The lessons learned when eating out
On our first dinner date, Carol dropped the bombshell that eating out would be more complicated than normal. Having never heard of coeliac disease, I was unsure of what was safe for her to eat and I realized that I had some learning to do.
I had never really thought about the ingredients in food before, and I had to start grilling chefs as to what was in the items on the menu.
I soon discovered that they knew little more than I did, especially as a lot of the dishes were bought ready prepared, rather than made fresh on the premises.
I remember being surprised at the number of foods containing gluten.
For example chips, or french fries, struck me as being safe until I realized that a restaurant would often cook scampi or breaded fish in the same oil. Even the chips themselves, if frozen, may have a coating that would render them unsafe for Carol to eat.
Basic ingredients such as meat, fish, fruit and vegetables were on the gluten free food list so we tried to stick with those, rather than dishes in a sauce or wrapped in pastry.
Together we learned what certain terms on a restaurant menu actually meant and Carol created a gluten free restaurant guide to make it easier to make safe choices.