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What is gluten free really?

I am so sick and tired of so many places complete misunderstanding of everything gluten related. Many places think that by offering something “gluten free” on their menu they are joining the trend and will attract a certain kind of cool, hipster crowd.
It has become a very lucrative market and because gluten free products are generally more expensive, I think many retailers are climbing on the bandwagon, thinking they can make an easy buck.
There is little understanding of what gluten free actually entails, who their actual target market is and what people with true food allergies need and require.

I see bakers on beautifully designed websites , promoting health and special diets, offering gourmet gluten free cupcakes and muffins. When you look a little closer, their mixes contain oats! When I question this, I unsurprisingly get no response to my email.

Another intensely annoying example happened to me this week.
My husband took a day’s leave and I had to pick up some of my students exam papers to mark at college. So we thought we’d go for lunch, to a place I have been wanting to try.
I was so looking forward to having lunch at “Pulp Kitchen” at Willowbridge centre.

Their menu offers gluten free bread, so all sandwiches have an option of gluten free bread. They also say they have an option of gluten free cake. So I sat down expectantly and excitedly. I ordered the chicken and pepadew sandwich on gluten free bread. First thing I’m told there is no gluten free cake or bread today! Wow I’m disappointed but ok that can happen if the gluten free products are brought in.
So I say ok I’ll have whatever toppings were on the sandwich. Is that available as a salad? I see the chicken salad on the menu. It’s looks the same as the sandwich topping. Is there any gluten in the salad? “Hold on I’ll found out” is the waitress’s reply. A minute later she returns. “Sorry all our salads contain gluten!” I said but how can they? She says all our spices contain gluten!! “That is ridiculous I say”! I put down my menu and angrily walk out.
We head off to Col’Cachios and I have a delicious pizza on a Gluten free base.

The very fact that all Pulp Kitchen’s food is spiced with gluten- containing spices and they still have the utter chutzpah to offer an option of gluten free bread is the biggest joke! It’s no good having gluten free bread if the stuff that goes in it contains gluten!! !!
It’s like other places that offer gluten free pasta but the sauce contains gluten! Please people, we need to avoid these places. They cannot make a mockery of our gluten free lifestyle. It is not a CHOICE for us!!
I shared this as I think we all need to share as widely as possible places that are not truly gluten free.

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