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{"id":850960842799,"title":"Conquering Gluten-free Asia","handle":"conquering-gluten-free-asia","description":"\u003ch1\u003eby Liana Hadjigeorgiou\u003c\/h1\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor years I have heard friends go on and on about their incredible trips to Asia – the fantastic food, the multi-day hikes, and fun anecdotes arising from an occasionally unsurpassable language barrier. While I craved to enjoy these experiences myself, being celiac seemed like a potential obstacle that would prevent me from enjoying Asia the way my friends and family have.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFake news! Not only is it possible to successfully travel Asia gluten-free, but it can also add a unique element to your experience. Here are some of my main tips to help you prepare for and enjoy your first trip to Asia.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eWhat to Pack\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eThe most critical item I brought on my journey was a series of letters explaining celiac in a variety of local languages (you can find these online). Whenever I encountered staff that didn’t speak English, I would hand them my document, and they would be able to shake their head yes and no at items on the menu. These allergy letters were quite a hit with some of the employees and fellow diners. Everyone thought it was funny, but they were glad to help. Make sure to download Google translate as well, and bookmark often used phrases.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you are a sushi fanatic like myself, you are going to want to bring soy sauce. I purchased gluten-free Kikkoman packets that were easy to pack. Packing reliable gluten-free products is recommended instead of trying to find an alternative option in your host country. If you’re anything like myself, the last thing you want to spend your precious travel time on is dragging your travel group around town on the hunt for gluten-free soy sauce. While Google translate is helpful (did you know you can take pictures and it will auto-translate?!), it wasn’t always so reliable when it came to food labels. Soy sauce is vital for non-sushi lovers as well. In China, a lot of the meat dishes were simple, needing a dip in soy sauce and garlic. Most high-end places will provide gluten-free soy sauce.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_4_large.JPG?v=1528214973\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHow to Enjoy Local Food\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eIt should not come as a shock that as a celiac\/gluten-free eater, going to your local bakery for dumplings won’t be on the agenda. Trying local food was a great way for me to further indulge in the local culture, and there are two easy ways for you to do so: 1) cook yourself, and 2) research. I was fortunate to stay with a friend’s family in some cities, where they prepared all kinds of local gluten-free foods for me. A lot of the food I tried could have been bought, or I could have made it myself, and I would highly suggest doing this! Asia has some unique fruits and vegetables that are seasonal and not available in other parts of the world (I recommend trying bamboo if you’re around this time of year). Regarding research, try to find restaurants that offer gluten-free versions of the authentic cultural foods. I would advocate making the trek for these. Trying my first Gyoza and a custard green tea crepe, at Littlebird Gluten-Free Cafe in Tokyo, was one of the highlights of my trip.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_2_large.JPG?v=1528214754\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eFood Is Fun, but Food Is Not Everything\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eThere is nothing I hate more than paying for an overpriced, mediocre meal just because it’s the only gluten-free option. Don’t feel bad about eating in! Getting an Airbnb means you have access to a kitchen (especially useful for breakfast, which I found particularly hard to eat out for). Shopping at your local market or grocery store is an experience in itself, and will allow you to be adventurous without dealing with the risks of cross-contamination and confused chefs. I chose to eat in for many of my meals, and instead spend my money on slightly more expensive and experiential meals and drinks. I felt this was a better use of my funds since I wasn’t just eating but also seeing great views of skylines and landmarks while enjoying a safe meal.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_5_large.JPG?v=1528215009\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI am glad to report that I safely traveled Asia the past few weeks without consequence, and thoroughly enjoyed my trip and everything I ate. While it was challenging at times in smaller places (I tried to stick to large cities), I was able to overcome any dietary hurdles that came my way, by being prepared ahead of time, with snacks and power bars. Don’t let your gluten-free diet stop you from enjoying all that Asia has to offer – go out and enjoy it, one salmon nigiri at a time.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_3_large.JPG?v=1528215114\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eAbout the Author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLiana lives in Toronto, where she will be starting her career in business this fall. She has been celiac for over ten years and launched the GF Munch Instagram earlier this year as an international food diary and platform to share some of her favorite gluten-free meals and restaurants. Liana has thoroughly enjoyed the gluten-free community she has gotten to know through her \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/gfmunch\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eGF Munch Instagram\u003c\/a\u003e profile and hopes she can continue to inspire and connect with others.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e© Copyright 2018 GlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine\u003cbr\u003eAll rights reserved. \u003cbr\u003e \u003cbr\u003eGlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine is part of The Pure Fresh Daily Group \u003cbr\u003e© Copyright 2018, Pure Fresh Daily Publications Corporation \u003cbr\u003eAll Rights Reserved. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e","published_at":"2018-06-05T07:53:12-07:00","created_at":"2018-06-05T07:54:18-07:00","vendor":"Glutenfreeglobalicious Magazine","type":"GF Travel Foodies","tags":["Gluten-free Asia","Gluten-free China","Gluten-free Food","Gluten-free Foodies","Gluten-free Japan","Gluten-free Reviews","Gluten-free Shanghai","Gluten-free Tokyo","Gluten-free Travel","GlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine"],"price":0,"price_min":0,"price_max":0,"available":true,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":8640697106479,"title":"Default Title","option1":"Default Title","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":true,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Conquering Gluten-free Asia","public_title":null,"options":["Default Title"],"price":0,"weight":0,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_management":null,"barcode":""}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/products\/Liana_bio.JPG?v=1528213226"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/products\/Liana_bio.JPG?v=1528213226","options":["Title"],"content":"\u003ch1\u003eby Liana Hadjigeorgiou\u003c\/h1\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor years I have heard friends go on and on about their incredible trips to Asia – the fantastic food, the multi-day hikes, and fun anecdotes arising from an occasionally unsurpassable language barrier. While I craved to enjoy these experiences myself, being celiac seemed like a potential obstacle that would prevent me from enjoying Asia the way my friends and family have.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFake news! Not only is it possible to successfully travel Asia gluten-free, but it can also add a unique element to your experience. Here are some of my main tips to help you prepare for and enjoy your first trip to Asia.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eWhat to Pack\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eThe most critical item I brought on my journey was a series of letters explaining celiac in a variety of local languages (you can find these online). Whenever I encountered staff that didn’t speak English, I would hand them my document, and they would be able to shake their head yes and no at items on the menu. These allergy letters were quite a hit with some of the employees and fellow diners. Everyone thought it was funny, but they were glad to help. Make sure to download Google translate as well, and bookmark often used phrases.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you are a sushi fanatic like myself, you are going to want to bring soy sauce. I purchased gluten-free Kikkoman packets that were easy to pack. Packing reliable gluten-free products is recommended instead of trying to find an alternative option in your host country. If you’re anything like myself, the last thing you want to spend your precious travel time on is dragging your travel group around town on the hunt for gluten-free soy sauce. While Google translate is helpful (did you know you can take pictures and it will auto-translate?!), it wasn’t always so reliable when it came to food labels. Soy sauce is vital for non-sushi lovers as well. In China, a lot of the meat dishes were simple, needing a dip in soy sauce and garlic. Most high-end places will provide gluten-free soy sauce.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_4_large.JPG?v=1528214973\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHow to Enjoy Local Food\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eIt should not come as a shock that as a celiac\/gluten-free eater, going to your local bakery for dumplings won’t be on the agenda. Trying local food was a great way for me to further indulge in the local culture, and there are two easy ways for you to do so: 1) cook yourself, and 2) research. I was fortunate to stay with a friend’s family in some cities, where they prepared all kinds of local gluten-free foods for me. A lot of the food I tried could have been bought, or I could have made it myself, and I would highly suggest doing this! Asia has some unique fruits and vegetables that are seasonal and not available in other parts of the world (I recommend trying bamboo if you’re around this time of year). Regarding research, try to find restaurants that offer gluten-free versions of the authentic cultural foods. I would advocate making the trek for these. Trying my first Gyoza and a custard green tea crepe, at Littlebird Gluten-Free Cafe in Tokyo, was one of the highlights of my trip.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_2_large.JPG?v=1528214754\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eFood Is Fun, but Food Is Not Everything\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eThere is nothing I hate more than paying for an overpriced, mediocre meal just because it’s the only gluten-free option. Don’t feel bad about eating in! Getting an Airbnb means you have access to a kitchen (especially useful for breakfast, which I found particularly hard to eat out for). Shopping at your local market or grocery store is an experience in itself, and will allow you to be adventurous without dealing with the risks of cross-contamination and confused chefs. I chose to eat in for many of my meals, and instead spend my money on slightly more expensive and experiential meals and drinks. I felt this was a better use of my funds since I wasn’t just eating but also seeing great views of skylines and landmarks while enjoying a safe meal.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_5_large.JPG?v=1528215009\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eI am glad to report that I safely traveled Asia the past few weeks without consequence, and thoroughly enjoyed my trip and everything I ate. While it was challenging at times in smaller places (I tried to stick to large cities), I was able to overcome any dietary hurdles that came my way, by being prepared ahead of time, with snacks and power bars. Don’t let your gluten-free diet stop you from enjoying all that Asia has to offer – go out and enjoy it, one salmon nigiri at a time.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0027\/9796\/1263\/files\/liana_3_large.JPG?v=1528215114\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eAbout the Author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLiana lives in Toronto, where she will be starting her career in business this fall. She has been celiac for over ten years and launched the GF Munch Instagram earlier this year as an international food diary and platform to share some of her favorite gluten-free meals and restaurants. Liana has thoroughly enjoyed the gluten-free community she has gotten to know through her \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.instagram.com\/gfmunch\/\" target=\"_blank\" rel=\"noopener noreferrer\"\u003eGF Munch Instagram\u003c\/a\u003e profile and hopes she can continue to inspire and connect with others.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e© Copyright 2018 GlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine\u003cbr\u003eAll rights reserved. \u003cbr\u003e \u003cbr\u003eGlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine is part of The Pure Fresh Daily Group \u003cbr\u003e© Copyright 2018, Pure Fresh Daily Publications Corporation \u003cbr\u003eAll Rights Reserved. \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e \u003c\/p\u003e"}

Conquering Gluten-free Asia

by Liana Hadjigeorgiou

For years I have heard friends go on and on about their incredible trips to Asia – the fantastic food, the multi-day hikes, and fun anecdotes arising from an occasionally unsurpassable language barrier. While I craved to enjoy these experiences myself, being celiac seemed like a potential obstacle that would prevent me from enjoying Asia the way my friends and family have.

Fake news! Not only is it possible to successfully travel Asia gluten-free, but it can also add a unique element to your experience. Here are some of my main tips to help you prepare for and enjoy your first trip to Asia.

What to Pack
The most critical item I brought on my journey was a series of letters explaining celiac in a variety of local languages (you can find these online). Whenever I encountered staff that didn’t speak English, I would hand them my document, and they would be able to shake their head yes and no at items on the menu. These allergy letters were quite a hit with some of the employees and fellow diners. Everyone thought it was funny, but they were glad to help. Make sure to download Google translate as well, and bookmark often used phrases.

If you are a sushi fanatic like myself, you are going to want to bring soy sauce. I purchased gluten-free Kikkoman packets that were easy to pack. Packing reliable gluten-free products is recommended instead of trying to find an alternative option in your host country. If you’re anything like myself, the last thing you want to spend your precious travel time on is dragging your travel group around town on the hunt for gluten-free soy sauce. While Google translate is helpful (did you know you can take pictures and it will auto-translate?!), it wasn’t always so reliable when it came to food labels. Soy sauce is vital for non-sushi lovers as well. In China, a lot of the meat dishes were simple, needing a dip in soy sauce and garlic. Most high-end places will provide gluten-free soy sauce.

How to Enjoy Local Food
It should not come as a shock that as a celiac/gluten-free eater, going to your local bakery for dumplings won’t be on the agenda. Trying local food was a great way for me to further indulge in the local culture, and there are two easy ways for you to do so: 1) cook yourself, and 2) research. I was fortunate to stay with a friend’s family in some cities, where they prepared all kinds of local gluten-free foods for me. A lot of the food I tried could have been bought, or I could have made it myself, and I would highly suggest doing this! Asia has some unique fruits and vegetables that are seasonal and not available in other parts of the world (I recommend trying bamboo if you’re around this time of year). Regarding research, try to find restaurants that offer gluten-free versions of the authentic cultural foods. I would advocate making the trek for these. Trying my first Gyoza and a custard green tea crepe, at Littlebird Gluten-Free Cafe in Tokyo, was one of the highlights of my trip.

Food Is Fun, but Food Is Not Everything
There is nothing I hate more than paying for an overpriced, mediocre meal just because it’s the only gluten-free option. Don’t feel bad about eating in! Getting an Airbnb means you have access to a kitchen (especially useful for breakfast, which I found particularly hard to eat out for). Shopping at your local market or grocery store is an experience in itself, and will allow you to be adventurous without dealing with the risks of cross-contamination and confused chefs. I chose to eat in for many of my meals, and instead spend my money on slightly more expensive and experiential meals and drinks. I felt this was a better use of my funds since I wasn’t just eating but also seeing great views of skylines and landmarks while enjoying a safe meal.

I am glad to report that I safely traveled Asia the past few weeks without consequence, and thoroughly enjoyed my trip and everything I ate. While it was challenging at times in smaller places (I tried to stick to large cities), I was able to overcome any dietary hurdles that came my way, by being prepared ahead of time, with snacks and power bars. Don’t let your gluten-free diet stop you from enjoying all that Asia has to offer – go out and enjoy it, one salmon nigiri at a time.

About the Author

Liana lives in Toronto, where she will be starting her career in business this fall. She has been celiac for over ten years and launched the GF Munch Instagram earlier this year as an international food diary and platform to share some of her favorite gluten-free meals and restaurants. Liana has thoroughly enjoyed the gluten-free community she has gotten to know through her GF Munch Instagram profile and hopes she can continue to inspire and connect with others.

 

© Copyright 2018 GlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine
All rights reserved.
 
GlutenfreeGlobalicious Magazine is part of The Pure Fresh Daily Group
© Copyright 2018, Pure Fresh Daily Publications Corporation
All Rights Reserved. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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