Wednesday, 28 April 2010

No such thing as a (Gluten) Free Lunch?

NOTE TO READERS: 27TH FEBRUARY 2011

Two things. 1 - Juice Junkie has sadly closed down. And 2 - cous cous is in fact made entirely of wheat in many places, although proper cous cous is made of millet. My mistake. I wrote this ages ago and this whole wheat dodging is quite a learning curve!

Cheers!

M


This lunchtime, I decided to do a little experiment. I usually make my own lunch to bring to work as it's really not worth the hassle of wandering around Tesco's for an hour and coming out with a bag of Haribo for lunch. There is a distinct lack of ready-made products for wheat dodgers, and, unbelievably the worst offenders are Marks and Spencer's who sprinkle flour liberally and unnecessarily all over their lunchtime offerings. Even couscous and rice salads!

Anyway, I wandered round to see how long it would take me to find something decent to eat that wouldn't break the bank. Namely, a sandwich.

I have heard lots about Starbucks launching a new GF range of sandwiches which I was delighted to hear. I popped into the Briggate Leeds branch to see for myself.

The only GF sandwich on offer was a tuna salad. I hate tuna sandwiches! To me, they're just a big bowl of wrong. I appreciate that most people do like them, so good news for you! Even so, the lack of variety did really disappoint me. Coeliacs cannot live on a diet of tuna alone! Ah well, small mercies I suppose. They do, however, stock 3 different GF deserts including a fairtrade chocolate brownie and a Valencia orange cake. So coffee and cake won't be such a hassle anymore as Starbucks have cafes absolutely everywhere. Result!

I didn't hang around for cake, I went on with my search for a nice sandwich to fill a very grumbly hole. I walked past M&S not even entertaining wasting my lunch hour reading the back of every packet only to find that the only thing they have omitted flour from is a boiled ham. I wandered past there and ended up at Juice Junkie in Thornton's Arcade. Bingo.

They have a nice big sign in the window that reads 'We now offer gluten free bread'. I trotted in and asked if they indeed had GF bread and if so what brand it was (very important, I'm not having naff stuff that falls apart when just before it reaches my mouth). "Genius bread". Sold. I could have ANY sandwich on the menu. Any! I went for Ham, Cheddar and Onion Marmalade. And it was delicious. I even enjoyed that weird feeling you get when you've eaten too much bread and desperately need a glass of water. I was home.

Thank you, Juice Junkie for being so forward-thinking and totally peeing on Starbucks' bonfire.

M

Juice Junkie‎
11 Thorntons Arcade, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 6LQ 0113 247 0110‎

8 comments:

  1. You mention couscous and rice in this article, and I may be wrong but it sounds like you would eat them if they weren't 'sprinkled with flour'. I wonder if you know couscous is made from wheat and is not safe to eat if you are coeliac? Rice is of course fine but if you see 'contains wheat' on the label of a rice dish it may be that it is in soya sauce or some other flavouring, and probably not actually flour. I have been told recently by my dietician that M&S now do a gluten free sandwich. Hoorah!

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  2. Hi Anonymous
    I learn things about coeliacs and general wheat dodging everyday. When I wrote this post I was blissfully unaware that cous cous is rolled in flour when it's produced. As I am wheat intolerant and not coeliac, I got away with eating it. Gluten, particularly wheat flour is found in so many things, even things you'd never expect (like flipping ice cream!). I'm learning all the time so contributions from readers like you are really helpful.
    Also, when I wrote this post, M & S hadn't launched their GF range. They are much better at catering for our diets now. Check out my post 'Mmm and Yes!' which lists some of their excellent GF range.
    Thanks
    M

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  3. Hi, just a note on your last comment, I don't think that you undertand what the previous commenter was trying to say. Just to clarify, cous cous is in fact rolled semolina wheat. So its not the flour that is contaminating it, its just the cous cous itself. Just letting you know, cous cous is a definite no-go, no matter what.

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  4. Couscous isn't just rolled in wheat, it's pasta! It's made from wheat, salt, and water. And I know, *evil* unexpected rice ingredients...

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  5. I watched a documentary about cous cous (wild, I know) and they said it was semolina rolled in wheat. I imagine the supermarket stuff is probably just wheat flour as you've said as it's cheap to cook with.

    I'm glad I got a debate going anyway!
    M

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  6. sainsburys sell an amazing barley cous-cous (Belazu -TRADITIONAL MOROCCAN barley cous cous)which is fine for me as a wheat-dodger not a full blow Coeliac however its tricky to find as its not in the world foods isle or the free from area, they put it in a speciality foods isle next to the Moroccan spice blends and other funky foods and from my experience either on the top shelf on on the very bottom so not immediately obvious but keep hunting its well worth the effort the box is a brick colour if this helps.

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  7. SEMOLINA IS A WHEAT PRODUCT - sorry for the capitals but what do you think couscous is made from? Barley also contains gluten.

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  8. PS Semolina is a wheat product

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