Celiac in Bermuda
I know that there are a lot of food intolerances/allergies out there but I’m just going to focus on celiacs since it’s one of the harder ones to cater for and there is less awareness.
For anyone unsure what Celiac Disease is, it’s a genetic condition in which consumption of gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye) damages the small intestine. This makes it hard for the body to absorb nutrients from food and so leads to a variety of problems, ranging from diarrhea to malnutrition. This is a permanent intolerance and the intestinal damage is only reversible by cutting out gluten from your diet. This means no more regular bread, cake or pizza!
Where to start when you’re celiac in Bermuda? First of all, you won’t starve! You’ll find that most Bermuda restaurants will be helpful but the following are particularly good choices for celiacs:
- La Trattoria on Washington Lane, Portofino’s on Bermudiana Road and Bacci at the Fairmont Southampton serve a gluten-free pasta option.
- Angelo’s Bistro in the Walker Arcade have taken the guesswork out of selecting a safe lunch or dinner for you with their new Gluten-Free menu, featuring gluten-free versions of some of their favourite recipes.
- Ten on Dundonald Street have a celiac member of staff so are very knowledgeable and helpful when you ask them questions on the menu.
- Bermuda Bistro at The Beach on Front Street usually put breadcrumbs in their burgers but can make a gluten-free version if you call them in advance.
- Mad Hatter’s on Richmond Road don’t usually use flour in their sauces so most are celiac-friendly. They are very allergy-aware so just let them know when you arrive and they will make sure your food is safe.
- House of India on North Street is very allergy-conscious and have it very clearly indicated on the menu what contains gluten, dairy, nuts, etc. Everything is gluten-free except for their breads and pastries.
- Dangelini’s, the coffee shop at the ferry terminal have a selection of homemade gluten and lactose free cakes, cookies and muffins every Friday.
- Cafe Continental on Burnaby have gluten-free bread available.
- Judith Wadson, who used to run Aggie’s Cafe, sells home made gluten-free goods at the Farmers’ Market at Bull’s Head Car Park on Saturday mornings and accepts orders privately for gluten-free food. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on 536-1954.
- Harry’s at the Waterfront have celiac-friendly options highlighted on their menu.
- My Sereni-Tea on Reid Street often have gluten-free brownies and other celiac-friendly goodies.
- In January 2011, the Fairmont Group announced the introduction of their Lifestyle Cuisine Plus menu which will cater to gluten-free, macrobiotic, raw and vegan diets as well as catering to those with conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. This has been launched at both their Fairmont Southampton and Fairmont Hamilton Princess locations. For more details, see the Bermuda Sun article here. If you call in advance, Jasmine Lounge can make gluten-free pizzas and both Jasmine Lounge and Heritage Court will prepare you a gluten-free afternoon tea.
- The Dockyard Pastry Shop in Somerset have a variety of gluten-free goodies and can also make custom orders, such as birthday cakes.
- On Facebook, there is a Gluten Free Bermuda group you can join to share recipes and local celiac-friendly finds.
The supermarkets are also being much more celiac-friendly with a much wider selection of various pastas (corn, rice and quinoa) and different breads and muffins. Miles Market, Supermart, and Harrington Hundreds are particularly good. Down to Earth, the health food store has a wide selection of gluten-free products, including bread and cake mixes!
Anything else I’m missing? Just let me know and I’ll add it in!