Food, glorious [gluten free] food!

Okay, now that my thoughts on the gluten free standard all over the world are out there for some consideration, and hopefully some of your thoughts in the comments, on to the absolutely irreplaceable, time of my life trip experiences:

Being someone who counts so highly on a scheduled and tightly controlled life, spontaneity was as foreign to me as a Goldfish cracker. Or an apple Nutragrain bar. Or a donut. {My go-to glutinous foods when that cure comes rolling around—check out this article on that, by the way: The Future of Celiac Disease Treatment} However, travelling with a family as versed in the diabetic celiac lifestyle as myself, I was contentedly rolling with the punches, travelling through Europe, as we added to our itinerary along the way, and the hours grew long in their filled-to-the-brim Audi.

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Pre-Trip Audi…

Post-Trip Audi! Had to get some shopping in!

Post-Trip Audi! Had to get some shopping in!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final itinerary looks like this:

Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Milan, Nice, Monaco, Florence, and Prague.

Now, as some of you may have heard, for as much as France is awful at strict gluten free food preparation, the counter-intuitive, gluten-loaded Italy is gluten free heaven. If it exists in gluten, it exists in gluten free, and good gluten free. I’m honestly drooling at my keyboard thinking of the chocolate croissants that I fell absolutely in love with…but obviously shipping them here would be a nightmare and a half, and half my bank account. However, I’m going to touch on a few memorable restaurant spots in some of the cities, rather just talk about my love for little rolls.

Copenhagen, Daniel’s hometown, resulted in a very European little restaurant/bar, where Daniel’s family’s friends were the owners, called Tight, that made killer gluten free—reminiscing on some champagne and delightful mussels with gluten free crostini. We also dined lavishly at Nimb Terrasse at Tivoli Gardens, eating course after course, drinking bottle of wine after bottle of wine. At this point, I knew I was in for a ton of food, and a lesson in how to appear to keep up in drinking, by casually fake sipping after the first couple glasses!

The restaurant at Tivoli Gardens

The restaurant at Tivoli Gardens

Daniel and I waiting for our reservation!

Daniel and I waiting for our reservation!

Milan brought beautiful people, and gorgeous gluten free food at a restaurant called Be Bop. I came to really understand that I was travelling with the right people when we couldn’t decide between about 6 entrees for the 4 of us, so they decided we’d do a “tasting dinner” and order all of them. Oh, and the same happened with dessert. The main page of the website even states that “The menu expresses freedom and respect for the food choices of every individual, whether they are philosophical or dictated by the need for health…not only lovers of fish and meat, but vegetarian, vegan, intolerant dairy and gluten free.” And boy, did they nail it. Please see the pictures below and enjoy an extra moment to let it all sink in.

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I have an excess of food photos…Sorry, not sorry.

So, I’m going mention the Nice restaurant, because I have a photo to share, but unfortunately I cannot remember the name. However, you can see I managed to find my chocolate fix!

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Yum. Yum. Yum.

That smile can't be from anything but chocolate. It's an addiction, for sure.

That smile can’t be from anything but chocolate. It’s an addiction, for sure.

I brought my own GF cone and they filled it with peach and strawberry gelato from a new container!

I brought my own GF cone and they filled it with peach and strawberry gelato from a new container!

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In Florence, I enjoyed some Brianna exploration time, as Daniel and his family decided to stay back at the most gorgeous hotel I believe I’ve ever stayed in. Late afternoon, we’d go out to the small garden, through an archway of growing grapes, to sit and have a glass of champagne with fresh strawberries. Definitely an experience I will never forget, and likely not have again at all, or at least for a very, very long time. However, during the day, I decided to take a paper map, lots of emergency snacks, and spend 7 hours all over downtown Florence, before I eventually met up with the family at a restaurant that night [another name that escapes me, I’m so sorry!] I managed to live on the occasional gelato stop all day (NOTE: Not all gelato is gluten free. Be sure you ask “senza glutine?!” ) And I even found a totally gluten free chocolate shop [can you say Brianna heaven?]. All the walking, and gallery touring, and stair climbing meant very little insulin for the day so the shots reprieve was obviously welcome. There are some photos below of my different stops and at the hotel, but an important note about Florence and Italy in general: many, many, many places have gluten free and they get it. So walking around downtown meant just stopping in a couple storefronts before I’d find myself with some GF pizza, or a simple salad if I so chose with the 90+ degree weather.

Learning map skills the day before my solo venture!

Learning map skills the day before my solo venture!

After the hundreds of stairs up "Il Duomo!"

After the hundreds of stairs up “Il Duomo!”

One of many GF pizzas I found along my way !

One of many GF pizzas I found along my way !

Having a water and pretzels-from-my-purse break in the cafe on top of the Uffizi!

Having a water and pretzels-from-my-purse break in the cafe on top of the Uffizi!

The gluten free chocolate shop! Of course, I had to bring the family back there when we'd finished dinner.

The gluten free chocolate shop! Of course, I had to bring the family back there when we’d finished dinner.

Lastly, I want to mention a special find in Prague. While there are several gluten free options, Prague has a 100% gluten free restaurant called Na Zlaté křižovatce  Whether I’m in America or in Europe, a 100% gluten free restaurant is an absolute find! We were so thrilled, and much like the restaurant in Milan, it was time for a tasting dinner. I’d have to say, generally speaking, eating my way through Europe gluten free allowed me to try many varieties, and come to love all varieties, of something not easy found in the US gluten free—gnocchi. Yum.

Sidebar: I did manage to find a gluten free gnocchi at Whole Foods- not labeled particularly as such but ingredients are entirely GF and so easy to make—here’s the site: Whole Foods GF Gnocchi

Anyhow, I hope I’ve done some of my overwhelming experience in Europe justice, at least in the gluten free food department. I would go into much greater detail, but obviously this is getting quite lengthy. So please, do let me know if you want more particularly detail on a certain location and I’d be more than happy to share tips and tricks!

Take it easy but take it,

Brianna

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