Are you craving a takeaway?
By the time Friday night comes round, my energy levels are pretty close to zero. So the easiest option for food is to pop over to my local takeaway.
But things aren't always simple for coeliacs. In fact, if you've tried getting a takeaway, it's more common than not to feel nervous about whether they can actually cater to your needs.
So here's some advice on finding places that'll mean you'll stay well.
Go to a curry house. Since most curries are naturally gluten-free* it's a pretty safe bet they won't get your order wrong. Everything should be ok as long as you go for rice and avoid anything deep-fried (because it may have been coated in flour or fried in oil that's had flour in it). *I'd say "all" but there's a possibility there's one somewhere that isn't.
If you're lucky enough to be close to a sushi bar (and you're feeling flush), there shouldn't be any problems here, either. Admittedly, I had a recent encounter at Yo! Sushi where they told me none of the takeaway boxes were suitable but after a quick e-mail exchange with their Head Office, I was told they could certainly cater for me and they'd be retraining their staff at that branch (Bristol Cabot Circus, if you're wondering). Obviously you need to avoid soy sauce but since it usually comes in sachets, this is easily removed. Sometimes the chef will add soy sauce to the sushi, though, so it's always important to check.
Chinese. Although not easy, it's not impossible and there are some rave reviews on Facebook about local places. But it's vital you get staff who know exactly what you mean when you say you're coeliac and can't have any traces of cross-contamination. Although egg-fried rice should be fine, you'll need to be certain it was made in a separate pan from anything with batter (like prawn balls).
Fish & Chips. You'll be pleased to know it's still possible to get a battered cod and a portion of chips that fifty years ago would've been served in newspaper. There's an entire Facebook group dedicated to Fish & Chips for Coeliacs in the UK. Join and discover where you can go to get yours!
Avoid the legwork
Does it seem like a lot of work just to get a simple takeaway? I mean, in the time you've done your research and questioning you could have made something yourself, right?
There's an easy way round this: simply ask your local coeliac group. For me it'd be 'Coeliacs in Bristol' or 'Gluten-Free Bristol'. All you need to do is type 'coeliacs' plus your town into the search option in Facebook groups and ones will come up that are close to you.
You'll be amazed at how generous people are - they'll go to great lengths to make sure you know about all the places they love. So with luck you'll find somewhere that's quick to reach and easy to order. (Let me know how you get on!)
Still got questions? At 10am today (GMT) I'll be on Instagram discussing gluten-free takeaways in more detail, including the good, bad and ugly experiences I've had. Have your questions answered live and click here to follow so you get a notification!