Kerry

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I recently spent a long weekend in Killarney with my husband and wanted to mention a couple of places that were great for coeliacs.

The first is Aghadoe Heights Hotel where we stayed. Gluten free is absolutely no problem here with bread available with all meals and very good knowledge of the condition by the staff there. We had a five course meal as part of our hotel package and almost everything (including all soups and sauces) was already gluten free. For dessert, I got my own chef’s selection of miniature desserts including a chocolate mousse and berry pannacotta. Apart from the food aspect, the hotel is fabulous and yes, pricey. If you are seeking a bit of luxury on a weekend break, look no further.

On doing the obligatory google of ‘Coeliac Killarney’ before the trip, I came across review for a chipper in the town centre which offers gluten free options. Allegro (Plunkett St) did not disappoint. They have a separate gluten free menu including many types of burgers, fish is available depending on the day and of course, chips. YUM.

I visited The Laurels on the main street in Killarney for lunch and while they do not have items noted as GF on the menu, the staff were very helpful in checking this for me and I have a lovely baked potato with filling and side salad with no ill effects.

A place that I notice had GF options listed on the menu was the Ross Hotel however, I did not eat there.

My favourite find was Jam cafe which I visited in Kenmare but also has locations in Cork, Tralee and Killarney town. I arrived in weak with hunger and was delighted to find their soups and many hot food items were gluten free. Not only that, they had homemade gluten free scones and muffins! I enjoyed a lovely broccoli soup followed by a fresh heated scone with butter and jam. What more could you want as a coeliac.

All in all, Kerry appears to be a great place for coeliacs

Crisps

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Crisps

I love crisps.

When I was diagnosed I emailed Tayto to moan at them about the fact I could no longer indulge in my national crisp. The response was not favourable.

My crisp limitation has genuinely been one of the hardest things for me to live with on a day to day basis (Yes. I know it sounds like I am living with an actual chronic problem here but bear with me). I used to eat a pack of Tayto cheese & onion for breakfast back in my secondary school days. Don’t blame my parents, they did not agree with this.

Anyway, man was I raging with the news that I could no longer numb my mouth with the beautiful balance of synthetic flavouring in Banshee Bones or the distinct not quite onion but something awesome flavour of Jonnie Onion rings. RAGIN.

Joking aside, it continues to be a pain but there is hope in the form of the hand cooked crisp.

Thankfully, there are a quite a few of these on the market and in a variety of shops so my crisp fix is generally sated without too much hassle.

My recommendations:

Burts Crisps – Available in Tesco, Dunnes, Superquinn and I’ve seen them in a few random Spars. Don’t think I’ve seen them in Supervalu. Variety of flavours, sometimes even have the small packs but hey, why buy a small bag when you could buy a big one?!

Tesco Finest Crisps – Essentially are burts crisps but cheaper, you will find the in the Coeliac FoodList 2012 issued by the Coeliac society confirming the flavours we can eat but all the flavours I’ve seen in store are grand. The sweet chilli ones are NOM

Keoghs Crisps – Only two flavours GF, they say suitable for coeliacs on the packet. I have only tried the Salt and Vinegar ones and they are yum. Also, they’re Irish which is nice.

 

There are obviously more brands than this but these are the most main stream for the everyday shopper. If you get into luxury foodhalls and random shops around the country you might find more and if so, email me!

 

Rosscarbery Gluten Free Sausages

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Rosscarbery Gluten Free Sausages

One of the hardest foods to change when I was diagnosed as a coeliac was sausages, I have quite the habit. I say habit because I used to eat a full pack of 8 in one sitting and they were almost always lovely country style saussies from the sunny south east where I hail from. I’m not sure what it says about my parents but I have some rake of memories of stuffing my face with sausages (insert rude joke here). Myself and my brother even used to dip them in our tea, is this interesting? I think so. Gross? Probably.

The two main brands available in Ireland for coeliac sausage lovers are Hodgins Gluten Free Sausages and Clonakilty Gluten Free Sausages. While both are nice, I prefer Clonakilty as they are greasier and more tasty. Hodgins are grand, don’t get me wrong, I just have a preference y’all!

Now and again, I come across some artisan brand usually in an alternative supermarket and such was the case last week when I stumbled across these Rosscarbery GF Sausages in Morton’s of Ranelagh.

Put to the test, I think these are a nice happy medium between Clonakilty and Hodgins. They are less greasy than Clonakilty but have more of a bite and tastiness about them than Hodgins. They are also the most normal sized GF sausage I have come across (seriously, insert rude joke here) that doesn’t shrink on cooking so I would recommend them for BBQ perhaps.

Price wise, these babies set me back somewhere between €2 and €3, I’m not always that good with the details. I wouldn’t buy them every week but I would definitely buy again. The Clon’s will be in the freezer though for when I need some hangover grease!

Coffee Society – Ranelagh

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Coffee Society – Ranelagh

Coffee shops in Dublin are really coming around to all things gluten free. I met Mos for a quick coffee after work today and had a choice of macaroons,brownies (Ina’s Handmade) and a selection of cakes from Pure Foods. I had seen some bread by Pure Foods in Morton’s Supermarket in Ranelagh but hadn’t bought due to the price (almost €5), I couldn’t say no to a piece of carrot cake with my coffee though.

It was very tasty and moist (possibly should have taken a picture of the cake when it was still in the wrapper but I was very focused on devouring). I think it was around €2.50 which is reasonable for a coffee shop. I liked the fact that it was in a cellophane wrapper so I didn’t have to check their utensils or the positioning of the cakes. I would definitely have a Pure Foods cake again, there was a brownie and banana bread there aswell today.

P.S The coffee was awesome too

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