With St Patrick’s Day looming, I’ve been thinking a lot in the last week about Guiness. I’ve always loved beer and I’ve particularly fancied Guiness since moving to the UK. Nothing quite beats a perfectly poured Guiness out of a freshly cleaned beer line. With the full body and the glorious, smooth, pure white head – how can you go wrong? Although, now that I am aware of the fact I am gluten intolerant I can’t settle this particular craving and I am about to experience my first St Patrick’s Day sans Guiness. Oh woe is me! (Hello first world problems!)
But it got me thinking about a few of the other types of food or drink that I’ve mourned since entering a gluten-less world. While on the whole I feel amazing and am fairly content with my lot in my food life there are a couple of things that I really do miss.
Guiness is obviously one, however I would broaden that to the entire beer category. I’ve always liked beer, having had a particular taste for Cooper’s Pale Ale in Australia and having developed a taste for real ale here in the UK. This is one thing I really am loathe to lose from my world. I miss it in a BIG way. Not only
do did I enjoy drinking it, and trying all the different flavours, it is also one of those really simple, easy things to order at a pub. I would love to just say ‘Oh I’ll just have a beer’ rather than walking in and having to think about what I want to drink, basically only now able to choose between vodka and wine and then having to read, and subsequently cringe at, the wine list trying to choose the right wine for my taste at the right price that will match the food I may later want to eat.
Maltesers are another. Previously my all time favourite treat, particularly for when watching a movie. I know I can eat loads of other chocolates but Maltesers have always been a firm favourite and something I will mourn the loss of for a long time to come.
Ben and Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream. Need I say more? Again, there are other B&J ice cream flavours I can have but cookie dough was my all-time favourite and another thing I am particularly sad to have lost. I also love the Connoisseur Cookies and Cream flavour that I had in Aus and I am pretty sad to know I’m never going to taste that again.
Croissants. I just LOVE pastries of any kind and I really do miss having these as an option. Not something I would normally have had often but definitely as a treat and definitely as an ‘on the go’ breakfast from a cafe.
Lasagne. You can indeed get gluten free pasta but I am yet to find GF lasagne sheets so this is another loss that I am sad about. I loved lasagne and I’ve also got it on good authority that the darling hubs loves my recipe and is missing it quite a lot.
Tim Tams. Again, I know there are other chocolates I can have, but Tim Tams have always been a firm favourite of mine that I sorely miss.
Burgers. Oh my god I love a good burger, especially when we’re dining on pub fare and although one can order it sans bread, it’s not quite the same as sinking your teeth into a juicy pub burger is it? No. I am going to be pretty upset the next time I’m home for one of Dad’s famous BBQs as well… again, it’s not quite the same with GF bread. Wahhh.
Vegemite on toast. Now this, is a BIG one. Not only did I have to give up bread which was a pretty hard thing to do considering how much of it I used to eat, but I also had to give up my beloved Vegemite. I am GUTTED about this. It has always been a staple in my kitchen and something I used to eat nearly every day. Hubs and I have had many a debate about whether Vegemite is better than Marmite or vice versa and I’ve always backed the Aussie in this case. But do you want to hear the real joke? Marmite doesn’t have gluten in but Vegemite does. I don’t think I’ll ever get over this one.
Yorkshire Puddings. I have seen a few recipes for GF yorkies online but seeing as I never managed to master the normal yorkies I can’t seem to find much comfort in this. Also, it’s nice to go to have a Sunday roast at a pub and it’s this experience that sees me mourning the loss of the yorkie. I feel a little ripped off – it wasn’t a food I really knew about nor liked before coming to the UK and now, after only 4 years I am not able to have them. I wish I’d never gone there.
There are a few other things that I am pretty sad to have lost. Overall though, I realise that all of the things I’ve mentioned are things that aren’t good for you and equally things I didn’t eat THAT much of (except of course the Vegemite, the beer and the ice cream).
And I have to say, that as much as it pains me to lose those things, I am glad that I finally know what was wrong with me and have been able to move forward, eat better and eventually feel human again. While I’ve lost quite a lot of food items, I’ve also gained a few that I either never had much of or didn’t know about at all. Things like quinoa (now one of my favourite grains due to it’s versatility), polenta, and many, many delicious recipes made from nut flours or GF ingredients. So it’s not all bad and overall, life’s pretty good.