Monday, June 4, 2018

Summertime gluten-free highs and lows

It should be noted that for summer functions, I've had both great and horrible experiences over the years. For a Scientific Atlanta event many moons ago, I contacted the caterer who literally scoffed at me when I inquired about what, if anything, was gluten-free.  I think his reply went something like this - "uh...of course the hamburgers, hot dogs a BBQ pork are can't have the bread, buns or cookies" In fairness to this extremely ignorant person, he did have to ask me what gluten-free meant, before he could answer.  Anyway, after pressing him for more info (well over half the hot dogs available at that time contained wheat), he finally said he'd "look into" the menu ingredients and get back to me.  What I didn't expect was for him to call me back and tell me that the hamburger patties, hotdogs AND BBQ meat - sans the sauce - did in fact contain gluten.  For some reason that I really can't remember now, we went to the event and I had a soda and some chips and nothing else.  We left fairly quickly and went out to eat.

As mentioned above, I've also had amazing experiences at corporate functions in the summer.  At an outing at Six Flags, in what seems forever ago, they rolled out the red theme park carpet for me.  I'd been informed ahead of time to ask for a certain person when I was ready to eat lunch (lunch was served in a certain time frame for the group we went with).  Thinking we should try to eat on the earlier side of the allotted time, we asked for the "contact" and she quickly got to the business of getting my meal delivered to the pavilion where the group was eating.

To my great surprise, a tray loaded down with food was set before me on the picnic table.  There were TWO fried turkey legs (yes, cooked in dedicated fryer), French fries and salad - all meant for just me.  I was impressed, to say the least!  My husband ate one of the turkey legs and half the fries, in addition to his very soggy BBQ sandwich which he was not the least bit impressed with.  What was really hysterical to me was the fact that several co-workers came up to our table to say hello - and then asked where we found the turkey!  It was probably the only event I've been to where I know for sure my food was hands down better than what the rest of the crowd was served.  To end the lovely meal on a high note, the ice cream treats offered as dessert included some gluten-free options.  What a simply glorious day at Six Flags Over GA!

It's been ages since we went to a large corporate event during the summer, but my guess is some of them are great and others are not.  Just as is the case at any not specifically gluten-free event.  If you need to attend one, you need to ask the right questions, educate the ignorant folks you might encounter, and do the best you can.  That's all you can do in the "still far behind when it comes to gluten-free knowledge" USA.

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