Julie Prejet samples a gluten free double chocolate chip cookie.
Photo Credit: Karine Driedger
For the approximately 1 in 133 people across Canada who suffer from celiac disease, finding food to eat is no simple task.
The small intestine of people who have celiac disease is damaged by the protein gluten.
For the thousands of Winnipeggers who are diagnosed with the disease, that task was simplified when Lorenzo’s Specialty Foods opened its doors in 2001.
“There was a niche, and we filled it,” says Waltraud Mueller, owner of Lorenzo’s Specialty Foods.
Lorenzo’s is the only 100 per cent gluten free environment in Winnipeg. According to the Canadian Celiac Association, those who suffer from celiac disease must adhere to a strict diet, avoiding foods containing wheat, rye, triticale and barley.
Gluten is also found in flour, and acts as a binding agent in most baked goods to prevent crumbling.
Lorenzo’s Specialty Foods sells a variety of frozen and fresh products, from sweets and dainties to bread and pasta. Catering to the special diet comes with a high price tag, with a loaf of gluten free bread selling for $5.75, almost three times the cost of regular loaf of bread.
“The cost is high because there are few companies in Canada that produce gluten-free products,” says Mueller. “We have to import our products from around the globe.”
Although there is no known cure for celiac disease, the one thing that can ease symptoms is adhering for life to a strict gluten free diet and many local businesses are jumping on the gluten free trend.
The Manitoba Chapter of the Canadian Celiac Association compiled a list of gluten friendly restaurants. The list includes over 40 restaurants that either have gluten free menus or that are willing to accommodate the special diet.
This is sure to have many celiac disease sufferers’ stomachs doing a happy dance.
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