Category Archives: Food

Senza glutine: The Magic Phrase

It’s three am and I can’t fall asleep for some reason. It’s partly jetlag but it’s also because I’m so excited for my next restaurant meal! I think I’ve found a little phrase that is going to make eating in Italy easier for me. (Note, I have tested negative for celiac disease but most foods with gluten give me all sorts of tummy issues. My goals for this trip are to avoid gluten-brain, food babies, and other tummy discomfort when possible.)

Months ago, I put Pimsleur Italian I mp3s on my computer with the intent of learning some basic Italian. After my weekly Chinese lessons started, those plans flew out the window.  Luckily however, one of the key phrases I did pick up included “senza glutine.” I’m not sure if it’s spelled correctly, but that’s how I remembered the pronunciation and I can proudly say that every Italian I’ve spoken to understands exactly what it means!

Our first meal in Italy was at La Scaletta (close to the church for St. Maddelena on via Della Maddalena 46/49). In addition to our spaghetti, we had GF bruschetta. It was so good that Joshua ate the tomato even after all the bread was finished.

Below are our spaghetti, bacon, egg, and parmesan cheese entrees. Can you tell which one is gluten-free?

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The first one!

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Our first gelato was at Grom. We got espresso and pistachio. My friend was right, – Italian gelato is not as sweet as gelato in the US, but the flavors are so much more complex. My husband said that eating the pistachio flavor left him feeling like he had actually eaten a handful of pistachios. The best part is that I didn’t have any negative reaction to it – no tummy pains like ice cream. I guess I will try every Grom flavor! I’m not going to try any non-Grom gelato because I read on chowhound that other brands sometimes put wheat-based stuff in their gelato. I havent verified that, but Grom guarantees that their gelato is gluten-free.

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Some gluten-free goodies at Delspar market.

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Some additional travel notes in order…

Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam was crazy. To be more specific, the security check point people were nuts. In addition to electronic devices, we had to remove every headset and charger. And they went through each person’s bag manually before putting it through the x-ray to make sure that we didn’t forget anything. Other than the crazy and long check point, there were lots of cute dutch things like tons of chocolate and even a cheese bar. We also saw teacups at this one cafeteria place, Wasabi flavored cheese, and of course joshua picked up the insulated glass cups.

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We are using AirBNB and the apartment we are staying in is on the oldest street in Rome according to everyone in the neighborhood.  Our place is actually a historical preservation site or something and there’s even a glass panel in the floor where you can see some old artifacts. It’s very close to La Travestere, great restaurants, and very convenient to all the sites.

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We were really beat after the sleepless plane ride. Some photos from our evening walk below.

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St. Maria Maddelena

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First leg – No sleep until Rome!

The fist of our two-leg flight will be landing shortly. Per usual, I was unable to sleep; instead, I read Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout, watched 500 Days of Summer, and played about an hour’s worth of Frozen Bubble. About three-quarters of the way to Amsterdam, I finally asked for some sheets and pillows. Holy smokes I never realized how cold it can be on an airplane – my thighs were freezing!

We are flying KLM for this leg. We had some small hiccups in the beginning includling a late departure. Dear husband got an unexpected upgrade to his seat that resulted in more leg room but also meant that we were separated by 30 rows. The service on this airline is pretty good though and I was extremely surprised by my gluten free dinner. The breakfast is nothing to write home about (a plain rice cake, apple sauce, and OJ), but the dinner was the best I’ve ever had on a flight. My econony dinner was leagues better than any of those times I was lucky enough to fly business class! They served a butter sauce over chicken breast, wild rice and broccoli. It also came with a GF dinner roll, a melon plate, and a salad with no dressing. I couldnt get a good photo of the meal because the lights were too dim for my tablet camera,  but I saved the dinner roll for breakfast so I could at least one proper picture. After scarfing it down this “morning” — it’s 1246 am EST — I can happily attest that the GF food was delish and my tummy is happy!

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PS Wonder what Domo is doing at the doggie place. Dear husband said he’s probably jumping in the kiddie pool and doing back flips.  We spent the day wondering if Domo’s full name should be Domo Bucko Nation Station Welsh.

Surprise cupcakes!

Got a phone call 30 minutes ago for a Georgetown Cupcake delivery…. driver said it was from “my boyfriend.” Husband had no clue who it was from. Driver just dropped off a DOZEN of their amazing gluten-free cupcakes. (I’m not the only one who thinks the gluten free ones taste just as good as, if not better than GC’s other chocolate cupcake offerings!)

The delivery came with a sweet note about enjoying some sweetness during the cold winter days. What a wonderful surprise! I think I know who the mystery person is – I’ll have to wait until they wake up to thank them!

How very very sweet!