not tolerate the codex wheat starch either.

I have not tried the new beow 20 ppm wheat starch yet so I do not know if I react, but I would think so.

I printed out the word list.

I guess they list wheat starch?

It was not listed on the allergy list, I guess I have to look for the words separately.

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wheat starch is called "skrobia pszenna".

You can buy dozens species of gluten-free bread in Poland, however (as I've checked) they are often made from something they call "skrobia pszenna bezglutenowa" = Glutenfree wheat starch. So it's good to check the label.

I'm though not familiar with strictly procedures which quantify the maximum of ppm, allowing for using "Glutenfree" prefix.

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Because of the new EU laws regarding gluten free, even wheat starch has to be below 20ppm soon.

Here in Scandinavia all producers have already made the change, but they have not updated the packaging quite yet.

The old wheat starch typically had up to 80-100ppm in northern Europe.

I just came back from Poland today, but I only looked into one supermarket and did not really look for gluten free bread, I bought some nuts and bananas. I did not notice any diet shelf or any gluten free cookies in the cookie shelf.

Here in Scandianvia the gluten free stuff is often in a shelf tothether with other health food and spelt(!) which of course is not gluten free. But some supermarkets have started to put gluten-free pasta in the pasta shelf, and gluten-free crackers in the knekkebr

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Hello,

I'm traveling to Poland this summer for a couple weeks, and I'm really nervous about eating gluten-free and dairy-free. I've been to Poland before, but it was before I was diagnosed. I've also travelled abroad a couple times after diagosis, and I can't say that I've ever been very successful at avoiding gluten (due to the newness of the diet). Does any one have any tips or experiences to share? I appreciate any advice. Thanks!

Becks

Hi Becks,

I was in Poland in 2005 and found the awareness of gluten-free eating to be very good. Every restaurant that I went into had waitstaff that spoke english and they were very cooperative.

I used the Polish language restaurant card from the back of Jax Peters Lowell's book and had no problems communicating my needs to the chefs in restaurants.

Also, find a local health food store while you are there and look for Glutenex baked products - they are outstanding!

Have a great trip and enjoy the food!

GFme

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