Guide to Allergy-Free Cooking While Traveling
A beautiful dinner we made in our airbnb in Sorrento on the coast of Italy!
Earlier this week I posted my top ten tips to traveling safely with food allergies. My husband and I are huge travelers, we don’t let his food allergies and my intolerances limit our abilities to see the world. What we have discovered is that while we love to eat in restaurants, and can safely in many places, we’ve had a few scary incidents (nuts in pesto on our honeymoon) that really put a damper on our trip to put it mildly. As a rule we almost always stay in self-catering establishments where we can cook our own food. We prefer apartments or houses over kitchenettes as we enjoy cooking, and not only do we know all the ingredients that go into what we’re eating, but it makes us feel like locals.
We’re headed to Brazil for two weeks over the Christmas holidays, and with the exception for two nights when we’ll be in the remote jungle without airbnb as an option, we’ll be staying in a variety of beautiful apartments. I’ll be documenting some of our meals, and the experience of food shopping in a foreign country. We’re learned a few tricks to make the process easier, which I’m excited to share!
BYOK (Bring Your Own Knives)
While we typically rely on the kitchenware of the apartment we’re staying in, we’ve been pretty disappointed quite a few times to arrive and find one dull knife. I love the idea of taking along a traveling knife set (in checked luggage, obviously). This Top Chef 5-piece set is only $29.99, which is a steal. Having your own set of knives ensures that you’ll be able to prepare all types of food without the worry of cross contamination.Â Buy it here.
Spice It Up
A little spice goes a long way. I can’t tell you how many different chicken, fish, and meat spices we’ve purchased at various supermarkets around the world to spice up our food. Buy a set of spices that work for a variety of dishes, and designate them your travel spice set. This also saves you the pain of trying to translate spices into english during your travel in the supermarket aisle. You’re welcome. I love Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Seasoning Blends, which cover your bases for everything you’d ever want to purchase. Buy them here.
When in Doubt, Store!
I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been in an airbnb wishing that we had storage bags to keep our food fresh. Most of the time apartments don’t come with food storage bags. Pack ziplock bags from home, or pick them up when food shopping at the local market. You’ll thank yourself later! You can also pick up re-usable containers from a dollar store which is even better for transporting food if you’re moving from one location to another.
Red or White? Doesn’t matter if you can’t open the bottle!
Picture this: we’re staying in the most gorgeous villa in Italy and have just cooked a delicious dinner with homemade pasta, sautÃ©ed veggies, and purchased a bottle of wine from a vineyard we visited to accompany dinner. Except..there’s no corkscrew! This has also happened to us more than once, and we’ve learned our lesson. We now travel with a corkscrew that’s TSA approved so we don’t get flagged when going through security. Purchase it here.
But First, Coffee!
I’ve cut down on my coffee consumption in 2015, but I still love to begin each morning with a cup of coffee. When traveling I’ve discovered that it’s hard to know if coffee has been blended with nut flavoring, and I don’t want to take the chance. An easy solution to this is to pack instant coffee, preferably spending a bit more than usual to ensure it’s good quality. No need to worry about grinders, filters, or any other machines, all you need is hot water and you’re ready to go! Purchase it here.
When in Doubt, Go for the Produce!
One of the joys of cooking while traveling is the chance to food shop like a local. I’ve been so impressed by the beautiful fruits and vegetables from farmers markets, and the best part is no need to read the ingredients, they’re 100% allergen free! Pictured above is a beautiful fruit and vegetable stand in Italy, I want to be eating those peaches again right now! Adding in locally grown ingredients gives a nice spin to a classic meal you make at home. Who knows, you may even discover a newly found love for a locally grown ingredient!
Do you have any staples you bring to cook with when traveling? I want to know!!