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Gluten-free in Spain

For this blog I talked to two Spanish bloggers about how gluten-free is regulated in their country. Clara and Maite tell about gluten-free food in Spain and give practical tips to make your holiday go safely! They introduce themselves below.


Introduction

The first person I spoke to was Clara, she was diagnosed with celiac disease 5 years ago. Clara has lived in Madrid for 10 years now and grew up in the Asturias region of northern Spain.

Clara is a tireless traveler, her goal is not to be held back by celiac disease and to inspire others to pursue their dreams.

On her Instagram she shares her travel experiences and helps others plan their trip, she shares tips and

addresses to facilitate your gluten-free journey!

Her map with gluten-free addresses and socials can be found at the bottom

the blog.


The second person I spoke to was Maite, she was diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago.

Maite is from Argentina and has lived in many places around the world including Buenos Aires, NYC, LA, Melbourne, Paris and Barcelona. She works as a nutrition and health coach, osteopath and yoga teacher.


The first things you need to know

➡ Spain is a country that is relatively easy when you have to eat gluten-free. Almost all restaurants have knowledge about gluten-free food and also about celiac disease. There are also plenty of shops and bakeries with gluten-free products, especially in the larger cities. Allergens must be stated on the packaging, which makes searching in the supermarket a lot easier. ➡ Always inquire about the ingredients that the cook uses in the dish when you go out for dinner. Not every dish is prepared in the same way in Spain. You cannot assume, for example, that every fish paella is gluten-free. Some add a gluten-rich stock cube and others don't. ➡ Keep in mind that cross-contamination is your worst enemy. The fact that a dish is gluten-free does not automatically mean that it is also prepared gluten-free and is suitable for someone with celiac disease. Ask the cook about this.


Supermarkets

Mercadona is a good supermarket that you can find in any city. It has a lot of high quality gluten free products at affordable prices (taking into account the price of gluten free stuff). All their products are clearly labeled. You will find pasta, different types of bread, sausages, ready meals, snacks and sweets.

In the Carrefour or Alcampo they also have a wide range of gluten-free products.

A shop that can be found in Madrid and Seville is Leon The Baker. They are recognized by the Spanish Celiac Association. You can go there for high-quality gluten-free bread and sweets.

Tip from Clara: You can find a shop that is completely gluten-free in almost every (big) city and you can find a lot of information on Instagram. Enter a # with the name of the city you are in followed by singles. #madridsingluten for example.

Eating out

In most places they are well informed about celiac disease and gluten-free food. Just be sure to keep an eye out, especially when it comes to cross-contamination. Spain eats a lot of bread and other processed products that may contain gluten. It is common to eat things in batter, even if the batter is gluten-free you should check whether it is fried in clean oil. Unfortunately you cannot assume this.

It is still recommended to plan ahead and not go hungry on the spec. If you search in advance, you can find very nice gluten-free places where you can eat traditional dishes.

Tip from Maite: if you do not speak Spanish fluently, it is useful to take a Spanish diet card with you. If you are looking for a quick bite to eat, these chains (mainly fastfood) have gluten-free options: VIPS, Ginos, Domino's or Telepizza have restaurants in every city. All McDonald's in Spain also have gluten-free options.


Cangas del Narcea

One place in Spain that is worth highlighting is Cangas del Narcea, a small town in the mountains with a large number of celiac patients.

Lorena, from Celicidad sin gluten, is a celiac who was born in the city. She organizes gluten-free gastronomic days every year, the city has received a lot of tourism with this initiative. Every year, more restaurants and bakeries or pastry shops offer gluten-free options or 100% gluten-free menus. Clara has been there and calls it a little paradise, a must to visit!


Other tips

➡ Clara keeps a map where you can find restaurants with good gluten-free options. You can find a link in her Instagram bio @clara_mentesingluten or at the bottom of the blog. ➡ Clara's favorite gluten-free spots in Madrid and Barcelona: Grosso Napoletano senza glutine (Note! It's a chain, only two restaurants are gluten-free). For dessert, go for the famous churros to Chocolateria 1902.

In Asturias, she would recommend Sidrería Casa Niembro. The cook is celiac and cooks authentic wonders. ➡ Maite raad de volgende glutenvrije plekjes aan in Barcelona: Messie GF, Jansana Bakery, Potstot en M2 Gluten Free ➡ Are you not fluent in Spanish? Then take a diet card with you. Not everyone speaks good English. ➡ You can find more tips on the Instagram of: @celiacoalos30, @disfrutandosingluten and @trotamundossingluten. ➡ There is an application called Celicidad (for IOS there is no app but the information is also on the website) where many gluten-free restaurants are collected. Also the FindMeGlutenFree app is active in Spain! ➡ Are you in a smaller village and are you having trouble finding a place to eat gluten-free? Find a Mercadona and have a picnic in the beautiful countryside!


This blog was created thanks to Clara and Maite! Are you interested in the content they share? See their contact details below!

Maite: Instagram: @mintegrativehealth

Clara: Instagram: @clara_mentesingluten Click here for a link to her map of gluten-free restaurants in Spain.

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