Help with Gluten Free Options in Spain

Old Mar 7th, 2019, 02:18 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
Help with Gluten Free Options in Spain

We are just beginning to plan our trip to Spain in May/June (I know we are a bit late). Not sure yet of itinerary (it is flexible) but most likely the bigger cities due to daughter's food restrictions. I am hoping you can share any resources, advice, tips, restaurants, and grocery stores for gluten free. Thank you!!
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2019, 03:17 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,908
I don't see why you need such special requirements, I eat gluten free a lot just naturally and I don't have to. Just order what you want that is gluten free. If you ate meat and vegetables a lot, and a salad, it would be gluten free. Just avoid bread and pasta. Rice is gluten free, for example and so are potatoes. There isn't any big thing I can think of in Spain that has gluten in it that you wouldn't suspect. They don't have lots of sauces with flour in them that I recall. At least I had pretty simple food there, too simple as sometimes oit was really hard to find vegetables. Oh, there was some place that really had a lot of fried fish which was gross to me (I think that was Seville), so that would be out. Not that I wanted it anyway.
Christina is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2019, 03:52 PM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
I was hesitant to ask this question in a travel forum because of fear of getting responses like this..."I don't see why you need such special requirements". If you are not afflicted by eating gluten and have not suffered the devastating affects of it than why make such a comment. It is hurtful and you may not realize it. Yes I am aware that eating meat and veggies would constitute as gluten free but there are many hidden ingredients and a lot of cross contamination. If you had to watch a child suffer, I'm sure you would refrain from those types of comments. Please I am only looking for some helpful comments.
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2019, 05:14 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,864
What "helpful " comments are you looking for?
Ask the doctor that put your daughter on a restricted diet for advice.

Spain is a large country with more than a few large cities, just google "Eating gluten free in XYZ"
Example:

https://devoursevillefoodtours.com/e...ee-in-seville/
cdnyul is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2019, 07:05 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,697
You have to understand Christina - she starts most of her posts with "I don't understand" or "I don't see why". Don't let it bother you

Does your daughter have Celiac Disease? Maybe these will help . . .

Gluten free travels in Spain

https://glutenfreetravelblog.typepad...-in-spain.html

https://www.legalnomads.com/gluten-free/spain/
janisj is online now  
Old Mar 7th, 2019, 07:22 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
Thank you very much for your response janisj This helps!!

Last edited by melaly; Mar 7th, 2019 at 07:28 PM.
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2019, 07:27 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
Aa
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 7th, 2019, 09:00 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Hi Melaly - I feel your pain! I was a little surprised myself at the first responses. Anyway, my wife is Coeliac and we have travelled Europe extensively. In 2016 we spent five weeks touring Spain and found it to be a very gluten-free-friendly country. I'm not sure if you are heading to San Sebastian, but we went to a few of their Tapas bars (they are called pintxos - pronounced Pinch-ohs there) and on mentioning my wife's intolerance, we were told to not touch anything on the bar and that the kitchen would prepare our very own assortment of GF pintxos. They were magnificient!

If you buy anything from grocery/health stores, just look for "SIN GLUTEN" which is literally "without gluten" in Spanish. Best of all though, if you go to the following site just download the restaurant card that explains your gluten intolerance in Spanish. The site even has cards in the Basque and Catalan languages

Gluten Free Restaurant Cards for Celiacs / Coeliacs

Spain is a fantastic country with lovely people and some great sights. We visited Barcelona, San Sebastian, Madrid, Valencia, Granada, Cordoba and Seville. Loved it!
Have a great trip and enjoy the food!

Last edited by steve_Australia; Mar 7th, 2019 at 09:03 PM.
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 04:11 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 177
You don't need to stick to the big cities to ensure gluten free products. I spend a lot of time on the Costa Del Sol and Mallorca, pretty much every supermarket has a gluten free section (sin gluten as has already been mentioned). Gluten intolerance is well understood in Spain however, depending on your daughter's severity to gluten I would make sure the wait staff understand the risks of cross contamination (some kitchens are a bit more cavalier with their approach to cross contamination) when ordering.

There's not a great deal of flour used as a thickening agent although fried bread is sometimes used but ground almonds also feature quite a lot. Fried fish is very likely to be cooked in a flour based coating as well as the popular croquettas.My wife is gluten intolerant and she has never failed to find something appropriate to eat in a restaurant and we've been eating out in Spain many, many times.
jc_uk is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 04:20 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
Thank you steve_Australia . Your reply is exactly the type of information I'm looking for. That's so encouraging to hear - we will definitely try the Pintxos
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 04:22 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
Thank you jc_uk . Good to know that it's not necessary to stick to the big cities.
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 06:42 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 792
Gluten-free tapas in Madrid
Sin Gluten | Taberna La Concha
Revulgo is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 06:50 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
My pleasure Melaly! BTW, as jc_uk mentioned (and as I should have), although they are very gluten-aware, you still need to ensure they understand what you need when ordering in restaurants etc. That is the main reason I mentioned the GF cards (BTW, did you download any?). They have been a life-saver for our travels in a number of countries within Europe. However, as I also mentioned, we had no trouble during the 5 weeks we visited. My wife was able to eat very well (including tapas) everywhere we went.

And - I hope I don't get in trouble for this because you didn't mention your daughter's age - throughout Spain we found that all of the McDonald's stores provide Fries and a number of GF burgers. You can even get a GF Big Mac! There is a complete side of the menu board dedicated to GF Maccas. They are very aware of cross-contamination so everything is cooked separately and, according to my wife, the buns are just as tasty as everyday bread.
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 06:58 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 22,153
I am just back from two weeks between two southern cities--Sevilla and Cadiz. I was surprised by the number of references to gluten free foods on menus and in markets. I think more than I see in the US!

I do not think you have to limit yourself to the biggest cities as, as stated above, this application seems to be well understood and well publicized in Spain. If you don't speak Spanish, maybe take a card with prohibited foods (in Spanish) to show to wait staff(??)

ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 07:50 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
Hi steve_Australia my daughter is a teenager but Macdonalds has not been part of her life for so long now I don't think she misses it that much (or at least that's what I tell myself). But having said that, it is so good to know this as it could be a great snack or meal option when we are out for long periods and need to grab something quick. Your wife is lucky that you are so knowledgeable and in touch with her dietary needs. If anything else comes to mind please post. Thanks again!!!
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 07:53 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
Thanks ekscrunchy I will take the card that steve_Australia mentioned. I am so encouraged that you saw so many references to gluten free.
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 08:26 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Ha ha. Yes, it is funny how things change when you can no longer eat what "everyone else" eats. Prior to her diagnosis around 15 years ago, my wife would not have considered eating a burger - pizzas yes, but not a burger! But when we found out there was GF fast food at McDonald's she was very excited and ate there probably only 3 times during our trip - but it was still a great treat for her. Australia is extremely GF aware, but even WE don't have GF burgers, ha ha.

You have to be mindful of their dietary needs. It still amazes me the number of hotel breakfast waitstaff who proudly espouse that they have GF bread for "the lady" and then promptly place the bread in a general use toaster! Aargh - very annoying. I follow them to the outside of the kitchen and then stop them putting the bread in the toaster, ha ha. We now have "toaster bags" that encase the GF bread and can be placed safely into a general use toaster without contamination. They are reusable and worth their weight in gold. You will love Spain - and their choice of GF food. Our favourite country is Italy, but Spain is a close second. And speaking of Italy, they have the one of the biggest incidence of Coeliac Disease in the world. They are super gluten-aware and you can eat Pasta, Pizza and even Gelato cones gluten free. That could be your next trip after Spain.

Last edited by steve_Australia; Mar 8th, 2019 at 08:28 AM.
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 09:55 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 45
I'm sure my daughter will be excited to hear about McDonalds also. As well prior to diagnosis she was not a hamburger person much less McDonalds but when you can't have something it becomes so much more attractive. I know she will love it. I can completely relate to bread being put in a toaster with regular bread and other silly mistakes that happen. We have to be so diligent and it sometimes feels like we are being overly paranoid but I know most people don't think of the small things that could cause contamination. And wow "toaster bags"!! I have never heard of that. I will google it and order immediately - what a great idea!!

We went to Italy 2 years ago and loved it. We didn't eat out at all as the diagnosis was just recent. I cooked all meals. But we did find an amazing gluten free getato place which made her so happy.

5 weeks in Spain sounds like a dream trip. Did you stay in apartments and if so do you have any you would recommend. (I know I'm digressing from the subject of this thread but you seem so helpful - I thought I'd ask)
melaly is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 06:52 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 254
Yes, by all means ask. We nearly always stay in apartments - partly because they have more room, but mostly because we also have mostly home-cooked meals. In a lot of places it is far easier to find GF supermarket goods than risk eating out, Besides, my wife is a great cook! Have a look at the places we visited (I mentioned them in an earlier post) and if you are going to any of those let me know and I will forward the details.
steve_Australia is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2019, 07:00 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 66,697
re: >>And wow "toaster bags"!! I have never heard of that. <<

I don't have to worry about GF, but i use toaster bags semi-frequently. They even allow you to make grilled cheese sandwiches in a regular toaster. I've bought them in Bed Bath & Beyond and ordered them from Walmart.
janisj is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO