Dusty bread and dreaming of cronuts. Eleanor Ross shares her first-hand experience of this autoimmune disorder with Homemade
You’re so bang on trend right now
When every glossy haired celebrity who ever lived is suddenly waxing lyrical in interviews about the joys of wheat-free pasta and bread-free bread, you know that you and your autoimmune disorder is officially “in”. For the first time since forever, you are suddenly spearheading the zeitgeist, riding into town on your gluten-free horse! Feels good, doesn’t it? Not as good as bread tastes, maybe.
… but gluten-free does not guarantee Gywneth Paltrow abs
Unfortunately, quite a few delicious things are gluten-free. Namely the three CHs: chips, cheese and chocolate. This can make it more challenging to have abs like Gwyneth Paltrow, as there's only one way to make sad, dry pasta taste good. You've got it: mountains of parmesan. Then, of course, you might round it all off with a bar of Dairy Milk to take the edge off a long day.
People will talk about you not eating cake like you're a hero
We mean not the kind of hero comic books are based on, because as far as we know there aren't any coeliac superheroes; just hacked-off ones. Being complimented on your willpower for something you never wanted to give up in the first place is not fair. “I just couldn’t give up toast or pizza," they say. But if pizza to you is basically just slices and slices of cheese-topped poison, then you’d probably refrain from eating it, too.
86% of your income goes on bread
At £3.30 per loaf, the term 'bread and butter economy' no longer applies to you. When you can't eat cheap, gluten-filled bread, you have to look towards weird, arty grains like millet and sorghum to provide you with life’s pleasures. And believe us, no pleasure involving sorghum is worth £3.30.
The other 14% of your income will be spent on gluten-free brownies
Which are excellent. See: lack of Gywneth abs.
And most gluten-free bread tastes like dust and sadness
See above. Gluten is the va-va voom of baked goods. Anything lacking such “voom” can easily crumble and fall. Unless you start making your own delicious bread, eating a gluten-free sarnie will always be a high jeopardy scenario often involving an entire lap full of crumbs.
You are also not on a diet
One of the tragedies of being so accidentally plugged into the 'it crowd' is that everyone thinks you're just trying out some funky new food fad or being deliberately difficult. Waiters sigh audibly when you ask what's gluten-free, when if they so much as fry a chip in a pan that's seen a bread crumb you could be laid out for days. It's not a food intolerance, it's an autoimmune disease.
No, eating gluten won’t make you blow up. But please Lord, don't ask what it will do unless you want a very detailed and unpleasant discussion of my 2am bathroom activity. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease five years ago after decades of pain, and I've had to watch my oat, bread, pasta, and cake intake ever since.
Food trends fill you with longing
So far nobody has replicated a gluten-free cronut (or even a croissant) that successfully. So as fellow foodies stand in front of patisserie windows cooing about crème-pat, spare a thought for the hungry coeliac who is thinking – nay, pleading – that there might be a gluten-free option inside that isn’t made of ground almonds. Almonds make up 99% of gluten-free goods (some savoury) and sadly make everything taste like marzipan. So you’re pretty screwed if you don’t dig marzipan.