Gluten-Free in Northern California
I was diagnosed as celiac in November 2003, and have been strictly gluten-free ever since. This can be difficult, especially when traveling, but people have become much more celiac-aware in the last few years. Knowing how difficult it was at first, I wondered how I could ever travel to Japan and China. I successfully navigated Japan with my daughter in 2006, and now I hope to visit China in 2009 or 2010. I wasn't going to post this information until I had my teachers approve it, but I realized that with many people heading to China for the Olympics, there might be some celiacs in need of this information. After I visit China, I'll update the menu and add tips based on my adventure. All of the items are in PDF format so the Chinese and Japanese characters will work for everyone.
I would love to hear how things go for celiacs who travel to China or Japan. BTW, I only speak a little Mandarin and even less Japanese. However, I highly recommend studying the language of the country you are going to. You may not be able to experience all the foods, but studying the language more than makes up for that. You can contact me at: LindaFreeman at bluetang dot org.
Note: Strangely enough, I have to double-side print with "flipping on right edge" for the Chinese menu, and "flipping on the top edge" for the Japanese menu.
- Business Cards with a gluten-free statement in Mandarin prepared by my Chinese teacher. You can print your own information on the back of the cards. By the way, I added a caduceus and a Chinese statement that means "medical matters" to make the cards appear as serious as possible.
- Postcard-sized Gluten-Free Statement in Mandarin with a list of ingredients to stay clear of on the back. These will be the ones you want to show the chef. Print out a bunch before heading to China so that you can leave one at every restaurant you visit, which may help the next celiac customer.
- Several-page Chinese Gluten-Free Menu doing the best I could (the most comprehensive of the three). This is designed to print on both sides, then fold in half to make an 8-page booklet. Note: You might want to purchase "Beijing Local Delicacies" by Song Weizhong because it lists the ingredients of several snacks. I was pretty excited about bingtang hulu, but have since read that malt is used in the sugar coating.
- Male celiacs may want to use this alternate version of the Chinese Gluten-Free Menu, which has a male tangram avatar rather than a female one.
- And here is a male version of the postcard-sized cards to give to chefs.
- This is the Gluten-Free Desserts Cookbook (in English) we made for presents.
- Japanese Gluten-Free Booklet for traveling. Note: Konbini's (convenience stores) will be your salvation.
- Here is a cover for the Japanese booklet with cute onigiri by ichan.