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Does Gluten-Free Have to Mean Glutton-Free?

When I first launched GlutenFreeTravelSite.com 21 months ago, I had a friend say to me, "Karen, my wife and I sort of like glutton when we travel." He seemed perplexed that I'd be advocating restraint with food and drink when traveling. After trying to subdue my laughter, I explained to him that "gluten" was something different than "glutton." (Keep in mind, this was almost two years ago when the terms "gluten" and "gluten-free" weren't quite the household terms they are in most places today!) But my husband and I still roll with laughter every time we remember that comment! 

So I thought I'd address the issue, because it does bring up an interesting question...Does gluten-free have to mean glutton-free? Being someone who adores food (and the occasional glass or two of wine!), I'm happy to say NO! People on gluten-free diets can (and do!) indulge on decadent food. Of course, the true definition of "glutton" is someone who eats excessively or voraciously. In today's food-obsessed society where huge portions are the norm, it's probably safe to say most of us are gluttons at least several times a week. I'm not necessarily advocating eating excessively, but what does make me happy (or, rather, happy on behalf of my gluten-free son) is that adopting a gluten-free diet due to Celiac or other reasons does NOT have to mean a life of denial. In fact, when it comes to eating gluten-free, there are more delicious choices than ever. Just look at the range of products now offered at even the most "mainstream" of grocery stores, not to mention the incredible selection at places like Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Wegman's and all those great independent markets and bakeries around the country (check out Mr. Ritts). There are now artisan breads, cookies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, cake mixes, brownie mixes, scones, and every other "treat" imaginable (and they no longer taste like cardboard!). 

Then consider the number of restaurants offering mouth-watering gluten-free menus. If indulging is what you want to do, you can splurge on everything from a steak to ribs to an overflowing bowl of delicious gluten-free pasta, just like your friends. But the true "gluttony" can be seen with the range of gluten-free desserts appearing on those gluten-free menus. The names alone show restraint is not the goal here: examples include Outback's "Thunder from Down Under" (a pecan brownie piled high with vanilla ice cream, warm chocolate sauce, and whipped cream), Bonefish's macadamia nut brownie and creme brulee, Carrabbas' "John Cole" (vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and roasted cinnamon rum pecans), Not Your Average Joe's Butterscotch Pudding, P.F. Chang's Flourless Chocolate Dome, and Picazzo's "Ooey-Gooey, Yummy-In-The-Tummy Double Chocolate Brownie" topped with vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with chocolate..."so big it comes with a handle." Now if THAT'S not fit for a glutton, I don't know what is!! Share YOUR gluttonous tales of the best gluten-free food you've enjoyed by submitting a review to GlutenFreeTravelSite.com!

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