November 1, 2008
Living Gluten Free in the land of Pasta and Pizza
I decided to move to Italy because I needed some time off after spending the past four years of my life either working, in a library, in class, writing paper after paper, or getting what few hours of sleep I could. I needed a change of things. So after finding out that my boyfriend got an offer to play hockey in Northern Italy, I decided, hey why not take a year off! So this year has been dedicated to inventing gluten free recipes and traveling through Europe. At first I thought, What!!! I can not live in Italy and eat gluten free, all they do over here is eat Mama Mia's spaghetti and luigi's pizza. Well after some diligent research, I realized that Italy is full of Celiacs! That was heaven to my ears. Not only does Italy offer more gluten free food than you have ever seen in your life, but many restaurants offer gluten free options. It seems that almost all Italians are aware of Celiac Disease, as all children are tested for it at an early age. Upon arriving to Italy, I was completely prepared for the adventure, complete with my Gluten Free Guide to Italy book in hand and numerous sticky notes on food items and grocery stores. I have eaten out a couple times since being here and so far it has been a completely satisfying gluten free experience! I ate my first gluten free pizza in a restaurant while overlooking the bay of Trieste with tears of joy in my eyes. I also ate freshly caught fish complete with seafood risotto, that the owner of the restaurant kept reassuring me No Farina!!!, which means no flour in your food! He even made me a special dessert of fresh pineapple with Grand Marnier drizzled all over it, while the others got to eat tiramisu. Although I would have opted for the tiramisu, it was the gesture that made all the difference. It has been a wonderful, sometimes humorous adventure so far and I can't wait to share more.