This part of my life began when my very sick partner was diagnosed with Celiac. Even the slightest exposure to gluten can make him very ill for several days, so I have pursued gluten-free options with thorough aggression. In the U.S. a recent surge of gluten awareness means we have more choices than ever, but it still means hunting and analyzing and tracking down parent companies. After several years now of doing so, I want to share my tricks and tips with others who are still struggling.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Gluten-Free in Trondheim, Norway (Part 3: Your First Day)

See my Gluten-Free Travel page for the whole series.  

Part 3: Your first day in Trondheim

Unless you're very young and spry, you will probably be too jetlagged to do much your first day (or even your second).  Your goals should include decontaminating the space (if you have your own kitchen), and your first trip to the grocery store.

Decontaminating the Space
There isn't much you can do to keep a shared kitchen clean, so you will have to pre-clean before each meal prep.  This includes washing down the counters and stove, and then thoroughly scrubbing all pots, pans, dishes, cutting boards, and utensils you will use to make and eat that meal. 

If you have your own kitchen, use one of the two washcloths you brought for a full washdown of every surface, item, shelf and cupboard provided in the kitchen unit, as well as eating surfaces such as tables or trays.  Then you have a fully safe space you don't have to worry about.  That washcloth should be thoroughly hand or machine washed before using again, which is why you brought two!

While you're decontaminating, make a note of anything you need to pick up.  There might be ten espresso cups and no water glasses, for instance.  Or plastic forks but no spoons. 

First Shopping Trip

Grocery stores in Trondheim with excellent gluten-free selections:

    Rema 1000
    Meny (has the best selection)
Look for the closest one using Google Maps; preferably within walking distance. If you plan to use public transit and have a smartphone, look for options on the AtB website for digital ticketing. 

These stores usually have a full set of shelves of gluten-free items all clustered together.  You still need to read labels though, as they might stick some other special dietary items (like vegetarian) in the same area that are not gluten-free. 



These are all different ways to say gluten-free in Norwegian.  In addition, there may be a little picture of an ear of wheat with a circle and cross through it:

For the first day, don't get fancy.  Plan to do a little shopping every day instead of once a week.  Scandanavia is the home of Schar, one of the largest gluten-free manufacturers in the world.  So you will find shelf-stable bread, cookies, and crackers from Schar, all of which are mighty tasty.  For the first day, I would reccomend the following:

1.  Fresh whole fruit (always gluten-free of course, and easy to recognize)
2.  gluten-free mueseli or corn flakes (a cereal full of fruit, nuts, seeds, and rice or corn puffs)
3.  milk (Tine is the most common brand in Norway and we have not yet had a problem with their milk)
4.  Gluten-free bread or crackers
5.  Babybel or Jarlsberg cheese

If you have other dietary restrictions, you'll need to take it a step further and maybe buy some fresh veggies and vegetable oil for your first meals.  We're pretty dairy-heavy, and I realize that intolerance to lactose and casein are pretty common. 

Lactose-free products are labeled "laktosfrit" (with variations on the ending similar to the gluten-free list above). 

If you still have energy at this point, you could spend some time getting to know your neighborhood, working out bus routes, and looking for car rentals if necessary. 

Next: Daily Grocery Shopping

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