Everything You Wanted To Know About Gluten But Were Afraid To Ask
For those who are afraid to look even more dumb in Whole Foods.
A: Stay away from beer, breads, cakes...
Beer is made from malted barley or wheat; breads and cakes are made from wheat-based flours or other whole grains.
...pie, candies, cereals...
Pie crust and cereals are made from wheat-based flours; some candies contain wafers or other wheat-based ingredients.
...cookies, crackers, croutons...
Cookies, crackers, and croutons are made from wheat-based flours and could contain other whole grains.
...gravies, imitation meats/fish, matzah...
Flour is used to thicken gravy; imitation crab meat is made from ground white fish and a binding agent (normally the enzyme transglutaminase, but occasionally egg whites are used); matzah is an unleavened bread made from any of the five grains mentioned in the Torah: wheat, barley, spelt, rye and oats.
...pastas, lunch meats, salad dressings...
Pasta noodles are made from wheat-based flours or other grains; processed deli meats could contain seasonings that contain gluten or were combined with breadcrumbs as a filler; some salad dressings could contain gluten which acts as a thickening agent, while others could be made with soy sauce or other flavors that are derived from wheat sources.
...(soy) sauces, seasoned rice mixes, seasoned chips...
Soy sauce is normally made from fermented soy beans and wheat; seasoned rice mixes (like Zatarain's, among others) could contain wheat or barley flour; seasoned potato or tortilla chips could contain wheat or barley flour or were processed on the same equipment as other wheat-based snacks.
... or self-basting poultry, soups, vegetables cooked in some sauces.
Self-basting poultry could contain flavor enhancers or other "natural solutions" that have wheat- or gluten-based ingredients; wheat-based flours are used in some soups to thicken them; some vegetables on restaurant menus are cooked in soy-based sauces which could contain wheat.