Campbell River Celiac Reports on Gluten-Free Living – in Qatar!
You may remember Ethan as the winner of The Celiac Scene’s Gluten-Free Paradise Contest!
I had the pleasure of meeting Ethan and his family in person at the very kid-friendly, celiac-friendly Red Robin Restaurant on Tolmie in Victoria. It marked the official inception of The Celiac Scene Fan Club, with Ethan as its self-appointed President! In true leadership form, Ethan went on to create the Celiac Scene Shuffle, a musical salute to the new and improved website you are enjoying today!
Recently, Ethan sent us a photo of himself, Liam, Lexi and newest little brother, Luc, from a location that was decidedly not Campbell River! In fact, the entire family has relocated to – wait for it – Qatar! A far cry from what it was just 50 years ago, home to tribes of nomadic bedouins, Qatar represents one of the jewels of the oil-rich Middle East, surrounded on three sides by the Persian Gulf. The country boasts both Ferrari and Lambourghini dealerships.
About the trip to Qatar, Ethan had this to report, “Air Canada did not have ANY GF food, but Qatar Airways provided 2 GF meals! There was one muffin I REALLY liked but my Mom didn’t save me hers!?! The hotel we stayed at, the Movenpick, had 3 awesome chefs that came out to show me all the GF/DF options on the big, fancy buffet! They knew what we were talking about when we said GF! We were so happy! They even sent over a special plate of lamb chops just for me and Mom, the Chef had “the boys” cook ’em up special! My move is fine.”
The family spent the first two weeks sightseeing and acclimatizing to their new home away from home at a steady at 41-43˚C. Summer time highs range between 44-52˚C. In winter, temperature dip to 26-27˚C.
“Dad has been driving me all over town to find gluten-free food. We finally found a really good market and I was soooo excited! An amazing store with 3 aisles of gluten-free options, including gluten-free maple flavoured pancakes, which is a treat as you cannot get maple syrup in Qatar right now. They also had gluten-free versions of ‘gushers’ and ‘fruit by the foot.’ These are totally unhealthy phoney fruit snacks that I have always wanted to try. Since my Dad was shopping he bought them!”
“Mom is meeting some people at work who are helping and there is even an online support group for Celiacs. They do food get-togethers, too! We are hoping to hook up! The people here are wonderful and we are enjoying learning about our new country and culture here. We will keep you posted!!”
Pictured below are Ethan, Liam and Lexi, heading off for their first day of school at the Qatar Canadian School ! Stay tuned for more gluten-free updates!