Hello from Rome!
My mom and I are currently vacationing in Italy – we’ve spent the last few days in Rome, and will be spending the next week doing yoga in the Italian countryside. Several people asked me how I would survive as a gluten-freebie in the land of pizza and pasta, but it’s been fairly easy. Celiac disease awareness is excellent here, as most children are tested at a young age. And in Rome, most of the people speak moderate to very good English*, so I’ve felt quite confident tucking in to the food in front of me.
I printed a few gluten free cards in Italian (find it here) before we left home to give to waiters in restaurants. They’ve all looked at it and pulled a face, but assured me that I can eat there, generally salad. Yesterday, at a restaurant in the Villa Borghese, we split caprese salad and proschuitto and melon. And they brought me a gluten free roll with my food – good, too, with a soft and doughy center.
My mom booked us a tour for our first day here, knowing that we would be jet lagged and lost in a new city. The tour took us out to a family owned Italian restaurant in the countryside, where they raised their own sheeps and goats. I had pollo con peperoni – chicken with bell pepper, cooked in a tomato sauce/chicken broth hybrid.
And tonight, we had our best meal since we’ve been here (so far, anyway!). A google search led me to this review of Crispi 19. The menu noted that special dishes were available for vegetarians and Celiacs (except, they spelled it the British way “Coeliac“). They had a number of different shapes of gluten free pasta available, but since I hadn’t eaten a vegetable in several days (I think I’m subsisting mostly on nuts and eggs. And vino) I had a garden salad, then sliced seared tuna “breaded” with pistachios, broccoli flan, and more sautéed veggies in green pea sauce.
Though it sounds strange, the broccoli flan may have been my favorite part of the meal … Scratch that, the tuna was so delicious … Oh, but then we had dessert. I don’t remember the names of everything on my plate, but there was a cardamom coffee flavored cream puff thing with caramel iced apples, and a pistachio ice cream thing topped with orange meringue.
All right, those are the memorable meals of my trip so far. I’m having a blast photographing the sites and some of the artwork we’ve seen, and I’ve decided to create a page for my Italy photos. I probably won’t be able to update it every day, but promise I will as time allows. You can find that page here.
*for the record, I speak almost no Italian, but have gotten pretty far on please, thank you, hello. Along the way I’ve learned wheat (farina) and barley (orzo). I haven’t learned the word for rye yet, but I’ve still got time 🙂