Is a gluten free three course meal so hard to provide

Recently I revisited a pub for Sunday lunch, where previously I had the most fantastic gluten free lunch, despite the pub being really busy on a sunny autumn afternoon. A starter, main and dessert were provided and all were delicious. So fast forward and we were in the area again, so we decided to eat at the same pub. Sadly the second experience was not as good as the first.

The pub in question had a week’s notice that I was a coeliac and I would require a gluten free meal. The response from the person who took the booking was chirpy and confirmed that yes I could be catered for.

Gluten free roast beef for Sunday lunch
Gluten free roast beef for Sunday lunch

However, when we arrived and made ourselves known, it wasn’t as good an offering as I first thought. I was told that she was sure all the Yorkshire puddings were made with a gluten free flour, but would I like her to check – errrrr yes please! Sadly upon checking, they had run out of gluten free flour that week so the Yorkies weren’t gluten free (they were aware that a coeliac was coming to eat on Sunday, so you would have thought that they would have ensured that they had a stock of gluten free flour?). No problem – I’ll have the roast without the Yorkies and can you make sure the gravy is gluten free. Of course, when my lunch was served there was a huge, gluten containing Yorkshire pudding on top of my beef. So I returned the meal and she offered to replace the plate. I did emphasise that I would need a completely fresh serving as the beef would be contaminated. That was sorted quickly and efficiently, so fair play to them, but what if I had ordered something else that required cooking fresh again? Either my hubby’s food would of gone cold or else we would have both ended up effectively eating alone. So, obviously my gluten free order wasn’t communicated properly to the kitchen.

Anyway the food was lovely, so onto dessert. We enquired and to what on the dessert menu was gluten free. The lovely waitress checked with the chef and he stated nothing – although he could do a cheese board for me, without obviously the crackers. That would be just cheese then?

Now I’m sorry, but if you have been given a whole week’s notice and confirmed that you can cater for a coeliac, then I’m really not sure that providing a starter without the bread or only cheese for dessert is acceptable really. Having said that the food I did have was very good, but I won’t be returning because if you say you can provide a gluten free lunch, then you should. 🙁

On the fourth day of a gluten free Christmas …chicken gravy

The fourth day of Christmas...gluten free gravy

For day four of our 12 days of Christmas, we taste tested the supermarket chains’ offering of gluten free gravy. Unfortunately, gravy used to be one of the main things that was left out of a meal when I ate out – I have had many a boring, dry meal with plain meat and veg. A lot of places now do provide a gluten free gravy to complement a roast dinner, but generally it’s beef gravy that is offered and obviously you can’t have beef gravy with turkey….or so both myself and my son believe!

Gluten free gravy is relatively easy to make, but sometimes for one coeliac, you don’t want to go to the effort of thickening meat juices and stock with cornflour to make a special gravy, so to make it easier for you, we decided to taste test the commercially available gravies that can just be heated and served.

All the products are reviewed independently and the commentary is our own.

Click the video below to see the results of our taste testing.

On the first day of a gluten free Christmas …mince pies

The first day of a gluten free Christmas

Christmas is a time of year when we all want to feel a little bit special and indulge when we eat out. Frequently, when eating out over Christmas, I have been left with a very basic meal and yet Christmas food is all about the trimmings. Most major retailers now provide a raft of gluten free Christmas food, in fact this year a few supermarkets have really upped their game! We decided to create a ‘shopping list’ of gluten free Christmas products that are readily available nationally. Caterers can then easily source these products and add them to their Christmas menus to create a meal for us that is just as special as ‘normal’ Christmas meals.

The first day is all about mince pies. So, whether you want to provide gluten free mince pies for your diners to have with coffee or mulled wine, or whether you want to serve them as a dessert, play the video below to see which mince pies came out the best in terms of taste and texture.

All the products have been tested by us and commentary is completely independent. Some products may not have been available at the time of our testing and thus may not be included, but we have tried to provide a full range of food items including mince pies, stuffing, Christmas puddings, bread and so on, basically the generic mainstays of a Christmas meal.

Each product taste testing will be released daily over the next two weeks via the website, so please drop by and read the blogs and play the videos.