By Cheryl McEvoy, Director of Communications and New Media, NFCA
Wedding season is upon us, and chances are, those cakes won’t be gluten-free. If you’re headed to a reception, brush up on these gluten-free survival tips to ensure you stay safe while enjoying the fun.
When you get the invite:
The bride and groom may know that you’re gluten-free, but it’s probably not front of mind. Give them a gentle reminder of your dietary needs and offer to speak to the caterer so you can make sure there’s something safe to eat.
When you’re not sure what to expect:
No matter how much you prepare, there’s always the off chance that your gluten-free meal won’t make it to the table. Eat something light before you leave and bring a gluten-free snack bar or some nuts to keep you going through the night, just in case.
When you’re a plus 1:
You probably didn’t get a chance to call ahead, so speak to your server right away. Explain your dietary needs and ask if you can talk to the chef. Chances are, they’ll be able to whip up something gluten-free. If the best they can do is a salad, work with it. Remember, the key is to enjoy the celebration, not stress over a lackluster dinner.
When there’s a buffet:
If the dinner is buffet-style, be cautious of possible gluten risks. Serving spoons can become contaminated if they touch gluten-containing food, and an innocent-looking cream sauce could actually contain flour. If the risks seem too high, ask a server if they can make you a plate using a fresh tray of food from the back, using a clean spoon to dish it out. Be specific about which dishes are safe to include.
When you belly up to the bar:
That specialty cocktail sounds tempting, but it may not be gluten-free. Ask the bartender about the ingredients before you order. When in doubt, opt for a glass of wine instead.
When the party’s over:
If the couple went above and beyond to ensure you had a gluten-free meal, send a brief note to thank them. They’ll be thrilled to know that you enjoyed their reception, and it will be a great plug for the caterer who prepared that delicious meal!
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness offers Vitacost.com website visitors weekly recipes and blogs about living the gluten-free lifestyle. For more information about celiac disease and gluten-free living, visit www.celiaccentral.org.