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Posts Tagged ‘food allergies’

Managing Food Allergies at a Maine Bed and Breakfast

January 6th, 2014 by Judi Hauer

When some people think about a Maine bed and breakfast, they think about cold muffins, bagels, and store bought danish, and that’s definitely what happens here at the Maine Stay Inn.  Each day we serve a multi-course breakfast, and when I say “serve,” I mean it.  But many people still assume that a bed and breakfast might not be able to handle dietary restrictions, and that’s simply not the case!

Who would think these tasty muffins could have no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, and still loads of flavor?!

Who would think these tasty muffins could have no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, and still loads of flavor?!

Now, I must always point out that while we take every precaution when dealing with allergies, we make sure that guests know that allergens are contained on the premise and that the possibility of cross contamination could occur.  Especially when it comes to gluten free diets, guests want to know if we really know our stuff.  And we sure do!  I basically grew up learning to cook and bake gluten free items, because I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease at age 12.  And over the years, a variety of foods have been removed from my diet, so I’ve learned to adjust, which has meant that the whole family is really aware of what is in foods.  So when we had 2 gluten free, 2 gluten and dairy free, one dairy free, and one nut free guests this weekend it was just no problem.  And we didn’t just serve them fried eggs!  Everyone got their “safe” version of our planned menu and it was so well received!

So most of the common food allergies are old hat at our Maine bed and breakfast, but things certainly get more complicated when a single person has multiple allergies.  Sometimes that means we need input from the guests, but usually with some thought and planning we’re all set, but that’s exactly why we request at least 7 days advance warning s that we can adequately prepare!  The thing that had us in a pickle for the longest time was a guest who was gluten free and vegan.  But with a lot of research and LOTS of taste-testing, we’re really getting the hang of it, and even served two different baked creations at teatime this weekend and no one knew the difference!  So if you’re considering a Maine bed and breakfast and have food allergies, look no further because we’ve got you covered!

Special Diets at a Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast

July 12th, 2013 by Judi Hauer

Even cinnamon buns can be gluten free!

Even cinnamon buns can be gluten free!

Anyone who’s been on a strict eating plan of any kind knows that the idea of venturing out to eat can be very daunting, but at our Kennebunkport Bed and Breakfast, we take very special care to prepare a delicious and nutritious diet for those on special diets.  As you may know, we have nearly 15 years of gluten-free cooking under our belts – and that’s in real chronological years, not some cockamamie summation.  But because food allergies have been on our radar screen for so long, we’re able to take the same great care with nearly any other special diet thrown our way.  One of the simplest special diets we accommodate at the Maine Stay Inn is vegetarian, and, in fact, not a single entree contains meats of any kind – we only serve meats as a side!  So even if you do forget to mention it, we’re happy to leave it off your breakfast plate.  Now vegan diets can be quite a bit trickier, since they include no animal products of any kind (no eggs, no milk, and definitely no Maine lobster), but after quite a bit of experimentation, we’ve got a solid repertoire to make sure that vegan guests can enjoy our typical gourmet breakfast as well.  Combining gluten free and vegan can be even trickier, but we’re slowly mastering the art of creating “normal” texture without regular flour or eggs.  Now, it’s definitely possible that a vegan won’t have the exact same breakfast as the omnivore at the next table, but it will certainly be delicious!

Food allergies are becoming a growing concern, and we’re happy to plan menus around food allergies or sensitivities.  That said, there are allergens on the premise, so there is always the remote chance for cross contamination, but our kitchen staff is extremely diligent when it comes to allergies, especially because more than a few have food allergies themselves!  The only thing we ask is that those following special diets of any kind give us 7 days notice so we can appropriately plan menus, food orders, and equipment needs.  But don’t worry – if it slips your mind you will still get a handful or reminders before you arrive.  Since we love breakfast so much, we want everyone to be able to enjoy the carefully crafted morning meals at our Kennebunkport bed and breakfast, even those on special diets!