Wednesday, February 08, 2012

GLUTEN FREE IN FRANCE






TORTILLA CHIPS, ONLY ONE OF THREE FLAVORS IS GLUTEN FREE.


Maybe I should have said, RURAL France.  Bigger cities may have more available and are ahead of the curve. But then, even Paris, a city of many millions, only has one dedicated gluten free place http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2012/02/helmut-newcake-gluten-free-bakery-in-paris/ . Calgary must have at least four now?  Not to mention all the fine, knowledgeable restaurants that carry GF products. I have yet to find a Pizza place that is willing to even listen about offering a gluten free Pizza, never mind already having done so. No demand they say.


Here in the country side of the Charente Maritime, would it not be for GFP flour mix that Victoria schlepped all the way over here, it would be slim pickins. Very slim to be honest.
Schaer, an Italian producer of gluten free products, is the clear market leader over here. In drug stores, pharmacies, organic shops, Schaer is everywhere. I let you be the judge of it's products.


Any fresh bread that's gluten free? Well, there is a baker who turns out some incredible regular bread from her wood fired ovens and she offers gluten free bread made of Spelt. Maybe good enough for trend dieters that think Spelt is gluten free enough for them, but a diagnosed Celiac may not want to eat it. I know Victoria refuses to.


Labelling requirements over here seem to be significantly more relaxed than in North America. So finding out what grain the starch ingredient is based on, a guess at best, a risk to get ill at worst. 
Good news is, that Celiacs are then forced to eat fresh, home made foods, avoiding therefore all the not so healthy stuff out there. 
Already in Calgary we cooked a lot at home, but here, it seems we cook all the time. Which is really not a complaint as we all enjoy the process and of course most times, the results. Unless I use too much pepper as I did today in my cream of mushroom soup.


On the very positive, it's Ground Zero for anyone wanting to break into that market. A country of 65 Million, plus some 40 Million visitors, divided by 133, you get the picture. Tons of Celiacs.


I very much doubt that Victoria is keen to get back into the daily baking routine (her licensees keep her busy enough), however, we are mulling over an idea or two, such as offering a place to sleep for a few days, a holiday rental that's equipped with a kitchen and all other comforts. Stay as long or as short as you want.
As an added bonus Celiacs would be invited to dine with us.
GF french dishes, but also breakfast, Pizza, High Tea, picnic baskets, anything really, just gluten free.


Gites hote? Catered Gites?






1 comment:

claudine said...

In Europe I found that the larger pharmacies often carried a selection of gf. Also worth contacting the celiac association in France for a list of "friendly" restaurants. That said, I found Italy (the land of pizza and pasta) easier than France. Hope you have an amazing time!!