With Robbie Burns Day coming up this Wednesday, January 25th, The Celiac Scene has been receiving inquires from Scottish Celiacs and Haggis Fans alike, “Where can we buy gluten-free haggis in Victoria, BC?”
Celiac Scene Investigator (CSI) , Ian A. took on the challenge and lead the charge, calling each and every independent meat store in town. He came up empty until he found a business that took the time to follow up with their manufacturer, a local expert on creating authentic haggis, white pudding and black pudding.
The manufacturer was able to confirm with the meat store that he used oats and did not incorporate any gluten-containing ingredients in his products. Hence, his haggis and puddings were gluten free.
End of story? Not as far as The Celiac Scene was concerned.
The Scene followed up with the meat store with kudos to the co-owner, who listened with wrapt attention to the long and winding road that procuring pure, uncontaminated gluten-free oats has been for gluten-free consumers everywhere. Here is the email of gratitude I sent him:
“Thank you for being so candid about the ingredients used in the haggis and the white and black puddings that you sell at XXXX’x. I hope that your new awareness about regular oats (always cross contaminated with wheat) will empower you to inform, if not protect, your celiac shoppers.”
“Here’s a link to the Canadian Celiac Association’s explanation of the perplexing oat conundrum i.e. inherently gluten-free / safe for most celiacs but commercial oats are always cross-contaminated with gluten.”
▶ What is the current scoop on oats?
- Most people with celiac disease can eat limited amounts of oats, as long as those oats are not contaminated with barley and wheat. This means you must purchase the brands of oats that are especially grown, processed, and packaged to avoid contamination, not just the standard store brands. As of October 2011, there are four brands of oats available in Canada that are safe for people with celiac disease: Lara’s from Cream Hill Estate, OnlyOats from Avena Foods, Glutenfreeda, and Bob’s Red Mill Oats (only the ones marked as gluten free or wheat free.)
I went on to share that pure oats are available at most retailers, for an increasingly reasonable price and that XXXX’x ‘Haggis Provider’ could quite likely order in volume, directly from any of the above manufacturers.
I added that The Celiac Scene would be pleased to support XXXX’x efforts to be the first retailer in Victoria, if not Vancouver Island to offer this coveted delicacy in January of 2018.
If you know of a retailer that offers haggis made with pure, uncontaminated oats, please let us know below. If you’d like to take up the cause on behalf of our celiac (haggis-loving) community for 2018, please feel free to share this post with your preferred meat supplier!