Wednesday, February 4, 2015

GF (Cross-Contamination) Continued

Eating out at a restaurant for someone who must be "Gluten-Free" is a challenge.  First, you probably can't find a completely GF restaurant.  However, many more restaurants are offering GF foods.  Some even have dedicated kitchens for their GF menu.

Every day and every year your options are improving.  But you still have to be diligent when you eat out.  It is best to ask a lot of questions of the establishment when you do go out.  If your server doesn't make you comfortable than always ask to speak to the manager.

Even if the place has a GF menu, ask about how they make sure there is no cross-contamination with their processes.  If they have GF food that is deep fried.  Ask what else gets fried in that oil.  Breaded onion rings, for example, would contaminate the oil if flour coating is used on them.

A couple of restaurants or types of service to avoid would include salad bars, buffets or cafeterias.  I'm not saying it is impossible to eat at them, but you need to be very careful because of cross-contamination possibilities.

Be sure to ask about ingredients they use in their food preparations.  They may have a soup, for example, that appears to be GF but the chicken or beef base may not be GF.  This is where label reading will come in handy.  Most restaurants and their staffs are more than willing to be helpful.  They want you and your connections to come back because it is good for business.

Going to a friends home for something involving food.  It might be for a dinner or a party.  Whatever it is, be sure to let them know right when you are asked that you have gluten problem.  They may be able to adjust the food menu or accommodate you with different food than the others are having.  You can always offer to bring something too.  That is especially true with young people having stay-over for a night.

Going back to invites for a minute.  Anytime you are asked to an event, party or whatever, it's your responsibility to let them know you have a food issue.  I'm not just talking a gluten problem now.  If you have any type of food problem whether it is allergy, diet or even a religious reason, you need to let them know in advance.  This way they can make the necessary adjustments and not embarrass anyone.

There is a lot more to be said on the subject of "Cross-contamination" in regards to gluten.  But much of it is for each person to learn through their experiences.  Circumstances will be different for each individual even though much is the same.  If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask by using the comment section in the blog post.

This week's recipe is for a "Gluten-Free Flour Blend" that I have faith in for giving you the chance for your best baking products.  It comes from the "American Test Kitchens" and has been well tested.  You could also just use "King Arthur" GF Multi-Purpose Flour or "Bob's Red Mill" GF All-Purpose Flour.  If using either of these, my preference goes to King Arthur.

Please spread the link to my food blog "Cabana Boy Cooks" and "Happy Cooking" until next week.

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