Gluten-Free Global Cuisines

Every couple months, we work with Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us to bring you a new gluten free itinerary. We try to offer something for every type of traveler: ever-popular destinations like Italy...newer "hot spots" like Cuba...once-in-a-lifetime experiences like The Galapagos...and "up-and-coming" destinations that have been gaining favor. Chile is one of those destinations. Due to the stable nature of its government, its unique history, and its gorgeous topography sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountains, Chile is a destination you'll want to consider. And because its seasons are opposite ours in the northern hemisphere, it's an especially great place to visit during October through April, when average temperatures in Chile are in the 60s. Near-perfect weather, in my opinion! Chile offers incredible scenery and natural beauty. You'll fall in love with its awe-inspiring topography of forests, mountains, beaches, lakes, volcanoes, fjords, canals, and islands. Plus, its history -- dating from the native Incans to the Spanish Colonial period to a thriving modern country -- offers a fascinating blend of cultures. Increasingly recognized for its vineyards, Chile is also the perfect destination for oenophiles who enjoy tours and tastings at scenic wineries. For travelers with safety top-of-mind,... Read more →


Last week we had the good fortune to dine at Rasika, a popular restaurant in the "Penn Quarter" area of Washington, DC...just blocks from the Verizon Center, where we were going to see an NHL hockey game with our hockey-playing sons. We'd heard a lot about the restaurant -- and the buzz was that it was very gluten-free friendly. Not surprising, since most Indian restaurants don't use many gluten-containing ingredients in their preparations. It's hard to get a table here...most people have to make reservations well in advance. However, when I called (rather last minute) to inquire about getting a table, I was told that they keep the tables across from the bar open for walk-ins. How nice...I wish more places would do this. Otherwise, it can take weeks to get reservations at popular spots like Rasika. Although they don't have any information about gluten free options on their website, they assured me when I called that almost every item on the menu is gluten free, with a few exceptions. When we arrived (early) and secured a table, our server was most helpful and friendly. He pointed out the few items that would be off-limits due to gluten. This really... Read more →


You probably remember my Blog post detailing my family's trip to Italy this past summer. It was so fantastic, from a gluten free dining perspective, that I wrote a book about it (Gluten-Free in ITALY : Your Worry-Free and Gluten-Free Travel Guide to Italy), available on Amazon. But I'm often asked...of all the places we dined in Rome, Florence, and Venice, which was our favorite spot? Who had the best (and safest) gluten free offerings? In Rome, at least, I'd have to say it was a small chain of restaurants known as Mama Eat and Mama Frites. It was pure serendipity that we ended up eating at these two restaurants while in Rome. I'd heard about both restaurants and had included them on our list of places to potentially try while in Rome. However, I wasn't sure if it would work out, based on where we planned to be sightseeing each day. As luck would have it, after touring the Vatican for several hours one morning, a nearby gluten-free friendly restaurant where we'd planned to have lunch closed for renovation. We were starving, but we decided to continue with our day's plans and head south to Trastevere, an ancient and... Read more →


Have you dreamed of being able to enjoy authentic Neapolitan style pizza? Homemade gluten-free pasta with almost any sauce you can imagine? Gluten-free Nutella crepes? Freshly made gelato in a variety of gluten-free flavors? No, I'm not trying to torture you...but rather give you hope. These things do exist, and if you've ever longed to go to Italy, you can now entertain that thought...without worrying about how you'll stay gluten-free. I'm thrilled to announce the publication of my second e-book, Gluten-Free in ITALY: Your Worry-Free & Gluten-Free Guide to Italy. Like my first e-book, Gluten-Free in LONDON, this guide to ITALY provides you with everything you need for a successful (and safely gluten-free) trip: restaurant recommendations, advice on accommodations, tips for getting around each city (and between cities), the scoop on the best tours and excursions, and suggestions for saving money. You can literally use the book as a day-by-day guide to the cities our family just visited in late June/early July: Rome, Florence, and Venice. Our 12-day journey was a dream come true. We had enough time in each city so that we didn't feel rushed (although you never really have enough time to see all the amazing sites... Read more →


Today, we share another guest post from an experienced world traveler...this time it's Celiac blogger Gail from 50 Beds and Counting, a blog in which she discusses transitioning to retirement, travel adventures, learning how to build an active retirement life, and living with Celiac as well as heart disease. She shares her latest adventure, a 5-week trip beginning in Hong Kong and traveling to Sydney, Australia aboard the Celebrity Millennium cruise ship. When I was diagnosed with Celiac more than eight years ago, I was concerned how this illness would impact traveling. I worried my travel dreams would be curtailed by my fear of finding healthy, safe food away from home. As it turned out, mostly I didn't need to worry. When I retired in 2014 (PhD clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and educator), my initial plan was to ramp up my travel schedule -- and I did. My husband and I have enjoyed international and domestic cycling trips, hiking tours, regular old walking around and sightseeing vacations, and cruises to far flung locales like Norway, Iceland, New Zealand, South America and more. Many of these experiences I've chronicled in my blog 50 Beds and Counting. One of the many advantages... Read more →


In this post, we welcome Katherine Tolley, a Celiac currently living in Barcelona, Spain... In the fall of 2013, after a year of reoccurring mononucleosis, an aggressive case of pneumonia, and a constant, unexplained fever and feeling of vertigo, I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. I was somewhere between my junior and senior year of college, living at home, and doing everything possible to help heal my body – especially my digestive system. A semester abroad studying the arts was a requirement for my design degree, and I was terrified after my diagnosis to even leave the house for fear of cross-contaminated food and more illnesses. I had been planning on studying in Barcelona, Spain, but as the time drew nearer and I read more about their cuisine (Tapas! Fried calamari! Churros! Toasted bread rubbed with fresh tomatoes and olive oil!), I become increasingly nervous. After months of research and printing gluten-free dining cards in various foreign languages, I packed my suitcase full of gluten-free oatmeal packets and set off for the unknown. And to my never-ending delight, what I found across the Atlantic was a country that understood my needs far better than almost every place I had been... Read more →


Today, we are featuring a guest post from Zoë, who is currently living in Tel Aviv. She found out about five years ago that she is allergic to wheat, soy, and nuts (what she considers the worst combination of allergies for Israel!). Zoë started the Gluten Free Tel Aviv website when she realized that there was a big hole that needed to be filled. Although there are many Hebrew resources for the gluten free, information in English is much more difficult to find! So she created Gluten Free Tel Aviv to be the English language resource and community for travelers and residents alike. Here, she shares a very thorough list of Israeli specialties that are typically gluten free, along with some of her favorite dining spots where you can find them. Hello from Tel Aviv, Israel! I moved here only a few months ago and was overwhelmed with the whole new ALPHABET I had to learn! When I lived in Germany last year, at least it was easy to recognize “Gluten Frei” on the packaging, while here I had to memorize ללא גלוטן. To make things even more challenging, there are also two types of font here (kind of like... Read more →


Today we welcome Valerie Bowden as our guest blogger. Valerie has traveled extensively to Ethiopia and experienced the creative ways they use teff, Ethiopia's indigenous grain, which just happens to be gluten free -- and loaded with nutrition! She recently launched Eat Dirkosh, a teff-based snack chip company. She'll share some advice on eating Ethiopian food anywhere, including tips for gluten free diners...and she even shares some restaurant recommendations for dining in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa. Almost everyone has dreamed of going on an African vacation filled of safari animals, exotic cultures, and beautiful people. While it may seem overwhelming deciding which country to visit on the continent, one of the best ones to choose is Ethiopia. This beautiful and very safe East African country is known for its hospitable locals, gorgeous landscapes, and its delicious coffee. Often referred to as “The Land of 13 Months of Sunshine,” Ethiopia boasts more than just great weather though. It's also a gluten-free paradise. Teff Grain Ethiopia's gluten-free pride and joy is teff grain, which is native only to Ethiopia and its neighbor, Eritrea. While teff is the tiniest grain in the world, it's a nutritional powerhouse. It boasts an impressive amount of... Read more →


Whenever our family dines at our local Chinese restaurant, we take along a bottle of San-J's gluten free, low-sodium Tamari Sauce. The chef is happy to use it and knows to make our order in a clean wok using the tamari as a substitution for traditional soy sauce. The taste is indistinguishable. (The cool thing is that San-J also sells individual-sized travel packets of their gluten free tamari, which is perfect when you don't want to -- or can't -- haul your own bottle of tamari around. A while back, San-J also came out with a full line of gluten free cooking sauces that make creating an Asian-inspired meal at home a breeze. I've used their Orange Sauce and Thai Peanut Sauce before, both as a dressing/marinade for chicken -- with great results. Last night, I decided to use their Mongolian Sauce to make Mongolian Beef, which I figured would be a hit with my family. The "recipe," if you even want to call it that, is right on the back of the bottle of San-J Mongolian Sauce. All told, I used 7 ingredients to make dinner: Asian stir-fry oil, corn starch, beef pre-cut for stir fry, the Mongolian sauce,... Read more →


Like many other destinations where gluten free awareness is limited, India has been challenging for gluten free travelers. But now, one of our favorite travel agents, Ellen Morse of Gluten Free Travel-Us, has worked with a very reputable company in India, to develop an itinerary for travel to northern India. It includes all the must-see attractions of this diverse country, and best of all, the hotels where you'll stay and dine have been carefully vetted. Ellen was diagnosed with Celiac as a toddler and has been gluten free for many decades…long before "gluten free" was a household term. And she has also spent decades working as a travel agent. As awareness of Celiac Disease and gluten free diets has spread across the globe, she has been thrilled to merge her two areas of expertise and work with high quality travel partners to offer gluten free itineraries to fellow Celiacs. In India, Ellen works with a company called Travel Scope India to design the itineraries and vet the hotels. Ellen does not advocate dining at typical restaurants while traveling in India. That is why she and Travel Scope India have spent considerable time vetting the chefs at luxury hotels where her... Read more →


I wanted to share this infographic from Goodness Direct, a website based in the U.K. It provides tips for dining gluten free in many countries. You'll learn key phrases that have been translated into the native language (print the infographic and cut out the phrases to keep in your wallet), top gluten free brands in each country, and the best markets for finding a wide assortment of gluten free foods. Embedded from GoodnessDirect Blog Read more →


If you're gluten free, it's hard to beat the sheer thrill of discovering gluten-free friendly destinations. It's absolute heaven to discover a destination where you can dine on gourmet gluten-free specialties for every meal without worry. If it's in Tuscany, Italy, it's even better…. Some of you may recall the week-long gluten-free culinary events hosted by Jovial Foods (maker of divine gluten-free pasta and sauces) at a historic 18th century Tuscan villa. They hold these events once or twice a year -- Fall and late Spring -- and every time I write about it, it's pure torture. That's because attending one of these unique gluten-free culinary weeks is on my own personal Bucket List. Unfortunately, however, these gluten-free getaways are typically scheduled during times of the year when our kids are in school. But someday, perhaps…. If you're lucky enough to have the flexibility to travel in October, a particularly beautiful month in Italy, you'll want to consider treating yourself to this special vacation. And, in fact, you may not need to treat yourself…Jovial Foods may just treat you to a complimentary visit. Between now and June 30, 2015, you can enter their drawing for a free week (airfare and... Read more →