Once you’ve gone on the gluten-free diet, there’s a window where you can still remember what real bread products taste like. I wasn’t sure what that window was, exactly, but now I know. For me, it’s approximately seven months after not eating gluten. Or at least that’s what my husband says, since twice in the last week I was proclaiming the deliciousness of a gluten-free product and he gave me a startled look and said, “Yeah, honey. It’s . . . great?”
Crap. I’ve lost my gluten taster. I still think that new brand of gluten-free beer was pretty okay, and I went back for seconds on the cake that he pooh-poohed. But I’m afraid he’s right: I’ve lost my ability to know what’s good and what sucks.
The good news is, when something is really exceptional and g-free, I’ve gotten affirmation from a variety of sources. It’s mostly when I think something is passable, and the rest of the crowd (read = my husband and daughter) are gagging. Those are the times that I’m like a kid in a really crappy candy store for the first time, thinking it’s amazing because I’ve never even heard of Dylan’s Candy Bar. “Wow, doesn’t that Kit Kat look amazing?” some poor sap might cry.
As my pledge to you, however, I will only post recipes here and in other locales, that have been given the non-celiac seal of approval. Unless I’m just all about trashing a recipe, then you can bet I’ll still be asking my family for their opinions. As if I had a choice. Those gluten-eaters are mouthy and brutal.
Celiacs, can you still tell what’s good and what’s eh?
I definitely lost my ability within the first year. I’ve been gluten free for going on 5 years, and products have improved by leaps and bounds since then. (I think???) But even still… I worry about my ability to judge! Definitely feel this post!!
Nonsense! Perhaps a distinction should be made between an all-inclusive thumbs up and a “For Celiac’s Eyes Only!” label, but at the end of the day if you enjoy the recipe, then the recipe is good.
I understand the dilemma, though, and by association the guilt — I make dairy-free recipes for my wife, but refuse to partake of them (probably, on an unrealized level because I fear losing my own grip on dairy reality) while maintaining my own stubborn (and admittedly maddening at times) refusal to compromise on chock-full-o’-cheese recipes that I enjoy myself. To some degree, I think it’s necessary. To each their own, right?
Of course, at the same time, I want to show off my skills. I want to make gluten-free muffins (which sucked) and gluten-free fried fish (which were awesome) because doing so for my friends is, yes, a sacrifice in a way, but also an expression of gratitude. Plus, true success in restricted situations means everyone enjoys the meal equally on the save level. It’s communal. (Not to mention a crap-ton harder than making the ‘average’ dinner.)
I guess what I’m saying is — even though I understand the desire to keep everyone happy, don’t deny yourself the reality of the situation. Let them stare in horror! It’s not a guilty pleasure. If it’s pleasing to you, then it’s a pleasure all the same.
I might not want your terrible muffins, but you (probably) don’t want my pickle and cheese sandwich, and I’ve no intention of stirring peanut butter into my oatmeal. Yet: everybody wins.
I love everything you just said, Mike!
Having just gone back to eating gluten (5 days only), it didn’t taste as good as I remembered. When I eat something gf that appeals to me, I don’t care what anyone else says.
I made a (odd tasting to me) dish, and asked a friend to taste it. She said she’d like a cup of tea first, then she wanted some of it. We ultimately agreed it was a good dish, worth making again.
I’m liking the attitudes of, ‘eat what’s good to you’ since I am trying very hard to please four people in one home, where only one has celiac. It’s tough to cook only for yourself. But hey, I guess no one will be nabbing the last horrible gluten-free cupcake that you think rules.
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Taste aside, I think it’s possible that we gluten-freers can even lose our gluten sight! I’ve been gluten free for 3+ years and have managed to surprise most of my friends with delicious gluten free food that they’ll now enjoy with me and even buy/make on their own. However, upon sending a recipe of homemade gluten free cheeseburger macaroni today to a friend, with the caption “how good does this look!?!”, she replied that she would never make this with me because it actually looked like cat food. Oh well, I still plan on making it…I’ll just have to devour the cat food myself 🙂
Love your blog!
Hahaha! Well, at least she’s honest.
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