Tuesday, October 27, 2009
You did this:
You and your husband broke out of your regular evening of sweatpants, kettle corn, and viral videos put on grown up clothes and attend a charity fund-raiser. This cocktail hour event was held in the penthouse of a swanky Beverly Hills hotel. In the last four hours before leaving the house you had eaten half of a gluten free toaster waffle and some warm Dr. Pepper that you found in the car from yesterday. Upon arrival at the event, you exchanged cordial greetings with the hosts and then quietly sprinted to the appetizer buffet area.
You were recently diagnosed with celiac disease, a wheat gluten allergy that messes with the digestive system. The basic treatment for celiac is - do not eat wheat products or those made with wheat gluten. You did not have a problem finding appropriate food at this event. The caterers had provided an antipasto table that would make Giada de Laurentiis proud. Nearby, were platters of fresh melon and figs, and chafing dishes heaped with chicken and fish. As you balanced a Jenga-like pile of food onto your child sized hors d'œuvre plate, you avoided eye contact with the small man with a mustache and toque standing behind the carving station because carving stations freak you the hell out.
Do not do this:
Next to the shrimp, was another chafing dish filled with what appeared to be beef satay. It called to you. As you laid the skewers across your plate, you hoped that it had not been marinated in soy sauce or other wheat gluten heavy ingredient. Nearby you noticed a small stack of business cards for a local vegan and organic caterer. It crossed your mind for just an instant that this might not be beef on your plate but rather something else entirely. You promptly ignored this thought because you really wanted beef satay. You moved on.
Once you and your husband had made room for yourselves on one of the plush couches near the bar, you started in on your tower of snacks. You started with the beef satay. As you swallowed the first mouthful it become clear that this was not beef. It was seitan, a meat-like substitute made from pressed wheat gluten. Wheat gluten. That you are allergic to. Allergic in an exploding colon kind of way.
You made a mental note that wanting it to be beef doesn’t make it beef.
Labels: what not to do