If you’ve been diagnosed with coeliac disease there is no reason why you cannot enjoy your birthday celebrations just like anyone else. I think birthdays are a lovely social occasion so last month I made the most of my birthday celebrations by enjoying a lovely meal out with my family at an award-winning take away & restaurant called Fylde Fish Bar located in Marshside, Southport.
When I was first diagnosed, 11 years ago, I missed getting fish and chips. I worried about contamination from traditional flour being used in batter the fryers as even a tiny amount of gluten may cause symptoms and gut damage to people with coeliac disease.
Luckily for me, when I called them, Fylde Fish Bar put my mind at rest straightaway. They reassured me that they have a completely separate dedicated fryer for their gluten free fish and chips. They also use separate tongs and serving spoons to serve the food to prevent contamination. On my birthday, I ordered cod, chips and mushy peas and was given a very generous portion which was absolutely delicious and it tasted just as good as I’d imagined! Now, I am made up, as they provide gluten free fish and chips seven days a week so I can pop in anytime when I visit my family in Southport!
I found out about Fylde Fish Bar on the handy Friars Pride Website where you can find Fish and Chip shops serving gluten free food in your local area, all you have to do is type in your postcode in the search box and it shows you the closest ones to your area on the map! It is always best to give to give the shop or restaurant a phone call beforehand to explain your dietary requirements and make sure they are still offering gluten free food. Some places have a dedicated ‘gluten-free night’ where one of their chip fryers is thoroughly cleaned and fresh oil is used to accommodate people with coeliac disease as simply filtering oil is not sufficient.
If you want to have a go at making your own gluten free fish and chip supper; this recipe using Juvela Gluten Free White Mix for the Fish Batter is really simple to make! Lizzy described creating Gluten free home made fish and chips a few months ago. If you prefer a ready-made dinner, remember not all supermarket chips are gluten free so it is always important to check the ingredients although some McCain ones that are actually labelled gluten free! You can check the ingredient labels of tomato ketchup, sauces, baked beans, salad dressings and other comdements to see if they are suitable or use the Coeliac UK Food and Drink Directory or App to find suitable brands. Salt and vinegar are gluten-free, barley malt vinegar is produced from barley, however the processing involved removes barley protein and therefore removes the gluten from the final product. This makes it suitable for people with coeliac disease. These products will still have to be labelled as containing barley in the ingredients list.
Finally, no birthday is complete without a birthday cake (which makes a perfect dessert!) I make gluten free cakes for my cake business, so my Mum decided I should be treated to one this year that I didn’t have to make myself! She ordered me a gluten free chocolate sponge cake from the Sponge Website. They do a fantastic range of gluten free flavours and the sponge was so moist. The 10 inch one was so large that not only was it enough for my family to have two pieces each but there was enough for me to bring some into the office for The Juvela Team to enjoy too! If you fancy getting your apron on and being creative and making your own celebration cake, Juvela’s sponge cake recipe is versatile and can be adapted for different flavours such as chocolate or coffee if required! Juvela gluten free all-purpose flour mix is an absolute winner! Although it is something that is generally prescribed to people with coeliac disease, it can also be purchased from any pharmacy. The online pharmacy, Chemist.net supply it too.