From Mexican to Middle Eastern, these are some of the best cuisines to order when catering for gluten-free diets.
There’s nothing worse than missing out. Picture this: A beautiful spread gets put out for your business meeting, but no one asked if gluten free catering options were needed. Your client can’t eat anything that’s been served due to a gluten intolerance or allergy.
You’d be pretty embarrassed, right? We wouldn’t blame you, which is why we’re going to explain the importance of gluten free catering, and give you some tips to order something that everyone can enjoy.
What does it mean to be gluten free?
Gluten is a protein family present in some grains, such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. There are two conditions which require a gluten free diet to prevent symptoms such as abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhoea and nausea:
- An intolerance or sensitivity to gluten is diagnosed, when the patient suffers a variety of symptoms following gluten consumption.
- Unlike an intolerance, coeliac disease, is an autoimmune deficiency. If you’re coeliac, gluten can cause permanent damage to your stomach and intestines.
The side effects of an intolerance are primarily gastrointestinal and can last between hours and days after consuming gluten. Coeliacs, on the other hand, can do permanent damage to their stomach, and in serious cases, even go into life-threatening anaphylaxis. Anyone suffering from coeliac disease absolutely cannot consume gluten.
How common is gluten — and how easy it to avoid?
Gluten is listed as second among the top four food intolerances and allergies in Australia. About 1 in 70 Australians will suffer from coeliac disease, but 80% will never be diagnosed, attributing their symptoms to other conditions.
Identifying the commonality of an intolerance is more difficult as it affects people differently. However, once you know it's gluten that's triggering your symptoms, from our experience as corporate caterers, gluten free options are becoming easier and easier to find. In fact, they're being included in nearly every order we deliver!
Our top cuisines for those avoiding gluten
Sick of boring salads? There are heaps of international cuisines that offer a range of gluten free options.
Middle Eastern food, which includes cuisines such as Turkish and Lebanese, contain lots of gluten free dishes.
For gluten-free options, try grilled meats and vegetables and stews, served with rice and chickpeas.
Swap out the flour tortillas for corn tortillas, and most Mexican dishes usually become gluten-free. Of course, you'll need to check the menu, but from our experience many items are safe.
Feeling inspired? Our fantastic Mexican caterer, Pablo's Kitchen shows us how to make the best guacamole ever in this short video.
Thai cuisine often uses fish sauce instead of soy sauce, the latter of which contain wheat. There are a variety of gluten free options available including:
- Curries with rice
- Rice noodle dishes, such as pad Thai
- Spring rolls using rice paper
Rice is naturally gluten free, and as the base of many Japanese dishes, helps make Japanese a very coeliac-friendly cuisine. Depending on what you put into the roll, there's plenty of gluten-free sushi options, like the classic salmon-avocado. Depending on how the meat is marinated, donburi (or bowls of rice with a topping, such as chicken or fish), can also fit the bill.
Just make sure to use gluten-free soy sauces for dipping!
Tasty vegetarian and meat curries, rice and lentil based dosas and breads made from chickpea flour are some of the tasty food options available if you’re on a gluten free diet.
To ensure your clients and colleagues have delicious gluten free options available, get in touch with the EatFirst experts today and we’ll help you navigate the menus to find everyone’s favourites!