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Gluten Free Guide to France Book Review

Published 7 August, 2011

Gluten Free Guide to FranceSo you're planning a vacation or business trip to France, and wondering what it's going to be like finding gluten free food. What are your options?If you're anything like me, you jump online, fire up a dozen search windows and mine the web for any information you can find. And usually you'll find something.

But with the publication of a Gluten Free Guide to France, you have another option. Buy the book from Amazon, (or direct from the publisher) sit back and relax. But should you?

What the book contains

To start with, you get a general overview of the travel and accommodation options for holidaying in France, much as you might in any travel guide. Next, we start digging into some specifics on things like gluten free bread (for example, Naturalia store sells 4 kinds of fresh gluten free bread every day), and deserts that are naturally gluten free and typically found all over France.

There is information on restaurant chains, pre-packaged products and specialist gluten free-proving accommodation such as B&Bs and Club Med.

We then move onto language info, with letters for hotels, how to make reservations at restaurants, ingredients to watch out for an so on. (Of course, you'll have your French gluten free restaurant card with you!)

But by far the largest portion of the guide is taken up with listings of restaurants, cafes and health food stores that can provide gluten free food - 209 pages of them to be precise, containing over 950 venues, 200+ of which are in Paris. The listings include address and contact details, plus a short note on the level of 'gluten freeness', such as "Can do many GF dishes", "Yes of course we can do gluten free dishes!", "Advance notice necessary" and the most reassuring of all - "Chef is gluten-intolerant and will make many GF dishes and breakfast." I personally like this feature because it lets you choose somewhere that is most likely to be truly gluten free. And the listings cover every area of France - this must have been one heck of a research job!

So is it worth it?

At the time of writing the Gluten Free Guide to France is selling on Amazon (US) at $29.95, which is not cheap, but given the amount of work that has clearly gone into it, and the value to a travelling celiac, I think it's really not a bad price. If I was going to France, I'd be getting a copy.

I only have one concern, which is that the restaurant business is notoriously high turnover, and a restaurant that is listed today might not be so gluten-free-friendly tomorrow. It would be good to see some sort of online option, where the listings are checked periodically. I reckon I'd may a subscription fee to access that.

Gluten Free Guides also publishes guides to Italy, New York and Washington DC. You can read more about these guides here.

Related: Living and travelling gluten free in France

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