Ever been in a situation where you're all set for a business meeting, only to discover that your beautiful spread doesn't have any gluten free options? The horror! Your client, who happens to have a gluten intolerance or allergy, can't eat a single thing.
Talk about an embarrassing situation. We feel you, and that's why we're here to shed some light on the importance of gluten free catering. Plus, we'll give you some tips to get started. Let's dive in!
Gluten is a protein family found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, and oats. The culprits causing all the trouble are the proteins glutenin and gliadin.
Now, there are two conditions that require a gluten free diet. First, there's gluten intolerance or sensitivity, where symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, excessive wind, diarrhea, and nausea kick in after consuming gluten.
The other condition is coeliac disease. Unlike an intolerance, this is an autoimmune deficiency. If you have coeliac disease, gluten becomes your arch-nemesis. You can't properly digest it, and it messes with your nutrient absorption. No fun at all.
Oats are a tricky one. While not everyone with a gluten intolerance will have a reaction to oats, those with coeliac disease need to steer clear. Better safe than sorry, right? That's why corporate caterers won't label oat products as gluten free. So if you're eyeing breakfast or baked options, oats are a definite no-go zone.
Gluten intolerance is very common in the UK. 1 in 100 people suffer from coeliac disease, but here's the kicker: 80% of them will never be diagnosed. They go about their lives attributing their symptoms to something else or being misdiagnosed with other digestive conditions.
As for gluten intolerance, it's a tricky one to pin down because it affects people differently. However, from our experience as passionate corporate caterers, gluten free options are requested with almost every order we deliver. So you're not alone in this gluten-free journey!
Because gluten intolerance is so common, most restaurants and caterers provide plenty of options for those who can't eat gluten.
Going gluten-free doesn't have to mean giving up bread, pastries, and other baked goods. Substitutes made from gluten-free flours like buckwheat, rice, and corn are available. While gluten-free versions can be denser and crumblier, they are still a delicious choice.
Gluten-free granola is another option and can be used as a topping on yogurt or fruit salad. Speaking of fruit, it's a great way to start the day with something light and nutritious.
We would always recommend providing some specific gluten free options, just to show that you've really taken their dietary requirements into consideration. Fruit is a common “accidental” GF option, and your guests may end up feeling a bit left out if everyone else is enjoying quiches and pastries and the only thing they can eat is fruit!
When it comes to snacks, there are plenty of gluten-free options readily available in supermarkets and on catering menus. These include biscuits, fresh fruit, brownies, rice paper rolls, rice crackers and houmous, yogurt pots, and mini muffins. A gluten-free diet is not as limiting as some people might think!
Any caterer or supermarket worth their salt will now sell or provide gluten free bread and wraps so sandwiches are still very much on the menu!
Lots of people mistakenly think that rice contains gluten. In fact, rice is naturally gluten free so is safe to consume for both intolerances and allergies!
As you've read so far, gluten free catering is an important consideration for any type of event where you're ordering corporate catering. It’s easy to do, and if you’re ordering through Feedr, the vast majority of our corporate caterers provide amazing gluten free menu items.
To inspire a variety of gluten-free menu options, explore international cuisines that offer a range of culinary options:
- Middle Eastern: Grilled meats and veggies, as well as stews served with rice and chickpeas, are just some of the gluten-free options.
- Mexican: Corn tortillas are the way to go, and they are considered more authentic than flour tortillas.
- Thai: Fish sauce, instead of soy sauce, is used and there are many rice-based options, such as curries and noodles like Pad Thai.
- Indian: Tasty vegetarian and meat curries, rice and lentil-based dosa, and bread made from chickpea flour are all gluten-free options.
To ensure your clients and colleagues have delicious gluten free options available, get in touch with the Feedr experts today and we’ll help you navigate our vendors' menus to find everyone’s favourites!