Nothing is more uncomfortable than arriving at a beautiful and expensive restaurant with friends, family, or your date, and having to discuss the menu more in-depth with the waiter because of food allergies. As it is, most waiting staff and others listening in often consider you rude, a picky eater, or extra trouble for the kitchen staff to deal with. Not everyone understands the severity of such allergies until seeing the results.
For most people, it’s uncomfortable and embarrassing to admit to having such ‘seemingly meaningless’ limitations. Personally, I carry around medication and my family tells me, all the time, “Can’t you just take a pill?” Unfortunately, what they don’t know is how that ‘pill’ affects my body and what I have to do to counterbalance the effects of that ‘pill’. So, I’ve taken to simply requesting substitutes wherever I can, or eating at home and making food as much as I can. It sounds troublesome, but it’s actually a fun science project that teaches you plenty while growing your interest in food and flavors.
Many restaurants have been curbing their cooking style for the sake of those who can and cannot eat specific things. For many buffets or grills, they have helped people with allergies by taking the food to the back to cook it or mix it in a pot with fresh utensils. This is one of the kindest things I’ve ever experienced, which has helped me enjoy the overall experience.
Eating at home, I have started buying less to make more. Most people enjoy shrimp tacos, but I just replicate the sauce and spices on chicken or steak, and then, I would either pan-fry or bake it for added juiciness. With other nuts, some people finely toast bread and then blend it to create some texture, before putting into a mixture that would normally require nuts for that extra texture. This is where any amateur chef can get creative and make it work for your needs.
Taking the Safer Option
When going out and knowing that where you’re going heavily uses and makes what you cannot eat, asking for the safer option with fresh items is always a good choice. Lessening the encounter with what you cannot eat is always best. It doesn’t mean others around you will need to be as considerate, but they don’t think about it as much as you do. And they don’t need to.
For most people with severe food allergies, they really stick to the fresh salads and remove whatever they cannot eat. This is a trick that dieters have picked up, which is why it is a proven trick to eating cleaner and better. For those with food allergies, the safer option will make it less likely for them to react to anything. By requesting the removal of what cannot be eaten, it’s simpler and replacing some items with what you can is a good option. Safer doesn’t always mean bland, but can mean more exciting as well!
Playing With Flavors
There is no need to overwhelm yourself. Thankfully, most of what you want to do has been done in one way or another. Feel at ease when you explore and try new concoctions on your own. Playing with flavors is part of life and helps you understand what you truly enjoy and like to eat. The phrase “to each their own” has this specific meaning and feeling. Everyone is unique, so why shouldn’t what they enjoy be different?
Some people have found putting cereal in with frozen or tart goodies can add to the flavor and texture. The fruitiness that is in this dish is delightful and energizing. Others like adding nuts to their salad because they cannot consume fruits or cheese. This is adds some flavors and can build on the crunchy textures. People who cannot eat meat sometimes enjoy tofu products or vegetarian options to those meats. Whereas those who are allergic to sesame or specific spices can replace them with various others including salt and pepper, or garlic.
Being able to replicate isn’t the purpose of substituting. Finding a balance and learning to appreciate differences in tastes, textures, and how it makes you feel is part of life. Not being able to eat specific foods can be a limitation but, instead; why not see it as a challenge to grow and create different dishes?
Isn’t that how most famous dishes and desserts come about?