Friday, January 27, 2006

CLAIMING AN ALLERGY THAT DOESN'T EXIST. Some very respectable celiac diners recommend telling waiters that one has an allergy to wheat, barley, rye, and oats. I disagree. I think one should be honest and not claim to have an allergy if one doesn't have one. That way you spread the word about the celiac disease without getting get caught in a lie, losing the respect of the people who are serving you, and doing a disservice to those who have real allergies.

In the January 25, 2007 New York Times, food critic Frank Bruni writes about posing as a waiter and presents some food for celiac thought:
I encounter firsthand an annoyance that other servers have told me about: the diner who claims an allergy that doesn't really exist. A woman at X-10, which is a table for two, or a "two top," repeatedly sends me to the kitchen for information on the sugar content of various rubs, relishes and sauces.

But when I ask her whether her allergy is to refined sugar only or to natural sugars as well, she hems, haws and downgrades her condition to a blood sugar concern, which apparently doesn't extend to the sparkling wine she is drinking.

She orders the sirloin skewers, requesting that their marginally sweet accouterments be put on a separate plate, away from her beef but available to her boyfriend. He rolls his eyes.

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