How ironic is it that the first post I write for this new blog has to do with food?
Today, I discovered that although I frequent seemingly “progressive” neighborhoods of Washington DC, gluten-free items (such as cupcakes) are still not readily available in this city. No, I am not allergic to wheat, but I was picking up dessert for my discipleship group and some members of my group are. I even did some research last night, and made absolute certain that Warren Brown’s Love Cafe featured gluten-free items on their menu.
I walked into Love Cafe on U Street, hoping to pick up a couple of gluten-free cupcakes in addition to the regular ones for my group, but to my dismay… they were all sold-out! How was this possible? Are that many people allergic to wheat? I used to work 2-3 doors down the street from the cafe and went there on a regular basis. There were ALWAYS gluten-free products available, if not cupcakes, then at least brownies and/or cookies. The cashier informed me that not only did they sell out, but that the Cake Love bakery across the street did not carry gluten-free products either. I did not believe her and had to find out the sad news for myself.
Thankfully, I was able to pick up some gourmet chocolates for my gluten-free friends at Locolat, a new Belgian chocolate/bakery that opened in June 2008. Even so, I had to inquire about the ingredients to make sure that there were no “wheat” intruders in these decadent treats. On my walk back to the metro, I popped into a few cafes, including the oh-so-hip Tryst and guess what? None of them carried gluten-free products at all!
For those of you in the DC area who have a sweet tooth, yet have to keep a wheat-free diet, there is hope! Next time, I shall venture off to Sticky Fingers Bakery, which features 100% vegan/gluten-free desserts and let you know how the selection is. I’ve heard fabulous things about it and wish I had thought about going there in advance.
Gluten-free people deserve special recognition for leaving ingredients such as starch out of their diet. That is why eating establishments should be more sensitive to their dietary needs and include at least one or two gluten-free alternatives. I can’t imagine this diet for myself, yet it might not be a bad idea to limit my wheat intake all together… for it can do wonders for your immune system! Everything in moderation, right?