There are things you take for granted before you have a food allergy. Like, being able to eat anything and everything without your stomach mutinying your body. Saying hell yes to the coworker’s birthday cupcakes. Trying those little samples at the mall.
Then food allergies change your life. There’s things I’ll never do now. Being able to join the Peace Corps. Being able to travel to far flung countries, point to oddly colored and pungent foods from random street vendors and give your all-accommodating digestive system a real adventure.
Back when gluten and I were still pals.
A food allergy, though. That’s Gandalf standing right at your sphincter, wielding his staff and yelling “YOU SHALL NOT PASS”.
Suddenly, you’re like your friend – the one who rattles off his allergies like they’re the weather report. You’re like that kid you saw in elementary school, the one the lunch ladies would have the special tray ready for. And some foods can be made allergen-free. But not every food, and sometimes the attempted concoction just makes you even sadder.
Luckily, being allergic to gluten isn’t going to kill me the second it touches my grain-hating body. There also happens to be a vaccine in the works. The gluten-free craze could be over as quickly as it started.
I don’t know if I would take it – I’m so used to the gluten-free life, and new medications can be a tad iffy. But if the universe was to give me a reprieve from celiac (and calories) for one day, I have a ready to go list of the foods that I would gorge upon. I just imagine a heavenly culinary angel telling me to start doing one of those old Supermarket Races, where I sprint up and down the aisles, stuffing my face with wheat.
1. Crusty Italian bread
This was a staple in my Italian-American upbringing. It came in a long, white paper bag. I used to scoop out the fluffy white inside and leave the crust behind when I was little.
2. Pizza from Silvio’s in Thornwood, New York
You can’t beat New York pizza and Silvio’s is my ambrosia of the pizza world. A crust papery thin, red sauce, and just the perfectly prerequisite amount of greasy cheese… Yum. I’ll trade in my lactose intolerance for this opportunity too, thanks.
3. Snyder’s Honey Mustard Pretzels
I don’t know why. But I want them. Unf.
4. Quaker’s Oatmeal Squares
Real talk. In high school, I once ate an entire box of these. I don’t know what it is, but those rough, oat-y squares are strangely addictive. Other contenders in the world of cereal are Special K, Life, and Cap’n Crunch.
5. Cinnamon Raisin Bagel
Of course, only from a New York bagel shop.
6. Thanksgiving Stuffing.
Oh, also Jiffy cornbread muffins. Oh gosh, is it November yet?
A lot of people hate these malty, chalky candies. I LOVE THEM. But malt comes from barley, and barley’s all buddy-buddy with gluten. It’s like a fun little club, Barley, Rye, and Wheat. Sometimes they let Oats come and chill with them too, so they can plot new ways to wreak havoc on my internal organs. Also, Kit Kat bars. I hate Kit Kat bars, but now that I can’t have them, I want them,
Why not continue the unhealthy trend? Getting Dunkins coffee is just sad when all those donuts are staring at you from their waxed paper shelves. I sometimes buy one and force a gluten-eating friend to eat it so I may vicariously enjoy it.
If you’ve never had this Indian flatbread, then you haven’t lived.
10. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
Oh, now I’ve made myself super sad. I want to go stab one of those tubes and roll up those little triangles, and have them turn into magic in the oven. One day, little doughboy, you and I shall meet again…
My brother, who also is GF, said his first choice would also be pizza, but ruminating on this is too depressing for him. So I’ll turn it to whoever’s reading this – do any of you have a food allergy? What would you eat if you didn’t have it?