allergy-friendliness in Austria
One of my favorite places on Earth is the area where Austria meets Germany: Salzburg, Bavaria, Tyrol – I love them all. Just can’t get enough of those magnificent mountains, peaceful forests and friendly people. Many say that Germans are cold, but every time I meet them, I’m positively surprised. Who knows what’s the trick. Anyway, being a tourist there is an absolute hit, trust me.
Last week we were on a little holiday and spent a few days in Innsbruck and in it’s region. I’ve been many-many times to Austria and Germany, but yet this trip was special: I’m on a strict gluten-, milk-, egg- and corn-free diet and I’m trying to eat low-carb as well – while traveling. I know it’s almost hopeless. But I thought “It’s not that bad, I’m sure we’ll find a huge variation of freefrom products everywhere”. (Don’t hold your cynical laughter, it’s not good for your health.)
My emergency food kit lasted for two days, and we explored in the meantime all the options one with food allergies has in a small village. Here comes a short summary 😉
Spar and Interspar
We visited 4 of them, but even the bigger ones had the same amount of Schär’s gluten-free products as the smaller ones. And they didn’t take a huge space, only two or three shelves. One could find gluten-free bread, cornflakes, cookies and sometimes muffins. All of them had egg and/or corn flour in them. And lots of sugar too.
Good news: we could find gluten- and milk-free products from Alpro in every store. I just love their desserts!
We were in a big store, but they had the same things as Spar, only on a longer shelf. I saw Oreo-like gluten-free cookies (made from corn starch and eggs) and my heart broke into small, Oreo-shaped pieces.
Hofer (alias Aldi) has it’s own gluten-free products, mostly desserts, but they have everything else (milk, egg, corn, sugar) in them. However before checking out I spotted a gluten-free and vegan goji bar, it tasted amazing!
I’m not sure where people who live on diet find the most important things which fit into their lifestyle, but I assume there are specialized shops and webshops for that.
After our semi-successful shopping I was positively surprised about the fact how conscious people in almost every restaurant are about food-allergies. In every menu the allergens were displayed clearly, in every restaurant with the same letters. See below:
A: gluten, B: shellfish (crustaceans), C: eggs, D: fish, E: peanuts, F: soya, G: milk, H: nuts, I: celery, J: mustard, K: sesame seeds, L: sulphur dioxide, M: lupin, N: shellfish (molluscs)
We bumped into one of those perfect places to eat and I was so thankful for that! It’s called MyIndigo and they can be found in Munich, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Köln and Hawaii. They had lots of freefrom meals, and something for everyone: vegans, meat-eaters, sushi lovers, salad enthusiasts, etc. Peter ate beef curry, I had a huge salad with lentils and everything. I want to go back to Innsbruck just because of that restaurant. I just have to.
We stayed at a little pension in Pertisau (that place was true magic – see the pictures below). The lady who ran the hotel arranged gluten-free bread for me for every breakfast, it was not her fault that my first meal of the day looked like that without our emergency food supplies:
I think most of the hotels are pretty flexible regarding food intolerance, e.g. if you book a room in a family-run hotel, chances are high that you’ll get a personalized breakfast if you ask for it.
And now let’s round up this post with our pictures of Austria 🙂