Food allergies in Iceland
Replies: 8 - Last Post: Dec 4, 2012 6:06 PM Last Post By: karankarnani
Nov 25, 2012 6:37 PM
Food allergies in IcelandMy wife is allergic to anything from a cow (milk, butter, cheese) including beef and beef products.
Can anyone offer comments on:
- how difficult this might be in Iceland (are their foods heavily dairy-based like French foods?)
- how willing restaurants are to work with you on this? We recently came back from New Zealand and people were very accommodating - for example substituting grilled fish in a fish and chips dish that had batter with dairy in it.
Thanks in advance!
Nov 26, 2012 3:44 AM
Nov 27, 2012 5:50 AM
2Is there a lot of (hidden?) dairy products in the food in France?? I hve never considered franch food to be full of cheese and cream....I would think that you find than in N and E Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Scandinavia - in the US and NItaly, not to mention India ).
Still - there is a relatively high proportion of inherited lactose/milk product - intolerant ppl. in the northern part of Scandinavia as well as gluten intolerant (+ those that think the are), so restaurants there are used to the problem. (In Sweden the items in the menu is often marked with a "sign" for lactose as well as for gluten and eggs and nuts and shellfish and peanuts and.........).
Now Iceland is not Scandinavia (although the population comes from there) and I am not sure if the situation with a high proportion of the intolerance is the same there, (it is said - at least the gluten problem - to come from the Sami people) but I am also sure that any Icelandic restaurant over the fast food or very cheapest level will do what they can to scan for dairy products in what they serve if you ask.
Fast food places that drop stuff from the freezer into the deep fryer or put it into the microwave can of course not help you much.
PS If ppl. arn't too fluent in English, then please remember to substitute the - in the Scandinavian languages - weird word "dairy" with "milk, cheese and butter"!
I do not think you will ever come across "hidden" beef. At least Iceland has lots of fantactic lamb to enjoy.
Nov 27, 2012 6:50 AM
3Why do you think that some French cultural committee briefly had it in mind to declare Gruyere, which the French consider as fit only for cooking with - which indeed is true if you buy French manufactured fake-gruyere - as their national cheese? (Though of course this did not survive 2 seconds it took to point out that Gruyere, the real one anyway, is Swiss.) Precisely because the French cook so much with cheese. Your vegetables often arrive "au gratin", ie cooked in a buttery milky sauce with cheese on top. And the casseroles are thickened with butter, if you read your Escoffier on how to do it "properly". Even your seafood is at considerable risk of coming with dairy additions, be it sole meuniere, moules a la creme or coquilles St-Jacques.
Nov 27, 2012 2:42 PM
Nov 27, 2012 4:20 PM
5Thanks for your comments.
My wife is not actually lactose intolerant - she is allergic. So it is more serious. She travels with an epinephrine pen.
We do plan to travel with a translation of something like "I am allergic to butter, milk, cheese etc."
I am not sure which of you have been there or lived there? I know that sometimes it is hard to ask a question like this as people who are not allergic to dairy products would not bother to consider whether the food has any dairy in it or not. As a total non-cook, I know that if someone asked me this question for where I live, I would have a hard time answering it!
Thanks all for your comments. Any additional comments much appreciated!
Nov 28, 2012 1:55 AM
6The lactose intolerant was used to show that the question IS asked regularily.
"As a total non-cook, I know that if someone asked me this question for where I live, I would have a hard time answering it!" - that's the reason to make sure you only visit places where the food is cooked from raw material and not by frying readymade stuff. I.e. no fast food places where the staff has no idea of what they serve, stick to "gourmet" places - but I am sure you already have to do that at home and everywhere else.
Nov 28, 2012 2:40 AM
7Alternatively stay in self-catering accommodation and fix your own food, at least when you are away from larger settlements. You'll have no trouble getting suitable ingredients. This might be most practical if you had in mind to stay in guesthouses in remote locations where there aren't up-market restaurants.
Dec 4, 2012 6:06 PM
8Like my best friend does when we go out, if she asks for a burger she asks for the burger with all the ingredients separated as she cannot have milk products either so restaurants do bring the things the way she asks for it. You can give it a try. The other day we went to an Italian restaurant and she asked for a her Pomodoro sauce apart from the spaghetti and then she checked it before eating it... its a lil weird but the best way to prevent her from getting ill.
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