Are you coming to Tarifa but have food allergies and are worried about finding places to eat here? The first
The first thing you should do is obviously ask the waiter if you have any doubts (and you should ALWAYS have doubts, even foods that seem like they SHOULD be allergen free are not) hopefully they will be able to advise us or at least check with the chef.
Many of the waiters here in Tarifa are professional waiters and have an intimate knowledge of the menu and will be able to advise you. Many restaurants still cook in a very traditional manner where everything is made from scratch, so all the ingredients are known so even if the waiter doesn’t know the chef often will.
The main thing to remember here is that in the case of one of the greatest modern allergies – gluten intolerance, it is not only wheat that has gluten. Many other cereals, even if they do not contain gluten have proteins which are very similar to gluten. Proteins which our body can often mistake for gluten and reacts to in the same way.
Likewise, ingredients such as soy sauce or barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, or any thickening agent will often contain gluten and it may well be that neither the waiter or the chef realizes this.
Now, of course, the actual recipe is not specified in the Menu. What most restaurants do is put the ingredients that appear in the greatest quantity, but to us a very small amount of an allergen can have harmful consequences so we have to take responsibility for our own health.
Most sauces etc these days, if they are gluten free, will specify this on the label. I often make waiters look at the label before I order a dish.
A great example of hidden allergens is sausages and burgers. While these can be delicious and are often sold as homemade, locally sourced or organic. This is no indication that they are allergen free. Added to which they are often “dressed up” with sugars and can hide a whole host of allergens in small quantities.
The third trick and perhaps the most important, choose dishes composed of three ingredients at the most, this way it’s much easier not to be mistaken.
Over the next few months, I will make eating out in Tarifa with allergies as clear as possible, by explaining in detail where what and how you can eat.
If you want to learn more or need personal advise visit simplementesaludnatural.com