Oh yes, a new adventure is coming to the Leger house! Emma, my 10-year-old celiac daughter, will be traveling with the People to People program as an ambassador to England and France in the summer of 2010. You know what that means??? Learning how to order and find gluten-free foods in Europe — with no mom or dad around! Yikes!
So I’ve heard Europe is easier to eat gluten-free than in the United States. That’s what I learned from Ida, our exchange student who traveled from Norway to live with us last year. Plus Europe has the Codex guidelines on gluten-free products.
The other good news is, when I received the call that Emma was “in”…the Delegate who’s leading the trip said she would soon set up a call to get the ball rolling on gluten-free diet (nice and early).
So I shouldn’t be so nervous…right?
Trouble in “Paris-dise”?
However, I was a little concerned when I saw this blog post:
“For those who need to avoid gluten, France may present more of a challenge than other countries, which was confirmed when I tried to find some tips online for gluten-free dining in France and turned up little information.” — www.davidlebovitz.com
Lebovitz later adds hints and tips to people traveling in Paris and need to eat gluten-free, like having a card written in French explaining your gluten-free request, always packing snacks, and he says “Apologize for being a bother”…
“This is the hardest thing for Americans, who are used to the ‘Customer Is King’ concept. In France, you may find people less-accommodating that you’re used to. There’s not much you can do to change it (and believe me, don’t try to either). Instead, work with it. Once you throw yourself at the waiter’s mercy, they’re likely to take better care of you.”
All good things to know.
How do you prepare?
Oh mon dieu! Oh my goodness! She is only 10 (okay, 11 by the time she travels). I will say, I totally have faith in the organization who is ready to accommodate her needs. But I’m just worried about something falling through the cracks, and there my daughter is — in a foreign country and can’t eat anything!
Okay..enough of the drama. I just hope she has a trip she’ll never forget — and not because she puked her way through the Louvre and Eiffel Tower. So if anyone can give me hints and tips on eating out in Europe that will certainly help me in the quest for making her trip as safe as possible. Whatever I receive I’ll certainly pass along. Thanks!