If they’ve got it right, which I suspect they have as it’s a big pitch, Pizza Express have taken a bold approach to adding gluten-free to their menus. You open their web site and on the right is a large block labelled GLUTEN FREE. Click it and you learn that they talk about 100% taste, risotto, brownies and even gluten-free Pilsner. They even reverse the usual dishes you can have to ones you should avoid.
They also say that their approach has been endorsed by Coeliac-UK.
I shall definitely be trying them out in the next few days.
At least it gives me somewhere to have lunch in Ipswich, when I watch the football!
I never thought, I’d be able to write a post with this title.
But I had the second memorable meal of the trip at Pizzesco.
The beer was one of the best gluten free beers I’ve ever had and is available from Beers of Europe.
The pizza was excellent too.
I have a feeling that this restaurant was working a rather informal payment method. If you wanted another bottle of beer, you just seemed to get it out of the fridge and they then counted the empties for the bill.
I doubt that would work in the UK.
Incidentally, the Italian owner used to work with Dr. Schar and that could be why his pizzas were so good.
I was surprised that there was no gluten-free beer at Waitrose in Canary Wharf, but there was a new variety of Aspall’s cyder, I’d not seen before called Lady Jennifer
Beer drinkers in the US have filed a $5m (£3.3m) lawsuit accusing Anheuser-Busch of watering down its beer.
The lawsuits, filed in Pennsylvania, California and other states, claim consumers have been cheated out of the alcohol content stated on beer labels.
The suit involves 10 Anheuser-Busch beers including Budweiser and Michelob.
It certainly reminds me of that joke about that terrible beer of the 1960s, Watney’s Red Barrel.
Why is drinking Watney’s Red Barrel, like having sex in a punt? They’re both f**king close to water.
Although, I suspect the joke has been updated several times since.
The pub supplied some of their gluten-free pizzas and there was also a selection of savouries like quiches from the WAGFree Bakery in Brixton.
What more could a coeliac want?
Everybody seemed delighted with the beer and the accompanying food.
This article on the BBC’s web site, talks about a call in a learned journal for gluten-free prescriptions to be stopped on the NHS.
I have had gluten-free prescriptions in the past, but quite frankly, living where I do now, to take them would be a waste of my time and the NHS’s money.
So what specific gluten-free foods do I buy?
1. A few ginger cakes from Waitrose, as I find they help my dry throat. I can’t make cakes any more and to be fair, I haven’t got any cake tins.
2. I usually have one loaf of Genius bread a week, which I can buy from any number of outlets locally, like Waitrose, Sainsbury or the Co-op.
3. I’m not much of a biscuit person, but I probably eat one pack a fortnight. I actually prefer genius toast with Benecol and jam.
4. As you see from this blog, I do buy the odd ready-meal like the venison from Marks and Spencer. But these are the standard product.
5. I buy some of the EatNatural gluten-free breakfast cereal. I get through about a packet a week.
6. I do buy a specialist gluten-free beer called Celia over the Internet.
If I take out the beers, which are £2.10 each, I probably spend under ten pounds a week on specific gluten-free food. Although of course, I do spend quite a bit more on quality fish, meat, vegetables and fruit.
If I had to get gluten free food on prescription, it would mean going to the surgery and back. Probably I’d walk, which would be good for me, but I have better things to do with my time. I’d then have to go to the pharmacy to collect it.
So for people like me, this would be no inconvenience at all.
Obviously, for those on a very limited income, it might be more of a problem.
But the real key to a successful gluten-free diet is to eat lots of natural foods like meat, fish, fruit and vegetables. None of these cost more if you are a coeliac, as they’re all naturally gluten free.
The expensive gluten-free items to buy are bread, biscuits, cakes, sandwiches and beer. But it could be argued that most people eat too much of these anyway.
If gluten-free food was stopped on the NHS, the only people who would complain, would be the chattering classes, who are probably allergic to nuclear power, HS2, fracking, the Supersewer, the Congestion Charge and using public transport. Many though, like me, will probably have their lunches in upmarket cafes like Carluccio’s.
I would apply the money saved in the NHS, by using it to subsidise the cost of quality gluten-free bread, pasta and perhaps some cakes and biscuits. So for example a gluten-free loaf would then cost very much the same as a quality gluten-rich one.
That way all coeliacs would benefit.
It would also create jobs. Just think of the quality sandwich shop, where the owner makes his own sandwiches to order. So you want gluten-free bread? – No problem!
We don’t have a coeliac health problem over diet in this country. We have a health problem over diet. So let’s solve them all together with a proper integrated policy to get everybody eating well.
You won’t get everyone to eat better, but at least you’ll get some avoiding the problems of a bad diet.
I’ve now unpacked all the beer and they’re sitting on the kitchen worktop.
There was twenty four, but one got drunk.
Last night just as I was sitting down to my supper, there was a ring at the door and on looking out of the window there was a van from Fedex.
I opened the door and the jaunty driver put the 24 bottles inside.
I know you might get served a little quicker down the pub, but just over 24 hours to get a heavy parcel delivered, isn’t too bad in my view.
The Celia lager is very much worth drinking and I’m starting to add used bottles to my recycling box.
As it’s also available in some pubs, you can actually try before you buy, as I did a few days ago.
It’s also better than the Estrella Damm Daura, that I have to carry home from Waitrose.
Before I went to university, when I was still living at home, I used to go drinking in this pub, with an old school friend called Pete.
In those days in the 1960s, it was called the Warwick Hotel and although it is now closed its last name seems to have been The Bell And Buck.
I really don’t know why we went there. it might have been, because I looked under-age and they would accept any customer with money. But we’d usually have some beer and a couple of games of cribbage.
Little did I realise that my future wife was probably tucked up in bed, just round the corner.
I just had to try a gluten-free beer called Celia, as that was my late wife’s name. I found that they served it in a pub called The Regent in Liverpool Road, Islington. It just happened to be Liverpool Road, didn’t it? As of course we met in Liverpool in 1966!
It wasn’t a bad beer at all and I shall be drinking more of it.
But how long will it be, before we see a proper gluten-free real ale on draught in pubs. I suspect it’ll be there by the end of this decade.