I was hoping to blog whilst in Europe… well obviously I didn’t. I was to busy EATING my way through Europe. Im not sure Europeans even know how lucky they are? There are so many products. Normally I don’t buy processed gluten free, mainly maybe because there isn’t much available here (in Dubai), but when faced with hundreds of packets of biscuits that all look super yummy, whats a girl to do?? Then of course there are all the traditional foods that the kids had to try, like prince sausage and danger sausage (falukorv)!
So what did we do in Europe? We ate. And we visited every grocery store we could find (bad habit). You could say that going to grocery stores for us like was sightseeing might be for other tourists. I just call it research. Eating biscuits of course also falls under research…. right? 😀
In Poland Gluten Free was a little bit harder, partly because I don’t speak any Polish, my poor husband had to translate all the labels unless I knew the brand. Many of the shops didn’t have a dedicated gluten free section, but we were in a small town most of the time, so Im guessing its different in the larger cities.
Sweden however… was amazing! Even the smallest country store imaginable would have something gluten free. We not only avoid gluten, we also avoid products with wheat starch (the gluten free kind) as Celiac kid is so sensitive, but even if we take away the products with wheat starch, every supermarket we visited still had more then any supermarket here. It was so refreshing to be able to feel somewhat like a ‘normal’ family, although somewhat fattening for the researcher!
The hospitality of the people we visited with was also amazing, here Im so used to bringing everything for Celiac kid (then I just pretend eat myself as Im not a diagnosed Celiac so really have no great excuse), but in Sweden, I didn’t even mention anything to anyone, brought my stuff along, and everyone had gluten free stuff for us! No questions, just 100% normal! Celiac kid was surprised, happy of course, but couldn’t really understand…. ‘is everything gluten free in this land mumma?’ she asked me.
Even better, the reactions we had in Europe were not as bad as the ones here, she seemed to thrive in the climate, the air, the freshness everywhere, and the reactions were small and eased off way faster then usual (more about that in my next post).
As far as first experiences go for the expat kids we saw, crabs, frogs, cows (they ARE real!!), forests, snails, we climbed trees, we climbed rocks, we wore wellies and we jumped in puddles, we walked everywhere and we drove a baby car and went on a tram. Oh, and Celiac kid broke her arm on the first full day in Poland.
These things happen I guess.
Europe is pretty. Prettier then I remembered, and even prettier through the eyes of someone that doesnt live there. I had the added bonus of seeing it for the first time through the eyes of my children. What a privilege.