Is Gluten Free the new vegetarian?

hippy.jpgHere's a topic I hear discussed a lot and wanted to pose the question. Is gluten free the new vegetariain?  Being a vegetarian 15 years ago was something of an oddity.  I remember being a vegetarian whilst living in Paris and being treated like an alien just landing from Mars. My choice of food was very limited, so limited in fact that I caved in after a few weeks.  One of the funniest stories I've heard, was someone who went to a restaurant and having declared herself a vegetarian was served a plate of very thinly sliced meat.  The options on menus  in the UK were pretty terrible too.  A baked potato, a rubbery omlette, a dismal salad sprinkled with cold sweetcorn, you get the picture.  Well this is where I see gluten free at the moment.  Many restaurants don't have any idea of what it means, and they tend to try and hide behind their ignorance.  When a gluten free option is available it usually consists of a soggy baked potato, a rubbery omlette and a dismal salad sprinkled with cold sweetcorn, no dressing.  Do you see what I'm getting at?  But recently I am seeing a few restaurants being more adventurous and having a greater understanding of what gluten free means.  They can use this to showcase their culinary skills without compromising on texture, flavour or presentation and they can see some benefit in integrating gluten free food into their menus, so that it is an option for everyone, not just the gf person in the corner.  Coeliac UK have been sponsoring The Gluten Free Chef Competition  which has now closed, but I am eagerly awaiting the results.  It would be fantastic to see really tasty and wholesome gluten free food on menus all across Britain.  Look forward to hearing your comments. 

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