Sunday, 24 June 2012

Introducing... the Wheaty Eater

So now you know who I am - writer, travel junkie, gluten avoider - but what about the Wheaty Eater in the title of my blog? And why is the Wheaty Eater relevant when talking about gluten-free food?

The Wheaty Eater, doing what wheat-eaters, he's eating churros in Madrid.
Photo by Anita
The Wheaty Eater is also known as Matt, my happy, ski-fanatic, Australian boyfriend. The Wheaty Eater and I met two years after my diagnosis, so I was a fully fledged coeliac by then. Our mutual love of pure unadulterated sashimi meant that it was a couple of dates before I needed to 'come out' ('Honey, I've got something to tell you... I hope you're not a Pizza Express fan...'). And his reaction was of initial confusion followed by total acceptance, one of many reasons he's so very dear to me.

The Wheaty Eater has been an important part of my journey. While naturally he still eats gluten himself, we keep a 99.9% gluten-free kitchen (I'm not going to be a Nazi about it if I have friends coming over - but keep those crumbs out of my toaster!) And he's been the major test subject for all my baking experiments. Some people say that gluten-free cake making is hard to master, so who better to be the judge than the Wheaty Eater?

Luckily I can trust him not to simply scoff down anything I put in front of him. (My chocolate crispie cakes and courgette buns got a definite thumbs-down so I'm still working on those recipes.) But he's been an appreciative eater of my gluten-free carrot cakes, Victoria sponge, corn breads, chocolate cakes, rose cupcakes and plenty more besides - and I love him for it!

So what does he have to do with this blog? Well, it's not just about giving his wheat-eating stamp of approval to my recipes (although that's useful to have when cutting down gluten-free haters - more on them down the line). It's also to cast a cynical eye at what we gluten-free eaters sometimes have to deal with at restaurants, airlines and supermarkets. Those times when wheat-eaters can dine like royalty, but coeliacs are relegated to a few lettuce leaves by a scared waitress who worries you might drop dead. On the flipside, there are plenty of occasions when the gluten-free option looks a darn sight better than the wheaty one (sometimes that sauce is hiding a multitude of sins). And who knows, we might even get a guest post from the Wheaty Eater sometime...

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