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7 May, 2021

Gazza's Goss: There's no dispute…n the gluten

VIBRANCY in our region has extended way beyond the Easter break with Cairns apparently now the new Bali, and activity in Port Douglas is non-stop, plus in Mossman and the Daintree we are seeing lots of new faces.

By GAZZA

Charlotte Furley, from Junction Café Mossman, serves up a tasty but safely prepared Gluten Free option.

Hopefully the Grey Nomad Season will bring visitors to the Cassowary Coast and then further north to the Douglas Shire for a stay and a sample of the finest food in Far North Queensland.

On the subject of food, be it a mutter paneer, egg foo young, enchilada or good old chicken parmi, our local food options are outstanding.

If, like me, you grew up never uttering the word gluten, you may be tempted to believe that the whole gluten thing is simply a 21st Century fad.

Nowadays, however, avoiding it in food has become a more frequent requirement.

In laymen’s terms gluten is basically the proteins found in wheat. Food manufacturers like it because it helps foods maintain their shape, by acting like a glue.

While some may simply go along with the gluten trend, there are genuine sufferers of Coeliac Disease, a genetic disorder that causes extreme stomach pain and other side effects, should the slightest amount of a wheat containing product be consumed.

Coeliac Disease affects approximately 1 in 70 Australians, with around 80% of this number remaining undiagnosed, so it certainly needs to be taken seriously by the food industry.

I noticed a menu recently with ‘Gluten
Friendly’ items. I was intrigued and had to ask what these where? “Items with just a bit of gluten” was the answer.

Would a peanut allergy sufferer be happy with just a bit of peanut content I wonder?

Often menu items that are clearly marked as Gluten Free are NOT. Hot chips, in their basic form, have no gluten being simple chopped spuds, but if cooked in the same oil as the battered fish, then they will be contaminated with gluten… because batter contains wheat.

One hopes that when chefs are trained, proper Coeliac requirements are covered in the syllabus?

Quite simply though, a separate cheap deep fat fryer in the kitchen may be all that is required. 

It is great to see, however, there are many establishments, like the Junction Café in Mossman, who take the gluten issue seriously, having separate food preparation areas to ensure that a Coeliac sufferer enjoys their dining experience.

Best thing is to make sure you discuss the menu with the waiter
or waitress.

Until next week though, it’s Gazza signing out!! Send your stories to; gazza@cairnslocalnews.com.au

You can catch up with Gazza each
weekday afternoon between 4-7 pm 
on 90.9 FAB FM in Port Douglas.


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