Living Gluten Free in Spain and Morocco

Report on Spain and Morocco – March 09

Qantas – Melbourne / Singapore

Due to travelling on a Frequent Flyer ticket and having booked this directly with Qantas, no gluten free meal arrived! Steward was not very helpful – suggested he could possibly get some cheese for me from premium economy! In the end, I ate the vegetables from a chicken dish, left the chicken due to him not knowing what was in the sauce, ate two bowls of lettuce, two chocolates (GF – amazing) and a cup of tea! Ice creams were served later but these too contained gluten, so none for me.
QF are changing their meal codes for GF from SPML back to GFML which will helpfully automate the process and cause less of these problems. It was enough food to get me to Singapore – roll on supper and breakfast on BA.

British Airways Singapore / London
Gluten free food – Hooray!
Supper – Potatoes, beans, chicken and tuna salad
No gluten free snacks during the night!
Breakfast – Tomato, spinach, omelette, chicken, hash browns and more of those darn corn things! Yoghurt, melon and lychees and numerous cups of tea along with orange juice.

Of the two flights, BA was definitely the better, newer plane, better seats, toilets and food!

No real gluten free products sighted, but plenty of risottos and salads.
Breakfasts were fine – Fruit, yoghurt, cheese and frittatas.

Train to Granada –
Breakfast served – Scrambled eggs, green beans and carrots, fruit salad and tea.

Actually very easy! Most tajines are gluten free so I lived on tajine chicken with lemon, beef with olives, etc.
Gluten free cards on the iphone worked amazingly well. Either in English, French, or Arabic, whatever they chose. Most waiters were then able to steer me away from cous cous dishes and the steak dishes with sauces and leave me with tajines, salads, omelettes, etc. Even the Menu Das Dias – menu of the day – a cheaper mass produced 3 course meal usually a lot cheaper than a la carte always had a gluten free option.
I’d honestly buy an iphone just to get this application – as it is such a gimmick to most waiters that they go out of their way to accommodate you. I’m not 100% sure of the exact translations but a few of the waiters looked very sad – as though I was on my last legs.
Even snacks were OK – though not that healthy as there isn’t much fresh fruit around.
Nothing much in Moroccan supermarkets so the stash of gluten free muesli and muesli bars helped out.
Average Moroccan breakfast on our tour was tea/coffee, juice, and bread, pastries, so I found lots of my fellow travellers looking longingly at my yummy Simple muesli.

Gluten free cards on iphone worked well.
Breakfasts OK as eggs are on most menus here, if not there’s always the potato omelette as backup.
Yoghurt is also usually served and most of these are OK too.
Just missed out on the churros with my cup of chocolate for breakfast.
Lots of salads available, lots of vegetables served so pick these kinds of dishes with your GF cards help.

BA Internal flights from Heathrow to Madrid & Barcelona to Heathrow –
No gluten free meals even though they were requested; however they were only small flights, so I survived! No special meals since 9/11