Thursday, April 7, 2011

Gluten Free El Salvador: Eating In House

So far, eating gluten free in El Salvador has been pretty simple to achieve because we've been eating most of our meals at my in-laws' and various relatives' houses.  The traditional diet includes a lot of corn, beans, pork, fish, fruits and vegetables.  However, just like most places around the world, the traditional diet is increasingly being supplemented by a variety of foods from around the world.  Prepackaged foods abound in supermarkets and fast food chains and restaurants are everywhere. 

However, after a trip to a large grocery chain, it became evident that finding things like broth for soup or any type of gluten free cereal would be quite difficult to achieve.  Gluten issues are not as common/well known here because traditionally products containing gluten made up a very small portion of the local diet, and so there are few products geared to those who are gluten free.  Instead, we've been cooking and eating a variety of foods that are naturally gluten and dairy free.  It turns out that my son's new favourite food is a corn tortilla, which are thicker than those generally found in Canada, but thinner than the traditional Mexican ones I've seen.  He likes his slightly warm, with nothing on them.  And they have to be whole, not cut into pieces! 

Dairy free has been much simpler to achieve, particularly because soy and rice milk are easy to find.  They do eat a lot of local cheese, but we've simply avoided the issue to this point by not eating any cheese around him.  The ice cream shops sell sorbets of just fruit and water, or fruit, sugar and water.  

To give you an idea of what he's been filling his belly with these past few days:
- scrambled eggs with potato and sausage
-mango, strawberry, cantaloupe, mangosteen, banana, papaya, etc.
-bean and vegetable soup with avocado
-tortilla
-shredded pork with rice, avocado and refried beans
-chicken and vegetable soup
-mango sorbet/coconut sorbet

Tomorrow we're heading to the beach, where we'll be eating at a local restaurant known for its seafood.  My husband and I have already had a chance to go to two restaurants in the city (the in-laws graciously offered to watch Etienne after he went to bed so we could go out), and one was more gluten friendly than the other.  Tomorrow will be the first time we're taking our son to eat at a restaurant here.  I'll be posting a review tomorrow.  It will also be his first time at the beach, so I can't wait to snap a few shots of him in the water!

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