Guest Post: Dining in South America (Part 3)

Kathleen shared her amazing South American travels with us in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. In this final section, I share with you the communications Kathleen sends out prior to her travels. You will see from the letter that Kathleen’s restrictions go beyond avoiding gluten and she is thorough in her explanation. I also include where Kathleen had both good and bad gluten-free meals during her travels. 

This is the basis of my communication when traveling where I am not familiar with those that prepare my food. Blanks and information can be filled in or deleted to suit your needs.

My husband and I are travelling with ABC Tour Ref: ——–
Tour Name: ———
We arrive in your hotel: ——–
Booking Ref: ——-

I have an illness called Coeliac (celiac) and must adhere to a strict GLUTEN FREE diet.  I may become very ill if I eat foods containing flour or grains of Wheat, Rye, Barley, Oats, malt or foods derived from anything made with or cross-contaminated with these ingredients.

Safe (or healthy) foods include, but are not limited to, potatoes, beans, rice, quinoa, maize, amaranth, almost all vegetables and fruits, as long as they are not blended with Wheat, Rye, Barley Oats or products derived from them.  I must avoid acid foods such as Tomato, all Citrus Fruits, Peppermint, garlic, onions, caffeine, fried foods.

I am lactose intolerant and, with these conditions in mind, I try to adhere to a vegetarian, low cholesterol, low fat diet.

We will be guests in your hotel on the above dates.  We appreciate you having some foods available which I can eat.  More often it is the cross-contamination or preparation method (not avoiding wheat, rye, barley, oats, malt or their derivatives) rather than the menu which offers conflict.

A suitable selection at breakfast for example: gluten-free grain or bread such as a cereal and bread, soy milk, fruit.  At Dinner: gluten-free bread, a potato, quinoa or rice dish, a variety of any (safely) grilled, pan-seared or lightly steamed vegetables with the exceptions of onions, tomatoes, garlic, with herbs if possible.  Beans.  No butter.  I have never met a vegetable I don’t like.  A soy/tofu, vegetables or bean dish is a perfect main course.  Many salads, soups and desserts can be made safely for me before any wheat ingredients or seasonings are added.

I can manage some dairy prepared in foods I consume, like milk, cheese but the harder, the better. No added salt, please. We hope our advance notice helps you.

Thank you so very much for your efforts to accommodate my illness. Please reply to this email so we know we’ve reached you.

Thank you,

As you will see, Kathleen is thorough with her dietary requests yet polite. A little kindness goes a long way! 


Here are some of the places Kathleen ate while in South America. To read Kathleen’s full reviews, please visit the GlutenFreeTravelSite.

El Viejo Almacen
Balcarce 799 C1064AAO, San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina
Phone: +54 11 4307-7388 // 6698
Website: http://www.viejo-almacen.com.ar/ing/tangueria.html
Contact: info@viejoalmacen.com.ar

Sheraton Libertador Hotel
Av. Cordoba 690, Capital Federal, CP 1054, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Phone: 54.11.4321.0000
Website: http://sheraton.com/libertador
Contact: Enrique Ercigoj, Assistant Food & Beverage

Porto Canoas, Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls National Park
Iguassu Falls, Parana state, Brazil
Website: http://tinyurl.com/6ns6kwj
Contact: Head chef Geraldo Alves de Souza

Read all of Kathleen’s reviews here. 

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About Erin Smith

Living with celiac disease since 1981 and eating gluten-free long before it was "trendy", Erin Smith has a unique perspective of growing up in the gluten-free community; Founded Gluten-Free Fun in 2007; Founded Gluten-Free Globetrotter® in 2011; Founded GlutenFreelancer® in 2014. Erin was the lead organizer of the NYC Celiac Disease Meetup group, a social community of more than 2,000 members for over a decade and has recently started a support group in Northern California.
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