Saying it with flour

Gluten-free food is on the rise in Paris, a city synonymous with all things baked

A toasty baguette, a flaky croissant, a pillowy éclair: France is a vast map of baked goods. Bread has as many iterations and flavours as anyone could imagine, none of which is industrial air and imitation brown colouring. The country consumes 320 baguettes every second and bread is so much a staple that when I went on a low-carb, no-bread diet, a horrified friend said, “But you weel die!”. If ever there was a place that might be described as aggressively gluten-tolerant, it would be France. For people with wheat allergies, gluten intolerance or coeliac disease, the country might seem like a relentless onslaught of glorious things they can’t ingest or be around. But it’s easier than you might think.

When a friend who doesn’t eat gluten came to visit four years ago, I had to rack my brains. It’s not that all food in France is bready, but all the things tourists like to eat and instagram usually are designer raspberry-and-apricot éclairs, croissants, madeleines, local craft beers, and rows and rows of viennoiserie (pastries). But meals turned out to be surprisingly easy, if one could forgo dessert and the bread basket. To name a few, steak-frites, bouillabaisse, boeuf bourguignon, blanquette de veau, and raclette are gluten-free dishes (though sauces may be thickened with flour). Other French specialities such as oysters, snails, pâté, foie gras, mussels, cheese and ham are safe too. Perhaps the simplest option is savoury crêpes, or galettes, which are made with buckwheat (labelled sarrasin or ble noir). As a bonus, macarons and meringues are also gluten-free (though it’s worth checking that they haven’t been bulked up with wheat flour). And we discovered a small but determined crop of gluten-free bakeries and cafés even in this gluten-ous city: Helmut Newcake, Chambelland and Noglu.Read more

Source web page :The Hindu Business Line

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