Here I am, many days after Cinco de Mayo, and on the last day of Celiac Awareness Month 2014, finally getting to a post!
It is not that celiac disease is not on my mind all the time. It is. Gluten free consumes my life. Whether I am planning where to go for a business meeting, making arrangements to meet friends, heading for the airport, getting stuck on a long drive in traffic or doing any of the other normal and random things in life that involve food, extra plans must be made to accommodate. You can’t just stop anywhere and find safe and healthy things to eat.
I used to wonder about, even lament, the fact that the “world doesn’t care” about making itself safe for celiacs. Then one day I went to a restaurant asking for a gluten free menu, and the host pulled up a menu with about 10 different possible allergies. I realized how hard it is for everyone who is not affected by something not only to care but even to understand it. That said, it is still hard sometimes to bear the pain of exclusion. Public and semi-public places should make more of an effort to be available to the public, including providing a safe eating environment. The problem is always cost and who will “police” the process. It is a public policy issue that I haven’t yet cracked the nut on how to fix. If one day I do, maybe I’ll make greater moves to get us there….
In the meantime, I keep blogging from time to time, adding my voice to the strong community of celiac bloggers. If you are local to my area (Stamford and Fairfield County, Connecticut), I have just updated my local restaurant list (click here). A few places have closed and others have opened to take their place. Exciting highlights include Cask Republic, which has the best kale salad I have eaten in my life and a kitchen that can address cross-contamination. They don’t yet have a gluten free menu, but I have asked them to make one. Also Trader Joe’s is now offering cupcakes (thanks to friends Galit and Melanie for letting me know this). For kids, this is an incredible find, because I can now send other moms to a regular grocery store instead of a specialty shop when they want to accommodate my daughter at birthday parties.
Also new on my list is the Elm Street Oyster House. I was not sure about this restaurant, since it didn’t show up on any of my usual lists as gluten free. But a friend and colleague loved the place and requested it for a business lunch, so I called up to check and took a chance. Indeed my culinary horizons in Greenwich have been opened a bit wider!