I am one of those people you can’t invite over for dinner… it is not like I don’t know how to use a knife and fork, and I rarely spill food on myself but I am a picky eater. I am gluten- free (specifically wheat free), sugar-free and lactose limited vegetarian. I know … yuck. In my defense, this food plan is not part of a new hipster “faux allergen” movement, a lot of it isn’t my fault… I woke up one day and couldn’t stand the smell or taste of meat, I am actually gluten free (I have a medical certificate to prove it) and unless you like gas poisoning the rest has to be consumed in restricted quantities or out-right quarantined from my diet. The question “Well what do you eat?” comes up often. A question that I think is pretty fair. I mean if you were going to invite a person like me…or worse a bio/ vegan/ “care for the sustainability of the world” kind of eater over what do you make them for a meal.
The answer is usually vegetables, if meat is allowed it has to be organic and if cheese is allowed (which I love just on a rare occasion) it has to be the product of the bioorganic cow that now makes up the rump steak on the plate. Seems easy right? All you have to do is go to the shop look for the bio-sign on the plastic wrapped items and buy like a teenage girl at a shopping mall. Simple… wrong!!! The Bio sign also comes with the secret power of being able to double if not triple the number on the green price sticker that is attached lovingly right by its side. Eating ethically can send you broke, or if you are already broke eating ethical can make you starve. So what is the solution? The simple solutions are the markets.
Every Sunday at the Parvis St Gillies there is a market, which holds all the solutions for your food intolerant friendship dinners. So let me give you the run-down of where to get your stuff for each troublesome food diet.
- CHEESE – La Petite Remorque
So if your guests aren’t vegan but are in the transition stage, they will go through an irritating phase where they will constantly state
“Well if I am going to eat cheese I at least want it to be gourmet, I mean did you know that it’s not good to eat dairy from an animal that is why we are weaned off breast milk in the first place… it is a universal fact that everyone is lactose intolerant… but I’m only human right? So I guess if I am going to destroy my stomach lining I might as well do it with the best products ”
Ehhh painful. If your guests are like this La Petite Remorque is you best bet. It is a food van situated a few shops into the markets when entering in from the Eglise Saint-Gilles church end. This shop contains all the dairy delights that melt in the mouths of the upper-class food pallet and is worth a look.
- MEAT – Boucherie – Charcuterie
Boucherie – Charcuterie is a meat van that will cater to your friends with a semi-committed hipster appetite. The hipsters that are not quite ready to commit to a life free of bacon but at least they want to know that the animal they are eating had a life of roaming green paddocks and eating top quality grass before being killed and appearing on their plate. This shop is butchered meat of the highest quality, a quality standard that will put your guest’s minds at ease.
- VEGETABLES AND FRUITS – The fruit and vegetable shop with no name
This stall lies to the left of the “Boucherie – Charcuterie” and contains fruit and vegetables arranged in the same way that food porn sights display rainbow food platters. This shop will be the organic savior to your culinary efforts. Each fruit and vegetable looks and tastes chemical free and in the word of my wise friend “ the watermelon actually taste like melon instead of just tasting like water”
- FLOWERS – Exotic Jardin
Last but not least, tucked right in front of the Eglise Saint-Gilles church is Exotic Jardin. I know it is not a food shop but if you give up on the whole catering thing there is always just making the place look pretty for your soon to be starving guest. Sure this is not a food group, but it will give the people that can’t eat anything something to look at while you serve your inorganic, lactose filled, meat fleshed dinner and if they get really hungry flowers are gluten free… right?
This meal will not only taste good but shouldn’t put you too far out of budget. But the main thing it will avoid is the political conversation about food ethics and people pushing away the meal that you slaved for hours to make with that disgusted look and the words “oh I can’t eat that”
This advice should help you when trying to feed your food picky guest and if you ever do put on one of these gluten free, nut free, lactose limited, vegetarian dinner parties please invite me along because cooking with all these food restrictions is out-right hell.