I was at a wedding this summer where at least 3 of the guests required a gluten free meal. In fact, the bride once shared a house with a Coeliac so she is always fabulous at catering gluten free. Her wedding was no different, I was very well fed, down to gluten free canapes on the lawn. When the waiter brought gluten free bread to the table to accompany my starter, another guest at the table questioned me as to how I got it. I explained that I have Coeliac Disease so couldn't eat gluten, and that I informed the happy couple of this when I RSVP-ed. She announced that she had a wheat intolerance, but hadn't thought to mention it on her RSVP. At that point, the Musician and I exchanged a knowing look (we have a mutual friend who professes to a wheat intolerance, but tends to overlook the wheat content of any foods she enjoys!) Sure enough, this girl avoided bread during the starter, and discarded the pastry from her beef wellington, but the bread based dessert was devoured. This annoys me. If it makes you ill, don't eat it!!! It doesn't help to enhance the understanding of others about the effects of gluten on someone with Coeliacs either. If you know someone who claims that they can't eat wheat, then they ask for cake, them it becomes very easy to underestimate the effects of even the smallest amount of gluten of a person who truly can't eat wheat.
If you this I am unfairly generalising all people claiming a wheat intolerance, it happened again today! I was at high tea at The Three Tuns pub in Lower Halstow for a friend's hen party (a brilliant idea). I wasn't expecting to be able to eat anything - high tea consisting of sandwiches and cakes - however, I was greeted by a platter of gluten free open sandwiches (gluten free English muffins and seeded rolls, split and topped with delicious ham, egg, cheese and tuna) and a selection of gluten free cakes. I was delighted. It lifts my spirits when people consider my diet and accommodate me. As I exclaimed my joy at the plate of goodies in front of me, further up the table another member of the party stated that she, too had a wheat intolerance. As she spoke, she was slicing open a (wheat) scone and covering it with jam... Later, she asked if she could have some of my open sandwiches, because, and I quote "I only had cakes, because the sandwiches have too much wheat in them". I did share, but I was dumbfounded. I am sure there are plenty of wheat intolerant people out there who avoid wheat diligently, and probably Coeliacs' out there who ignore their need for a gluten free when tempted, but I just don't understand it. Any accidental gluten consumption has left me sick, weak and miserable, so why would someone knowingly do that to themselves?