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Gluten Free in Barcelona? No Worries!

by: Ali Diehl, Barcelona Intern

Although I'm a bread lover, one of my roommates here in Barcelona is severely gluten intolerant and definitely had her reservations about coming abroad. Prior to arrival, she was anxiously expecting a semester filled with salads and not being able to eat out at restaurants.

Over the months, I’ve noticed that the Spanish are more familiar with gluten-free diets and Celiac than many other countries. When eating out, the phrases “soy celíaco” or “no puedo comer gluten/harina de trigo” -- which translates to “I cannot eat gluten/wheat flour” -- will usually elicit understanding from servers.

The other good news about gluten intolerance in Spain is the high involvement of rice, eggs, and potatoes in the Spanish diet. Many traditional Spanish foods such as Paella, Spanish Omelette, and Patatas Bravas are naturally gluten free. Fresh produce is readily available, as are delicious meats and seafood.

My roommate and I received a big shock on our first trip to the grocery store together. Wandering around, we ran straight into a large section filled with gluten free variations of pastas, crackers, and cereals.  We were shocked in the most pleasant way possible. While not every supermaket in Barcelona is friendly to our Celiac friends, there are many stores that pride themselves in their gluten free offerings.

A great resource for eating out is allergychef.es, where you can make online reservations restaurants trained for people with food allergies and intolerance. This includes both gluten and lactose intolerances. I also compiled a quick list of the most delicious, gluten-free-friendly places in Barcelona, but there are more and more popping up every day. Get out and explore for yourself!

Best Supermarkets: El Corte Inglés, Día, Veritas, Bonpreu

Best Bocadillos/Sandwiches: conesa, cucamonas

Best Brunch: Copasetic

Best Bakery: Baci d’Angelo, Reykjavic Bakery

Best Restaurant: Flax and Kale, La Lluna

Comments:

Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine

Happy Backpackers

This past weekend a group of my friends and I decided to go to Budapest, but wanted to go with a group because we were unsure of what we wanted to do and how to plan our trip. Booking the trip through WSA was the best idea we ever had. It was basically all planned out for us (excluding flights). It was great because there were plenty of things planned for us that were included in the package, but there was also a bit of free time for us to explore the city and do the things we were most interested in. I really enjoyed the caving and thermal baths we visited during our trip! Also the hostel that was booked for us through WSA was great and our tour guide, Bogi, was amazing! I would definitely recommend this trip to everyone and am happy to say that I will be booking more trips with WSA in the future!

Danielle Maclain, Concordia University - Irvine ~ AIFS Richmond, Spring 2015

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