Trends come and go in the food industry, often times amounting to little more than immediate gratification for the diner and a sense of “look at me” for the creative chef preparing your meal. But, as quickly as the nouveau sparks a food revolution, a clientele demanding what’s “cutting edge” soon deems it passé. And, as budding chefs rush to play “follow the leader”, food writers “in the know” soon pass judgment, labeling their adaptations cliché, at best. One trend that does seem like it will “stick” around is the demand for gluten-free foods in the food industry: fitting since gluten translates almost literally to “glue” in Latin.
If you are a baker, you love gluten. The protein structure in breads, gluten give breads their elasticity. Before bread was sliced it was probably passed around the table and torn. The development of these gluten proteins is the thing that makes this food camaraderie possible, because with out gluten (or gluten substitutes) the baked dough would just crumble. But, as more and more people are finding out they are gluten intolerant (or sensitive), the pitfalls of gluten in their diets far out-weigh the joys of “breaking bread”.
As conjecture often times “runs the gamut” extreme dieters will find a convincing list of facts to support why they should (or shouldn't’t) avoid certain foods. And as “gluten free” seems to be the prevailing said-trend, millions of people (without gluten allergies) are also adopting this new diet modification. Even fine restaurants everywhere are rushing to keep up, often designating whole menu sections to gluten free items.
As I am only brave enough to speculate, I would guess that if you’re not allergic to gluten, and going gluten free has changed your life, there are probably other factors attributing to your wellness, like a manageable diet and exercise. But, whatever the reasons are, the gluten-free trend seems like it won’t fizzle out any time soon. If you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, ask for your sandwich made with gluten free bread next time you eat in the 212 Bistro. And, come see us soon, because we want to cook for you!
- Salvatore Friedel