Eating Gluten Free in Europe

For our honeymoon, my husband and I went to Munich, Germany; Athens, Greece; and Crete, Greece. I was concerned to travel abroad since being gluten free because I was nervous that a language barrier could jeopardize me getting “gluten poisoned.” Even in the US, with gluten free products becoming more popular, I still travel with a couple days stash of my favorite snacks, just in case.

Knowing this concern of mine, my wonderful new husband found these allergy print-offs from Celiac Travel for me. You click on any of their 54 language cards and get a translated note alerting restaurant staff of your allergy! In English it says:

” I have an illness called Celiac Disease and have to follow a strict gluten free diet. I may therefore become very ill if I eat food containing flours or grains of wheat, rye, barley, an oats. Does this food contain flour or grains of wheat, rye, barley or oats? If you are at all uncertain about what the food contains, please tell me. I can eat food containing rice, maize, potatoes, all kinds of vegetables, fruit, eggs, cheese, meat and fish – as long as they are not cooked with wheat flour, batter, breadcrumbs, or sauce. Thank you for your help.”

I wasn’t worried for our stay in Germany, as my husband is fluent in German (he acts like it’s no big deal, but I think it’s super impressive). I know just little, enough to understand the gist of what someone is saying, but not enough to explain I’m GF. Anywho…
We didn’t end up using this card very often in Germany because almost all Germans spoke perfect English – or Ryan spoke to them in German (and they responded back in English). It was pretty sad actually, Ryan was trying so hard!

GF German Card

Here is the German version – translation is close and accurate.

Although we didn’t use it in Germany, we REALLY used it in Greece (obviously the Greek translated version)! We didn’t even know how to say, “hello” in Greek! It took us our week long stay for us to master that one word… Greek is hard!
I would highly recommend using these cards when you travel out of the country and you’re not fluent in the native language. Every restaurant that we went to and I showed this card (in either language) the staff (and cooks) were more than accommodating and incredibly kind. I didn’t get sick once (woo-hoo!)!
I still brought (and recommend brining) a solid amount of snacks to last you your stay (I had two gallon-bags of snacks…), but definitely check out Celiac Travel next time you travel! You’d like to be able to eat while you travel 🙂

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