My husband was diagnosed as a celiac in 2009, a few months before we left England to come and live in my home country, South Africa. It has been a very difficult process. We only discovered after we moved that England caters very well for celiacs, with products in every supermarket. Even Kelloggs now produces a gluten free corn flakes that is not much more than regular corn flakes.
But here in South Africa it is a totally different story… One of never ending problems. Labeling here for a start is not as strict as in England. If you go anywhere in the UK you can walk into a shop and the label will definitively tell you if you can eat it or not. It has to state all possible allergies on the label including MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF. In South Africa this is not necessary, so every time you want to buy anything you have to phone up the company and ask them if it is safe to eat. Most of the time the customer service departments can’t even help you either…
Frustration levels are very high when it comes to shopping, not knowing what you can and can’t buy… We have discovered a wonderful company though where you can buy Gluten Free goodies and you know it is Gluten Free. One of the products they sell is peanut butter. We started selling these Gluten Free products a year ago so every celiac out there can at least be certain of purchasing a product that is safe for them to consume.
I was born in Vanderbijlpark, South Africa and grew up in Vereeniging. The first time I left home was in 2002 to go to England on a working holiday. Met my husband halfway around the world, got married in South Africa and now have 2 beautiful children. One boy and one girl... Started writing down recipes I grew up with when I was living in England and love sharing them with others.