We went to Portugal this summer to visit family and to do some traveling inside of Portugal. Since we were staying with my mom, I knew I’d be able to bring pasta with me to cook it there. I packed her snacks as well since I wasn’t sure if they had any that she’d like. The supermarket near my mom’s home called Intermarche had a little section just like here in the states that had a gluten free section. In Europe gluten is considered an allergy therefore, if gluten is in the ingredient it has to be listed. We traveled to Algarve and stayed at a resort that had apartment type rooms with a kitchen. The resort’s restaurant chef prepared her gluten free meals such as shrimp with rosotto, gluten free spaghetti with marinara, sorbet for dessert, and for breakfast she usually had fruit and yoplait yogurt. When we did venture outside the resort we didn’t have a problem either. We went to Antonio restaurant on the beach that made her rosotto with shrimp( she loves it and it’s safe) and had fruit for dessert. We also traveled to Lisbon for a couple of days and stayed at a hotel in the heart of the city.
We arrived around lunch time and ate at the rooftop restaurant. She had steak with potatoes and loved it. That night we went to see Fado which is traditional folk music at a restuarant that the hotel recommended. She had caldo verde (Kale soup) and we shared shrimp salad which was wonderful and also had chorizo. What I did was was print out a portuguese celiac card that I found on the internet, did my research before traveling there and called ahead to restuarants and asked if they new what celiac was to get an idea about what I was going to be dealing with there.
I had an advantage because I speak portuguese fluently and I also know about portuguese cuisine. Here are a few notes to those of you who are considering traveling to Portugal:
*Specify that none of the food can have trigo(flour)
*No need to worry about soy sauce, barbeque sauce, or commercial stocks prepared in foods.
*Most portuguese cuisine is made with natural ingredients.
*Some types of chorizo/linguica,soups and dishes are made with bread, so make sure to ask if there is trigo in it.
*Do not trust waiters when they say that they know what celiac is because most people assume that it means you’re lactose intolerant. Make sure to just give the waiter your portuguese celiac restaurant card and ask him to give to the chef.
I hope this helps and please notify me if you have any questions about my travel.
Print out your portuguese restaurant celiac card here: