Thursday, October 28, 2010

Not Alone on this Journey: Rose's Wheatfree Bakery

Based on our bus ride down Central Street in Evanston, I think that Evanstonians love their baked goods. We passed bakery after bakery until we arrived at Rose’s Wheatfree Bakery at 2901 Central Street. It was very refreshing to walk into a bakery and have our pick of baked goods. The gentleman who greeted us could probably tell that we were first timers into their shop: we were staring at all of our different options in the display cases and written on the chalkboard. He asked which one of us was gluten-free. Eliot and I simultaneously responded “We both are.” The gentleman gave us small portions of their French bread and their multi-grain bread to sample. There were bagels, loaves of bread, bagged bread crumbs, cupcakes, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, and so much more! Shelves were labeled as dairy free and others were vegan.

I have been gluten free for over four months now. As soon as I went gluten free and was eating with Eliot, I gave him small test portions of my food. (I do the same thing with my mom when I dine with her. I think it helps demystify the gluten free diet and let the people I am close to know that the food I am eating is just as delicious, if not better, than gluten filled foods.) Just over a month ago, Eliot decided to see if a gluten-free diet would work for him and his symptoms. It did. Now when we go out to eat, assuming the food is dairy free or tree nut free, we can sample each other’s selection. Finding food that is gluten, dairy and tree nut free can be difficult. Eliot pointed out to the ingredient lists on the breads to me, “Look!” We found plenty of options to share at Rose’s.

When making my selection, I went with a vegan dessert that I did not think I could easily make at home: a carrot cupcake. It was a little crumbly, but overall, the cupcake was very good and full of fun textures and tastes that were perfect for a fall day. Eliot had a quiche and a piece of cheesecake. And for the first time in months, I could try someone else’s food while eating out. The cheesecake was dairy free and I realized that this was the first time ever I was eating cheesecake, let alone dairy free cheesecake. My palate is expanding one bite at a time.

I thanked Eliot for coming on this journey with me. And not just the Red Line, Purple Line, Central Bus journey to the bakery! When I first went gluten free, I thought it could be very isolating. My best friend has discovered for himself that the amazing healing effect the gluten free diet has. Now the two of us are learning how to eat on a gluten free diet and we are healthier than ever!

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