Going Gluten Free Across The Atlantic

I am taking a quick break here in Switzerland to blog about my trans-Atlantic gluten free meal on the outward leg of my journey.  To start, we had a bit of a delay (well, about 2 ½ hours as they had to replace the cockpit windscreen).  Now, my other half is quite the nervous flyer so when we left the lounge to board we were greeting by the gate agent announcing if everyone looked out the window they would see the missing windscreen…nice.  Well, no worries we were directed back to the lounge and would be collected when the “problem” was resolved.  The departure time on the screens kept moving ½ hour forward as time went on but 2 ½ hours later we were finally boarding.

We were welcomed to the cabin personally by the cabin manager (who profusely apologized for the delay repeatedly and asked if we would like to use the arrivals lounge to freshen up upon arrival – already behind schedule we declined) and subsequently an array of flight attendants that would be taking care of us on this flight.  Menus and amenity kits were distributed and welcome cocktail orders taken and delivered.  My heart skipped a beat when I mentioned that I had a gluten-free meal and there was a moment of confusion as to whether it had in fact been boarded – it had.

So let’s get to the meal service.  Warm nuts which were salted only made for a nice snack while having a glass of wine.  Next came the appetizer cart (demitasse of mushroom soup, spring rolls, and shrimp) which I could not indulge in (but my partner did) but I was presented with a selection of smoked salmon with grilled baby asparagus, a lovely salad (everyone else’s would arrive at the next course with a selection of garlic bread and assorted rolls) that was served without dressing but rather Mrs. Dash which I thought a bit strange but I just squeezed some lemon on top and it was fine.  A plate of strawberries rounded out my quirky appetizer presentation.  For my main course I was presented with a nice grilled chicken breast with a tomato sauce and rice along with a side of steamed haricots vert.  My partner had the Osso Buco (from a selection of 4 choices) with rice and brocolini which he said was very good.  Next came the cheese cart with a selection of cheeses (only one was not gluten-friendly) and they were washed down with a nice port.  Finally came the ice cream (GF) with a selection of toppings.  I was hesitant to go crazy with toppings because I clearly could not look at the labels so just opted for a safe strawberry topping.  This was fine because I did not relish getting glutened at 36,000 feet.

Prior to landing I was served a rather large fruit salad while my partner had fruit and yogurt along with a selection of cheeses and meats (which I was surprised to not be offered as a GF option) and breads, cinnamon rolls, and croissants with preserves.

The in-flight service was really very good and yes, would I have liked to have been able to indulge in all that was offered – yes.  Alas, I was more than pleased not to have to eat my GF pack across the Atlantic  and most definitely was well fed and watered.

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