Gluten-free Food: Zagreb’s First Standardized Gluten-free Restaurant

Total Croatia News

Along with salt and sugar, gluten in food has become an equally important enemy. Aware of the rising number of those who are affected by it, more and more restaurants offer food without the named protein. The Esplanade hotel restaurant in Zagreb has become the first standardized gluten-free restaurant

Gluten is a protein found in certain cereals, mostly in wheat. For those suffering from celiac disease gluten can be devastating, but an increasing number of people without the disease are feeling problems, like former football player Mario Stanić, reported on January 24, 2017.

“It all began with light gastroenterological problems, getting more serious each day. When I began avoiding groceries with gluten I began to feel a lot better,” says Mario. Some studies have shown that up to 80 percent of the world’s population is having issues digesting gluten, while many celiac patients are not even aware they have this autoimmune disease.

“Over 90 percent of the sick, meaning over 40 thousand in Croatia, with estimates of up to 90 thousand, do not know they have this dangerous disease which triggers many other diseases,” said Ružica Lah, President of the Croatian Society for Celiac Disease.

“Most such patients are not recognized precisely as they have non-specific symptoms, which can be mild anaemia, mild bloating, some heartburn, slightly soft stool, which most of us consider irrelevant,” explained gastroenterologist Marina Premužić.

Those sensitive to gluten are affected even if they inhale it, so the type of preparation, packaging and transport of these products is important. Many restaurants in Croatia offer gluten-free food, but the Esplanade hotel restaurant is the first to be awarded the gluten-free standard.

“This certificate came at the right moment as there are more and more people troubled by gluten or intolerant to it, so I believe we will provide a sense of security and trust,” Said Sanda Sokol, marketing manager of the Esplanade hotel.

A flood of gluten-sensitive people was vividly described by Denis Delogu, author of the book “In the Forest,” himself sensitive to gluten. He claims food today is not the same as the one eaten by our grandmothers.

“As the American physician Tom O’Brien put it, the difference between a man and a chimpanzee is one percent in the genome, while the difference between an ancient cereal and the modern variety tritukuma oevsin is around 40 chromosomes, meaning it’s practically not even the same foodstuff,” Delogu said.

Still, however long and arduous the process of proving a gluten allergy is, before deciding to avoid it do consult physicians.


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