Intolerance of the gluten
certain grains, including all forms
of wheat (including
bulgur, durum, einkorn, faro, kamut,
semolina and spelt) and
grains, rye, barley,
and triticale, is
called Celiac Disease.
Wheat (buğday, boo-DAH-yee)
and wheat flour (un, OON) in
various forms are popular ingredients
in the Turkish
if you have Celiac Disease you will
need to be careful about what
you eat in Turkey. But don't despair!
Travel in Turkey is possible.
Turkish pilav (cooked
rice with various spices and additions)
is often a good gluten-free choice,
but watch out for pilavs that
contain small amounts of noodles,
usually in the form of orzo (small
oblong "grains" of wheat
pasta) or vermicelli (slender "spaghetti"), added for visual and gustatory
Bulgur pilav (bool-GOOR
pee-lahv, cracked wheat) is added to
some dishes but
not apparent. When you see it, it's
in the form of tiny grains (polygons)
of cracked wheat tinted red from having
been cooked in tomato sauce.
Turkish sulu yemekler (stews)
look like good choices, but many (if
not most) contain wheat flour as a
thickener. A few may contain noodles (pasta),
some contain potatoes or rice. It's
best to check with the chef every time.
Most salads do not
contain gluten, and many meze (appetizers)
are good and gluten-free as well. Ms
Canan Onural advises to order simple
grilled meat, salad, and fresh fruit
for dessert. Shish kebap and
lamb chops (kuzu pirzola) may be
good choices for grills.
Turkish sourdough bread is baked fresh
twice daily, but of course that can't
be part of your diet. Neither can any
of the various böreks
(savory flaky pastries) or
noodle dishes. (By the way, pasta refers
to pastry, not noodles, in Turkish.)
Few gluten-free products are available
in Turkish grocery stores as yet.
By the way, the Neyzade Restaurant in the Sirkeci Mansion Hotel in Istanbul is sensitive to food allergies, and always has gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan choices available. More...
İçinde un var mı? (EE-cheen-DEH
oon VAHR muh), Is there flour in it?
Hiç buğday veya
un yeyemem. (HEECH
BOO-dah-yee veh-yah OON yee-YEH-mehm),
I cannot eat any wheat or flour.
Buğday alerjim var. (BOO
dah-yee ah-lehr-ZHEEM vahr), I am allergic
to wheat. (Not medically correct, but
(Get more information from the Celiac
—by Tom Brosnahan