I’m taking a sabbatical year to travel the world with my best friend. She’s coeliac and I don’t want to go anywhere where she won’t enjoy the trip because of limited food choices. Which destinations are difficult and which are the best choices if you need gluten free food? Janice, Gosport
You shouldn’t have a problem in much of Scandinavia. The bigger German and Austrian cities also offer many choices for those who can’t eat gluten – I even found a gluten-free brewery in Vienna!
Holland, Spain, Greece and the Czech Republic can be trickier. Wheat is a staple in Russian diets and the condition is not widely known, so that can be an issue. Surprisingly Italy, known for pasta and pizzas, offers many coeliac options. 1 in 250 Italians suffer from the condition and restaurants cater for them. Ireland is similar.
In the USA and Canada, the hipper ‘foodie’ cities offer plenty of interesting menu options. New York, Portland in Oregon, Los Angeles, Denver and Houston are home to many gluten-free restaurants. Australian cities and most sizeable New Zealand towns also cater for coeliacs. In Mexico, restaurants often use corn tortillas. Just check to be certain.
But in the Caribbean you should consider staying at one of the big resort chains, as they cater for most special dietary needs. Also in Asian, if the country has a rice-based diet, like Japan or China, be careful. You can get gluten free soy, but they don’t offer it widely.
In Southern India, the fish-based cuisine of Kerala features little wheat. And Ethiopians use teff, a gluten-free grain instead of wheat.
There’s a specialist gluten free travel agent- glutenfreetravel.com.au. You can buy their showcards, which you can use to explain your dietary needs in different languages. The coeliac.org.uk website also offers an overview of what you can expect in the most popular countries.