A person with celiac disease may have some difficulty in eating well depending on where they live. In most parts of the world, the gluten containing ingredients are part of the daily diet, and Brazil isn’t different. Although, I saw some regional dissimilarities related to this in my experiences traveling. This is because I suffer from celiac disease, which means that I’m not able to eat food that contains wheat, oats, barley, malt, and rye neither anything that has been contaminated by that protein. Thus, I don’t have many choices when eating. Consequently, one of my first thoughts before moving to the United States was how I would eat well. That’s because I visited the country other times and tried different types of food. However, living here is another kind of thing.
In my hometown, unless you want to buy only fresh food for cooking at home, it’s really hard to find a big variety of gluten-free options. Even the bread is dry and doesn’t have that flavor either the smell of bakery’s fresh bread. On top of that, it’s very difficult to explain to the nonspecialized restaurant’s waiters about my condition, most of them think that I am doing the diet of the moment. The problem is that when nobody understands you, nobody respects you. In contrast, in the United States, the majority of places have a special gluten-free menu, and all attendants write down your request without throwing that judgmental look. For an American that has celiac disease, it can be much easier to have meals away from home because people understand the situation and there is a much wider range of choices everywhere you go.
Another thing about being a celiac is that you don’t always want to have a healthy meal. Sometimes you just want to eat pizza and french fries. The problem in Brazil is that people think that by having a completely gluten-free diet, you also have to be vegetarian, low carb, or maybe live from light. Then, when you find someplace to eat safe, the food is almost always much healthier than a regular food. Conversely, in North America, when you want to eat the biggest and most caloric burger on the menu they present you the same food in its gluten-free version.
However, there is a similarity in both countries that is not so cool: the price. If there is no escape from buying ready-made food in Brazil, this should be done in specific places that especially serve the gluten-free population. And then you can see how much the meal without gluten is much more expensive than the normal food. In the United States as well. Usually, you have to pay a little more for the gluten-free dishes because of a different kind of bread, or because it’s expensive itself. That’s how you realize that the GF meal, regardless of where you are, doesn’t cause a stomachache, but sometimes it hurts in the pocket.
Choosing the best country to eat well when you have celiac disease will depend on what is your favorite type of food, home-cooked or ready-made meal. Considering that I’m already very used to the homemade food, it’s still my favorite since both my grandmother and mother always do the best gluten-free food in the world. After all, nothing compares to mother’s meals. On the other hand, it’s always good to open the horizons and have several choices when food is the main topic. Although, I really hope that the options get to expand in Brazil, like they are in the United States, in such a way that not only me, but all the people who have the same problem will be able to eat normal food when they’re not at home. Even if it’s occasionally.