Gluten (abbreviated definition taken from Wikipedia on 01/30/2010): a composite of the proteins gliadin and glutenin. These exist, conjoined with starch, in the endosperms of some grass-related grains, notably wheat, rye, and barley. Worldwide, gluten is an important source of nutritional protein, both in foods prepared directly from sources containing it, and as an additive to foods otherwise low in protein.
Gluten (my definition) – the thing that makes Krispy Kreme donuts and Bojangle’s biscuits magically fluffy, the blessed tie that binds pizza and pie crusts into flaky perfection, and the sneaky little devil that literally hates my guts.
I grew up in the South, where the simple act of eating is a religious ritual. Unfortunately for me (and for the more than 3 million others diagnosed with a sensitivity to gluten), this spiritual experience is usually dredged in flour and batter-fried.
I have a healthy relationship with food. We’ve been soul mates for years. I coo over it. I think about it while I’m at work. I count the ways that I love it. I was 30 years old, living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, when I learned that my infatuation with certain foods like bread, pasta, and pie would only ever end in unrequited love.
After being away from the south for 11 years, I recently relocated to the Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) in North Carolina. On my quest to find out what’s for dinner here, I come to the purpose of this blog:
1. Visit local eateries. (I do this on my own dollar.)
2. Find out how GF (gluten-free) friendly they are. Do they have a GF menu? Are they helpful or considerate when determining what menu options are available to those of us who can’t tolerate wheat?
3. Document a menu option for myself and for others who share my dietary restrictions.
In the process, I hope to offer some comfort and delight to others who travel the culinary road without wheat. If we happen to raise awareness about gluten intolerance and encourage restaurants to develop GF menus along the way, well, that would almost be better than a homemade strawberry-rhubarb pie! Almost.
Looking forward to dining with y’all!