Monday, May 30, 2011

Travel, Travel!

This week will be my first trip to Belgium!  I am excited to travel to a place where language shouldn't be a barrier.  I plan to spend the majority of my time in Bruges, which I hear is spectacular! 

These are my two substantial Belgian cuisine desires:

-I will be able to eat a Belgian waffle
-I will be able to find nut free, pure Belgian chocolate to eat

I have no idea what I will find as far as eating with my allergies, but I hope to not miss out on everything this country is known for (since I am already unable to have the mussels, a Bruges specialty).

In preparation for my trip, I will organize plenty of extra medicines (including Epi-pens, Benedryl, and inhalers).  I will also make sure to have all health paperwork accounted for in my travel folder, as well as the emergency numbers.  I also learned earlier this year the importance here of making sure that my phone has plenty of money on it (most phones here are pre-pay), so in case of an emergency, I have enough money to call my allergist and family in the U.S.  I also make sure that I have appropriate chef cards in the country language (for Belgium it will be English and French).

Besides that, I should be ready to go!  Now I just need to figure out what clothes to pack... :)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Out for Birthday Dinner!

Last night it was one of my friend's birthdays.  I had never been to the restaurant before.  She told me that it was an Osteria, where the food would be regional Italian cuisine.  I was also told that there wouldn't be a menu, because it changed daily, depending on what fresh ingredients they bought to cook that day.  I told her that if I couldn't eat anything, I would just enjoy the company and eat later (my usual back-up plan in case I can't eat).  Here in Italy it is difficult to call ahead of time, and since the style of this restaurant would not have been conducive to this anyway, I decided it would be a dining adventure.

Before going out, I made sure to eat something small, just in case they couldn't accommodate my allergies.  The restaurant was authentic and tastfully decorated.  The server told us what the food choices were that evening for each of the three dinner courses.  I gave the server my Chef Card, and asked in Italian if she could find out what I would be able to eat that night.

When the server came back to the table, she was able to advice me on exactly which dishes would be safe with my food allergies.  Although there were fish dishes and salads with nuts, they were happy to accommodate me, and careful to figure out what I would be safe eating. 

Another successful dinner out in Italia!