The Food Intolerance Institute of Australia says that coeliac disease is said to affect around 0.5% of the global population, although up to 15% of the world (1 in 7) are sensitive to gluten.
Whether you’re a coeliac or hoping to cut down your gluten intake every day, gluten free food options are now requested more than ever.
This Google Trends graph shows us just how dramatic the rise in interest has been:
We compiled a list of takeaway cuisines that offer an array of options for the gluten free diner, from family favourites like Mexican all the way to Scandinavian and Afghan cuisine for something a little out of the ordinary.
(It’s nice to be able to order something aside from gluten free pizza, right?)
Keep in mind that it’s always best to check with restaurants that their ingredients and processes are guaranteed to be gluten free. Better safe than sorry!
Mexico’s abundance of corn, avocados, rice and beans is the gluten free diner’s delight.
While many of us have grown up with ready-made wheat tortillas for burritos, authentic Mexican restaurants should serve corn tortillas, which open up a whole world of Mexican deliciousness.
Or, if you want to steer clear of tortilla dishes altogether (burritos, tacos, fajitas, and enchiladas), opt for a burrito bowl, or one of many Mexican rice dishes.
Melbourne: El Sabor Mexican Grill & Bar
Gluten intolerance tends to be more common among those of Scandinavian descent, so these Northern European cuisines are generally quite accommodating.
With seafood, poultry, pork, potatoes, dill, lingonberries, and dairy products gracing the lists of staples within Scandinavian countries, many dishes from this region are suitable for the gluten intolerant (as long as you stay clear of their pastries and breads).
P.S. As delicious as Swedish meatballs are, they sadly contain bread crumbs (thanks for nothing, IKEA).
Sydney: Viking Gourmet Pizzas
For a small country, Greek cuisine varies quite vastly from region to region. However, olives (and olive oil) are perhaps the most characteristic feature, as well as citrus fruits, nuts and honey, cheeses and yoghurts, seafood, lamb, and vegetables like eggplant, tomatoes, and zucchinis.
Although the staple grain is wheat, it is easy to order around the breads and pastries, and the long list of common ingredients in Greek dishes makes for greater (and more exciting!) gluten free options.
Sydney: Greek Feast
Melbourne: Othello Greek Restaurant
Gold Coast: The Great Greek Kafe
With an enormous range of grilled meats and condiments, Middle Eastern cuisine makes it easy to get your gluten free fill. Tabouli is off limits, as it contains bulgar wheat, and pides are clearly off the menu also. But meat, veggies, and rice will keep you occupied.
Sydney: Erciyes Restaurant
Canberra: Saffron Room
The Peruvians love their quinoa, Venezuelans are all about the arepas (as long as they’re made from corn), and Argentinians can’t get enough beef and chimichurri (neither can we!).
Much like Indian cuisine, it’s easier to eat Nepalese dishes when you have a gluten intolerance. Every day, locals eat Dal Bhat – white rice and lentil soup – and many Nepalese are vegetarians, with potatoes also a filling staple food.
Meats, veggies, and rice are on every menu, and are suitable for gluten free diners.
Sydney: Himalayan Gurkhas
Melbourne: Kantipur Indian & Nepalese Restaurant
Brisbane: Tibetan Kitchen
The quintessential Afghan dish is Qabili Palau, a portion of meat (usually lamb) covered in rice that has been cooked in a broth of lentils, raisins and carrots. Fruits and vegetables are also a major part of Afghan cuisine, and rice dishes and kormas abound.
Sydney: Bamiyan Restaurant
Melbourne: Authentic Afghani Cuisine
Adelaide: Shamim Afghan Cuisine
As always, check with the restaurant to make sure that none of the ingredients in your preferred dishes contain gluten, and that there will be no cross-contamination during the preparation and cooking processes.
Stay away from soy sauce and some seasoning blends. Check that salad dressings, marinades, soups and gravies aren’t made with wheat-based thickeners, and note that something labelled as wheat-free does not guarantee that it is gluten free!
Now go and enjoy a meal with Menulog.