No Gluten? Darn Tootin'!

Here at the Casa del Maven, we've gone through some serious lifestyle changes in the last year, but the most challenging, by far, has been coping with celiac disease. After years of having an upset stomach, losing weight and generally feeling like ass, Jason and his doctors finally figured out what was wrong. Problem is, with celiac, the prescription for better health isn't as simple as taking a pill. It means cutting out gluten entirely from one's diet. For the uninitiated, gluten is the wonder-substance that makes bread, well, bread. It is found in all wheat products, barley, some oats via cross-contamination and pretty much everything else you can imagine — from soy sauce to tomato paste.

So to say the celiac diet is tricky is the understatement of the year. And for foodies like Jason, it has been devastating. Imagine a life without real bread — yes, they make gluten-free "bread." It sucks. And the recipes out there all have an ingredient list a mile long, full of things nobody's ever heard of. Going out to eat has become a nightmare (although Fiddlehead in Bangor has been particularly accommodating). And gluten-free food is expensive. As in $6 for a loaf of fake bread expensive.

Thankfully, Maven reader and fellow blogger Tara Barker told us about a new website that has made things a lot easier for celiacs and those with gluten intolerance in Maine. Founded by Portland residents Richard (who has celiac) and Roy (who does not), www.glutenfreemaine.com is a clearinghouse of local resources — with listings of Maine-made products that are gluten-free, Maine restaurants that serve gluten-free cuisine, a list of local and national blogs and more. Among my favorites is the "top gluten-free stories" section — who knew Starbucks added gluten to its Frappuccinos?

This is exactly what the doctor ordered, and we couldn't be happier. Now if Richard and Roy could just come up with a good bread recipe that doesn't have 20 or more ingredients ...

2 comments:

Tara said...

Thanks for the mention, Kristen! The more press celiac disease and the gluten-free lifestyle gets, the better the available food will get, I promise . . .

Bethany said...

Frank's Bakery in Bangor has many gluten free treats as well as hamburger buns that actually taste pretty good! And State Street Wine Cellar right next door has beer!

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