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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars READ INGREDIENTS CAREFULLY! Not everything entirely gluten free., 13 Oct 2013
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This review is from: The Intolerant Gourmet: Delicious Allergy-friendly Home Cooking for Everyone (Hardcover)
Please, Please read from page 14 onwards where Pippa descirbes a list of fundamental flours/ingredients that are gluten free. She includes Rye flour and IT IS NOT GLUTEN FREE. If someone was recently diagnosed & didn't bother to read the foreward & skipped straight to the menu's they would mistakenly believe they were safe!!


Pippa does caveat putting it down by saying it's not "entirely" gluten free but er.......yeah, she's right because it's not gluten free at all so why even bother putting it on the gluten free list!??

It's a completely irresponsible & confusing message to send esp. for those who have been just diagnosed with Coeliac Disease & not yet familiar with all the do's & don'ts. It took me ages after being diagnosed until I learned & I still haven't gotten it down pat and I was diagnosed 7 years ago. I suffer horribly when I eat gluten and I keep to my diet as religiously as humanly possible.

If you are Coeliac you CANNOT have Rye flour full stop. You cannot have anything that contains wheat, barley, rye or malt & really, if you're super religious about it....stay away from Oats as well because they are still unsure to this day.

The whole point of Pippa narrowing down the list of what you can have, is because as she rightly says, it's "overwhelming" when one is diagnosed with a food allergy or auto-immune disease like Coeliac so to put it on the actual gluten free list makes absolutely no sense.

Now, for the recipes in this book that call for Rye flour (i.e. Sourdough Bread), I would just use 'Chickpea Flour' which is a wonderful flour to subsititue when any recipe calls for 'All Purpose Flour' and just use 'Gluten Free Xanthan Gum' which is a thickening agent.

Also for Chorizo - the real stuff from Spain should be OK but honestly, you shouldn't use it if it isn't marked gluten free.

On to the dishes....they are Yummy & Delicious! Under the Autumn menu, I especially loved the Backed Apple Charlotte (pg 157) & we have it with cream for those can tolerate dairy/lactose. It had the perfect blend of sweet & sour without being overwhelming either way.

Another surprise of flavours was pg. 128 - Smoked Chicken, Butternut squash & Avacado Salad. Again, a nice mix of mildly sweet & salty. Nice textures as well & the dressing which was a mix of Olive Oil, Corriandor and fresh squeezed lemon juice added a really nice freshness to it all.

I improvised a little and toasted the butternut squash seeds as well as the pine nuts. Also, when making the dressing I actually mixed the chopped corriander in with the Olive Oil & lemon juice (I used a bit more OO than called for as a result). I'm glad I did.

Overall, a really sweet cookbook minus the inexplicably misleading information on some ingredients.

For those who aren't confident allergy free cooks - you will need time to plan and give yourself time to cook with no pressure as a lot of the ingredients are unusual and I had never tasted them before. For example; Harissa Paste & saffron threads!? I can't say I have those items to hand in my pantry and even the smoked chicken took a trip to 3 different grocers to find - not even Planet Organic had it (good old Waitrose to the rescue).

My tips over all:
- Read through entire book carefully but especially the foreward & intro pages;
- Give yourself time to work it out & become comfortable with the ingredients & menu's by earmarking recipes that appeal and practice on a weekend if you're not a confident cook;
- If recently diagnosed - again, take the time to get familiar with the recipes & isolate the ones with the least amount of ingredients to start with so you have less chance of becoming overwhelmed;
- Most importantly, don't take anything for granted, if you're unsure of ANY ingredients use GOOGLE!!

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