What if I told you that nestled in amongst the alluring smell of croissants and fresh bread, teasing you from every corner of Paris, there is a patisserie with a mouthwatering selection of gluten-free cakes, pastries, freshly baked breads, macaroons and biscuits? And then what if I said that you can be safe in the knowledge every baked good is safe for coeliacs? You would probably think you were dreaming.
So I’m guessing you can imagine my excitement when I found Helmut Newcake on Rue Bechat in Paris. The minute I stepped in I wanted to eat it all and quick before going back out into the gluten-y world and being deprived of such delicacies!
Helmut Newcake also offer lunch during the day. Usually there is a vegetarian option and a meat dish but when I went there was just meat or fish so I settled for tea and an eclair, which were delicious, as well as buying a loaf of freshly baked bread to take back to the appartment. The great thing about this bread is it holds together perfectly to make sandwiches or cut slices, something which is hard to find with gluten free bread that can often be crumbly and fall to pieces.
So, next my vegetarian friend and I searched for somewhere to eat some lunch. And hey presto, imagine our delight to find that on the same road there is a gorgeous little organic café serving gluten-free veggie soup and what’s more, gluten free buckwheat cake! I was especially impressed because the woman serving me knew all about cross-contamination and not using the same utensils for the gluten free cake, I hadn’t even mentioned the word coeliac and she was already sure to be cautious. It really makes all the difference to eating out. Some days just get better and better!
The soup was only 3 euros (WOW!) and was delicious, a warm mix of ginger, lentils, carrots and potatoes.
So, what did I do for food when we weren’t feasting on gluten free pastries and yummy soups?
As usual with travelling, I stocked up on food for breakfast and got some basics like vegetables and rice to make dinners with. In Paris there is some great organic shops “bio” which all have a really good range of gluten free foods, including cereals, muesli, bread, snacks and sweet treats. Also, surprisingly lot’s of supermarkets had a gluten free section or at least some rice cakes. And with fresh fruit and veg, nuts, or rice cakes with your favourite spread, ya can’t really go wrong! Let’s get exploring.
And now I am sitting with my packed gluten free sandwich waiting for my flight to La Réunion. Watch this space and also, never feel held back by being gluten-free, there’s a whole world out there waiting for us to discover it! (More a note to myself than anything)