Home Insurance The Essential Gluten Free Guide to France (2021 Update)

The Essential Gluten Free Guide to France (2021 Update)

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I’m a French citizen and have been living in France for the last 3 years. I love traveling and I believe that travel and tourism are an excellent help in restoring the environment and helping people who are less fortunate. I am currently writing a blog about the best places to visit in France and I would like to offer you a complete guide on the gluten free topic.

France is a foodie’s dream destination, but one that costs a pretty penny for the average traveller. If you’re not careful, you could end up paying more for Paris than New York City, while eating the same crappy food. Here’s your guide to eating gluten free in France:

I’ve been wanting to visit France for a long time. And I finally got the chance last year (2021, to be exact). After a few days in Paris, I didn’t want to leave because I fell in love with the city. We had a few days left and decided to go to Provence. We swung by the airport, grabbed some food, and went on our way. And that’s when it all went wrong.

France, oh, France. Cheese and baguettes abound in this land. A land of delicate, airy croissants and pastries, pies and crepes, and much more. I lived in France before being diagnosed with celiac disease, and my frequent intake of bread and pastries contributed to my discovery that I couldn’t consume gluten. It’s also to blame for how ill I became before physicians realized my favorite baguettes were to blame. The good news is that vacationing in France while completely gluten-free is quite feasible. The bad news is that croissants have an incredible aroma.

Being a celiac in France means taking use of all of the excellent, high-quality basic ingredients available all across the nation. This may include avoiding bakeries (unless otherwise specified), but it does not imply going hungry. There’s much to eat that won’t make you sick – and will yet make you happy, from delicious cheeses to buckwheat crepes, stews and salads, and so much more.

This guide will help you explore the many meals available as well as provide alternatives while dining out.

NOTE: If you’re searching for a French translation card but aren’t planning on visiting France, go to my General French card. Without the word “France” on the card, this card is translated for travel to West Africa, Guadeloupe, and other destinations.

THE LAST TIME IT WAS UPDATED WAS ON JUNE 13, 2022. Several famous French celiac restaurants, including Hemut Newcake, Popotte, and Raccons, have unfortunately closed as a result of the epidemic. Please check here for the most up-to-date COVID-19 limitations for France.

Best wishes for a pleasant and safe journey!

-Jodi

Do you already have a gluten-free translation card in mind? You may purchase my French card, as well as cards from Japan, Greece, Spain, and other countries, here! 

The-Essential-Gluten-Free-Guide-to-France-2021-UpdateMontmartre in the late afternoon light.

France-specific gluten-free restaurant card

To begin, this comprehensive gluten-free restaurant card will assist you in communicating your dietary limitations and determining what is acceptable and dangerous from the menu. The card was made using celiac-specific research, cross-contamination warnings, and a double-checked translation from native speakers. The correctness of the food names and meals on the card is also double-checked with various areas in France.

Note: The card may be purchased via Gumroad, a reputable 3rd-party store that utilizes https to ensure that your information is secure. I am not collecting emails or personal information from those who purchase the card.

What makes this gluten-free card unique?

On my trips, I tried many different translation cards and still felt sick. I may be more sensitive than other celiacs, but even a little quantity of contaminated frying oil or wheat-thickened food sauce may make me sick for days. Not to mention the subsequent joint discomfort and inflammation.

This card stands out for the following reasons:

  • It utilizes all of the local cuisine names to tell you what you should eat and what you should avoid.
  • Makes a point of mentioning the dangers of cross-contamination.
  • Celiac disease is studied by celiacs; and
  • A native speaker who is acquainted with the illness and local cuisine translated the text, which was then double-checked by a second translation.
  • Designed to fit on your phone so you can store it and take it with you when you travel.

The-Essential-Gluten-Free-Guide-to-France-2021-UpdateTo purchase, just click the button below.

On the purchasing page, you may get an English version of the card so you know exactly what you’re getting. 

While the safest method to explain celiac illness in France is on the card above, here are the three most essential words.

(As a French speaker who was residing in France at the time of my diagnosis, I selected these three.) Additional names for various dishes/foods may be seen below.)

  • I’m celiac – I’m gluten intolerant.
  • Is it possible that this contains gluten? Is there gluten in this?
  • Is it true that this meat sauce/jus was thickened with buckwheat flour? Was wheat flour used to thicken the gravy? (This is significant since French gravies are often made using flour and roux.)

Gluten-Free Dishes, Desserts, and Snacks in France

In France, the following meals are frequently served without wheat.

As with any location, whether at home or abroad, it’s essential to double-check that no flour was used in the sauces or to thicken them on a case-by-case basis.

French Gluten-Free Dishes

  • Both riz (rice) and farine de riz (rice flour) are useful words to know while searching for gluten-free items at shops.
  • In France, celiacs must try a Breton crêpe or galette. Galettes are similar to its renowned cousin the crêpe, except they are prepared with buckwheat flour, known as farine de sarrasin or blé black, and are typically savory rather than sweet. The galette complète, which consists of grated cheese, ham, and an egg fried on the galette, is one of the most popular variants. While most restaurants will make the galette with 100 percent buckwheat flour, it’s always a good idea to inquire, since some may substitute ordinary wheat flour for the buckwheat.
  • Chestnuts, also known as châtaigne or marron, are a prominent component in French cuisine, and chestnut flour is often referred to as farine de châtaigne.
  • Fromage – wow, what a wonderful cheese! There are plenty to try, but a few to avoid as one of French cuisine’s claims to fame! More on it later, but here are a few safe bets: Brie is a rich, creamy white cow’s milk cheese with an edible rind that develops a stronger flavor with age. Camembert is a smooth, creamy cow’s milk cheese from the Normandy area of Northern France. Roquefort is a tangy, crumbly, cave-aged blue cheese produced from sheep’s milk. *Note: blue cheeses were formerly considered hazardous for celiacs, but recent research has proven that this is not the case. See this page for further information. Fromage frais is a soft, unripened cheese with a creamy texture. Similar to fromage blanc, except the fermentation process has been halted. Faisselle, like fromage frais or fromage blanc, is often served as a savory or sweet dessert.
  • Omelette au fromage – cheese omelette French omelettes exist in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are often eaten for lunch or supper rather than breakfast.
  • For celiac travelers, charcuterie platters should generally offer some safe and delicious choices, but double-check that all meats are safe and that bread (pain) is provided separately. Among the charcuterie choices are:
  • Pâté is a spreadable paste made from ground beef and fat, herbs, spices, and vegetables. Offal such as liver and other organs are often used. Avoid pâté en croute, which is a pie-like pâté coated with pastry.
  • Terrine is similar to pâté, except it uses finely chopped meats that are baked in a mold and served chilled.
  • Rilletes are prepared with chopped beef that has been highly seasoned and cooked gently. Much of the fat content is preserved, resulting in a paste-like consistency that is ideal for spreading. Traditionally prepared with pork, there are no restrictions on the kinds of meat that may be used.
  • Boudin blanc de Rethel is a kind of pork sausage with a protected geographical designation from the European Union (PGI). If boudin blanc de Rethel is mentioned, it can only include pork, milk, and eggs, with no additional carbohydrates. However, inquire ahead of time since not every boudin blanc is guaranteed to be safe. Boudin noir, a classic blood sausage, in the same way.
  • Saucisson is a salami-like dry cured pork or mosty pig sausage. Different herbs and spices, as well as hazelnuts in the case of Saucisson aux Noisettes, are among the variations.
  • Foie Gras, or fattened duck or goose liver, is a contentious yet sumptuous French delicacy. It’s rich and buttery, and it may be served as a mousse or pâté, or as a main course on its own. Despite its controversial production techniques, foie gras is an integral component of French culinary culture.
  • The French have a strong affinity for oysters (huîtres), and for good reason: they have some of the world’s most renowned oyster-growing areas! It’s best to eat it plain or with a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Moules marinières are mussels cooked in a white wine and cream sauce. Inquire about any possible flour used to thicken the sauce, but be certain that it will be both safe and tasty!
  • Tartiflette is a potato, reblochon cheese, pig fat, and onion dish from the Savoy area of the French Alps. Potatoes are a major meal in the Savoy area, and they appear in a variety of traditional Savoy recipes.
  • Salade Niçoise is an olive oil-dressed salad with tomato, olives, hard-boiled eggs, and anchovies. Although it originated in the city of Nice, it has spread across France and the globe in many forms. Tuna, potatoes, green beans, red peppers, artichokes, spring onions, and a variety of other items may be used. The debate over what defines a salade nicoise is heated and ongoing, although celiacs should be safe in most instances.
  • Ratatouille is a Niçoise vegetable stew made of eggplant, zucchini, onion, garlic, tomato, and bell pepper that is cooked till soft and creamy with fresh herbs.
  • Socca, a speciality from the South of France, is a perfect example of simple ingredients cooked to perfection. Made with chickpea flour, olive oil, and very little else, it’s naturally gluten free and traditionally cooked in huge cast iron pans over a fire. Recipe here, if you want to try at home! For those heading to Nice, see my socca recommendations below.
  • Escargots à la Bourguignonne – garlic and herb butter fried snails.

Desserts in France that are gluten-free

  • Macarons are popular meringue and almond cookies with buttercream or jam filling sandwiched between them. These bright confections are now very popular on a worldwide scale, and tastes range from conventional to creative. Many French patisseries offer a variety of macarons, but it’s always a good idea to double-check that no wheat flour has been used!
  • Meringues are made from simple beaten egg whites and sugar, and their firm peaks and crispy exteriors may create cloud-like formations that are both aesthetically stunning and delicious. Meringues can be flavored with almond, vanilla, or coconut, and served alone or as part of another meal.
  • Calissons, also known as Calissons d’Aix, are delicious almond-shaped sweets created from a paste of crushed almonds and candied fruit, usually melon or citrus, and topped with icing. It’s almost usually safe, but it’s always a good idea to inquire. When I was initially diagnosed, this was the first dessert I had, and I’ll always remember how wonderful the marzipan sweetness was.
  • Pâtés de fruits are a simple dessert prepared by cooking fruit with sugar and pectin before pouring it into a mold. The dish is served chilled.
  • Bouchées, which are caramel or chocolate bon bons, should be harmless.
  • Mousse au chocolat (chocolate mousse) is a rich, creamy chocolate mousse prepared with chocolate, eggs, cream, or butter.
  • Vanilla custard with a firm caramel coating on top is known as crème brûlée. Yum!
  • The île flottante, or floating island, is a rich dessert composed of meringue that “floats” in a light vanilla custard.
  • Tergoule is a rice pudding with milk, cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg that is cooked for hours in a terrine to produce a caramelized crust. Normandy’s specialty.

1626655785_814_The-Essential-Gluten-Free-Guide-to-France-2021-UpdateFresh smoked salmon from a Paris market — gluten-free!

In France, there are Celiac-Friendly Stores and Gluten-Free Restaurants.

This area is split into stores, restaurants, bakeries, and more, much like the rest of my celiac travel guides.

France’s Gluten-Free Grocery and Specialty Stores

1626655786_164_The-Essential-Gluten-Free-Guide-to-France-2021-UpdateIn France, GF certification is required.

  • Carrefour is a French grocery company with locations all across the country. They sell a variety of gluten-free items, including their own line.
  • Gluten-free goods are available in most major supermarkets, including Intermarché, and are typically found in a distinct aisle from other “free from” foods.
  • Un Monde Vegan is a Paris-based vegan supermarket featuring a large gluten-free department.
  • Causses is a high-end, slow-food-inspired supermarket in Paris that has a specialized gluten-free department as well as a large selection of local goods. In Paris, there are three shopping areas: the 1st, 3rd, and 9th arrondissements. Restaurants are also available in the 3rd and 9th arrondissements.
  • Organic health food chains Naturalia and Biocoop provide gluten-free alternatives.
  • Niepi is a French magazine for long-term residents of France that focuses on gluten-free living, including recipes.
  • The French celiac organization AFDIAG is active, and its emblem indicates that a product has less than 20ppm gluten and is therefore safe for celiacs.
  • Gluten Free Corner is a specialized gluten-free shop in Paris that was founded by a celiac.

1626655787_111_The-Essential-Gluten-Free-Guide-to-France-2021-UpdateGary Arndt took the photo.

Restaurants in Paris that are gluten-free

  • Chambelland is a gluten-free bakery in Paris that serves delicious sourdough bread, fresh cakes, pastries, and sandwiches. Not only are all of their products gluten-free and organically produced, but they also mill their own flours in their Chambelland mill, which supplies several of the town’s gluten-free bakeries.
  • Helmut Newcake was Paris’ first gluten-free bakery, and it now includes a gluten-free grocery shop and a café that serves lunch six days a week. Regrettably, this location has closed.
  • Maison Kayser is a network of bakeries owned by well-known French boulanger Eric Kayser that spans several French cities. Although not every store sells gluten-free loaves, the ones that do (try the one closest to the Louvre in Paris) are worth a try! Gluten-free goods are produced off-site and double packed before entering the store to avoid cross-contamination.
  • La Guinguette D’Angèle has two locations in Paris, offering fresh, nutritious gluten-free meals to take away (34 Rue Coquillière) or dine-in in the Tea Room (2 Avenue du Général Renault). Their daily menu is both affordable and nutritious — and, of course, wonderful!
  • My Deer, Thank You – PERM CLOSED ? is a hip Parisian café and restaurant with a gluten-free cuisine, a quirky ambiance, and an online store.
  • Noglu is a well-known 100% gluten-free establishment in Paris (thus the Independent piece above!) Noglu is known for its fresh products, delicious breads, and flexibility to adapt the menu to suit vegetarian, lactose-free, and celiac customers. There are many sites in Paris. Plus, there’s breakfast on Saturday!
  • Baffo, an Italian restaurant, offers a gluten-free menu that includes organic pastas, risottos, and a variety of delicious appetizers.
  • Little Nonna’s, in the 17th arrondissement, is another celiac-friendly Italian restaurant. Their chef, Marco, makes it clear that their restaurant is gluten-free, with no wheat or gluten on the premises. Their pizzas are created using rice, maize, and buckwheat as a foundation. Desserts, on the other hand, are perfectly fine to consume. The greatest part is the gluten-free focaccia. It’s a fantasy.
  • Biosphère Café’s gluten-free menu includes unique dishes and on-site made-from-scratch pancakes. Daily specialties, soups, cakes, pies, sandwiches, and more are available.
  • Bears & Racoons, a quirky gluten-free café in Paris, is another option. All of their gluten-free ingredients are used in their sandwiches, which are made to order. This is a wonderful lunchtime stop for a Paris visit, with coffee, a little store next to the modest dining area, and a nice menu including gluten free beer, sandwiches, cakes, and more. It’s worth noting that it’s very tiny, so go during off-peak hours. Regrettably, this location has closed.
  • In Paris, there is also Onyriza, a completely gluten-free bakery in the 10th arrondissement. Many of their items are also dairy-free. The amandine is my personal favorite. Karen Le Guillerm, whose daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease, developed Onyriza out of love. You may be certain that her Paris restaurant is gluten-free.
  • Maison Plume is a new addition to the patisseries in 2019. This gluten-free bakery is definitely worth a visit, with almost painfully gorgeous pastries, cakes, and coffees. Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • According to readers, LouLou’s Friendly Diner in the Latin Quarter will make any burger or sandwich on gluten-free bread in a separate kitchen area. Additionally, their fries are cooked in separate, non-contaminated fryers. So, although they aren’t completely gluten-free, they are still the kind of place I like going with friends: they have adjustments that fit my stomach, but everyone else doesn’t have to alter their meal to accommodate me!
  • Grom (100 percent gluten free gelato AND cones – they make their cones themselves and they are also free of vegetable oils) and Gelati d’Alberto (100 percent gluten free gelato AND cones – they make their cones themselves and they are also free of vegetable oils) are two great options in Paris for gluten free gelato (almost all of their gelato is gluten free gelato, but the cones are not safe).
  • Fougère Café is a vegan and gluten-free coffee establishment with a menu that includes pastries from gluten-free bakery Chambelland as well as other organic, healthy choices.
  • Breizh Café has opened a branch in Paris, specializing in naturally gluten-free 100 percent buckwheat galettes (crepes).

See Matt at Wheatless Wanderlust’s list for additional gluten-free restaurant choices in Paris.

If you’re searching for a comprehensive history and trips to Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the market on Rue Mouffetard, the Jardins du Luxembourg, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and more, check out the incredible 5.5-hour, almost 20-kilometer walking tour of Paris. Turn on the closed captioning to read along as you watch, getting all the history you may miss if you come while tours aren’t yet in full gear.

You can also find Soraya from Gluten Free in Paris on Instagram (she’s the creator of the ‘week without gluten’ there!).

Brittany’s Gluten-Free Restaurants 

  • Traditional buckwheat galettes from Brittany are served at Breizh Cafe, and are finest accompanied with a traditional cider. Breizh has facilities in Paris, as well as Saint-Malo, a Breton town, and Cancale, a commune known as Brittany’s “oyster capital.”

Restaurants in Antibes that are gluten-free 

  • Choopy’s offers a completely gluten-free cuisine. It’s a small coffee shop in Antibes, a Côte d’Azur vacation town.
  • Miski is a 100 percent gluten-free bakery that uses organic products in its pastries and baked items. They also provide food for special events.

Restaurants in Narbonne that are gluten-free 

  • La Flambée des Milles Poetes, a restaurant in Narbonne, serves gluten-free pizza, crepes, and other products approved by the celiac organization.

Nice’s Gluten-Free Restaurants

  • The French celiac organization has recognized Gigi Tavola Autentica as Nice’s first gluten-free restaurant. Grilled meats, pizzas, and much more are available.
  • Pop O Thym in Great offers gluten-free sarrasin (buckwheat) crepes as well as a nice variety of nutritious, naturally gluten-free salads, but it is not completely gluten-free.
  • If you, like me, like macarons (described above), go no farther than ANGEA in Nice. Because they’re a one-stop macaron store, their menu is gluten-free (or was at the time of writing — double-check if you’re there). They come in beautiful flavor combinations, and you just cannot visit France without indulging in a macaron – or ten.
  • Socca, a chickpea-based cuisine from Southern France, is naturally gluten-free (as noted above). Chez Pipo and Theresa’s are two excellent places to taste it in Nice. Chez Pipo is without a doubt my preferred choice out of the two. This meal is often prepared over an open fire in a large, shallow cast iron skillet. While it’s essential to inquire about cross-contamination throughout the preparation process, cooking is generally not a problem if done properly, as these two restaurants do. Photos may be found in this post.
  • Nice offers a Mexican street food place called 100 percent Tacos where you can get corn tortillas and delicious, rich fillings of your choosing for a change from French cuisine. They’re laid-back yet tasty, and they’re aware of celiac illness.
  • Ice cream fans, rejoice: there’s a Grom in Nice, complete with gluten-free cones and choices.
  • Both Vegan Gorilla and Koko Green offer vegan, organic, and gluten-free eating choices, with each restaurant utilizing seasonal local ingredients and preparing all of its meals in-house. Both businesses are completely gluten-free.

Toulouse’s Gluten-Free Restaurants 

  • Invita Fresh Food is a vegetarian and gluten-free restaurant in Toulouse. The restaurant debuted in 2015, and its whole menu, including their house-made quiches, is gluten-free.

Restaurants in Montpellier that are gluten-free 

  • Les Demoiselles is an allergy-friendly tea establishment in Montpellier that also provides catered / takeaway meals and in-house dining. Gluten-free, nut-free, and other ‘free from’ foods are their specialty.

Tours with Gluten-Free Restaurants*

*I recently altered the name of these subheads to Gluten Free Restaurants in [x] after receiving a slew of letters wondering whether I neglected to include gluten free tours, rather than gluten free IN Tours. Ha!

  • JuJu Sans Glut is a 100 percent gluten-free restaurant in Tours that serves daily pizzas, sweets, and more.

Grenoble’s Gluten-Free Restaurants

  • Au Clair De Lune in Grenoble is not a dedicated facility, but they are very knowledgeable about celiac disease, and can easily adapt their menu to suit gluten free needs, including of course being aware of and protecting against cross contamination. At the time of writing, their desserts were also 100% gluten free, but please confirm as they noted that they had a rotating, seasonal dessert menu.
  • Auberge Napoléon in Grenoble is another educated restaurant where celiacs may eat. Their menu is available online (gluten-free options are indicated as well), and the staff is educated to accommodate celiac limitations, including cross-contamination prevention.

Restaurants in Lyon that are gluten-free

  • Poppotte in Lyon is a 100% gluten-free restaurant worth visiting if you’re in the neighborhood, with daily menus including two main dishes, three sides, and two desserts. Sundays are closed.
  • My Petite Factory offers two restaurants in Lyon that are entirely free of both gluten and dairy for people who are gluten and dairy intolerant. Coffees and drinks, as well as main meals, soups, colorful Buddha bowls, and desserts, are available at this location. Take out for a picnic at a local park or eat in.
  • Another 100% gluten-free business in Lyon is Les Gasteliers. Chambelland’s gluten-free flour is used in pies, breads, pastries, cookies, and catering products (which is also available for purchase). Mondays are closed.
  • If you’re craving burgers, Le Zinc a Burger in Lyon offers a gluten-free menu and whole grain gluten-free buns, as well as cross-contamination awareness. Confirm fries — fries were in a separate, safe fryer at the time of writing, but it’s always a good idea to double-check before ordering!
  • Five, a health-conscious 100 percent gluten-free restaurant in Lyon, offers soups, sandwiches, salads, and more, all of which are properly labeled with other major allergies.

Obernai’s Gluten-Free Restaurants 

  • L’Eden is a gluten-free bakery and tea cafe in Obernai with a lovely cuisine and no signs of cross-contamination.

Bordeaux’s Gluten-Free Restaurants 

  • IS&I Kitchen in Bordeaux is entirely gluten free and even offers up gluten free cooking classes.
  • Smart Green Corner, also in Bordeaux, is a gluten-free and vegan restaurant with a constantly changing menu of healthy options to create your own dish.
  • Contrast Brunch offers a seasonal, changing cuisine that caters to gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian customers. When a customer is diagnosed with celiac disease, the proprietors are aware of the illness and will avoid cross-contamination.
  • BAG (Bakery Art Gallery) is a bakery-patisserie-restaurant that is 100% gluten free and uses organic ingredients — and also houses an art gallery in the center of Bordeaux.

Talence’s Gluten-Free Restaurants 

  • Les Douceurs d’Eulalie is a gluten-free pastry store in Talence that also offers vegan alternatives for celiacs.

Strasbourg’s Gluten-Free Restaurants

  • Le Resto du Coin, in Strasbourg, provides specialist gluten-free meals that have been certified by the French celiac organization, as well as a daily menu that is competitively priced.
  • La Pause Quinoa is a gluten-free café offering on-site dining as well as certain gluten-free items for sale. Soups, desserts, and beverages

Marseilles has a number of gluten-free restaurants. 

  • In Marseilles, there is also a Grom! Straight to your stomach, gluten-free gelato and cones.
  • La Pepite, a self-described “laboratory of pastry” in Marseilles, specializes in gluten-free and dairy-free pastries made using local organic ingredients. They can also create vegan or low-glycemic-index cakes on demand (with advance notice), and some of their cakes are already vegan for celiacs who avoid animal ingredients.

In France, what foods aren’t gluten-free?

  • Pannée (breaded) and croûte (crust), as well as the apparent discomfort, are two key terms to look for and avoid while eating gluten-free in France (bread).
  • Baguettes, arguably the most famous of French breads, with their characteristic length and crunchy exterior, fall under the pain group. Brioche, a light and soft bread prepared with additional eggs and butter, and pain boule, a circular loaf that lasts longer than thinner loaves, are also included.

1626655787_172_The-Essential-Gluten-Free-Guide-to-France-2021-UpdateCroissants and pain au chocolat are unfortunately out unless you travel to a celiac-friendly bakery. Marie-Eve from To Europe and Beyond took this photo.

Pastries that are off-limits include:

  • Beignets are a kind of French doughnut that varies from American-style donuts in that they have holes in the center. Beignets are a kind of deep-fried pastry that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  • Croissants are buttery, flaky, crescent-shaped puff pastries (sob).
  • Pain au chocolat is prepared with the same layered puff pastry dough as croissants, but it’s cut into a rectangle shape with a few dark chocolate chunks folded in the center.
  • Madeleines are tiny classic sponge cakes from Lorraine, France, that are currently available at Starbucks locations all around the globe. Ground almonds or lemon zest are two examples of variations.
  • Éclairs are oblong pastries covered with icing and filled with different flavored custards or creams.
  • Financiers are tiny almond cakes flavored with beurre noisette, a warm brown butter sauce. Often include wheat flour, but you may be able to obtain gluten-free versions in certain locations.
  • Petit fours are little pastries that may be sweet or savory. Glacé (glazed), little cakes coated in icing, such as small éclairs or tiny tarts, are two of the most common types. Tiny cookies, baked mini pies, macarons, and puffed pastries are salé (salted) appetizers that are frequently referred to as “hors d’oeuvres” in North America. Sec (dry) appetizers are small cookies, baked mini pies, macarons, and puffed pastries.
  • Croquembouche are pastry towers interwoven together with caramel or spun sugar and embellished with chocolate, edible flowers, or fruit. It’s usually offered at special occasions like weddings or baptisms, and it’s not gluten-free.
  • The glutinous pastry list goes on and on, so don’t worry… Consider how many macarons you’ll be able to consume!

Other meals in France that are considered to be hazardous for celiacs include:

  • Soufflé is a baked egg dish that is distinguished by its puffiness, which is achieved via the use of beaten egg whites. Depending on what the egg mixture is combined with, soufflé may be served as a savory or sweet meal. Although a gluten-free variant may be available, most soufflé recipes include wheat flour.
  • Quiche is an egg, cheese, vegetable, and/or meat-filled pastry crust.
  • Croque-Monsieur is a renowned gourmet ham and cheese sandwich that may be grilled or baked.
  •  Soupe à l’Oignon Gratinée is a meat-and-onion soup thickened with flour.
  • Scallops in a cream sauce (Coquilles Saint-Jacques), unfortunately prepared with flour or breadcrumbs.
  • Blanquette de Veau is a popular veal ragout with a sauce made traditionally using a (flour-based) roux and eggs, as well as cream.
  • Cassoulet, a traditional but divisive meat-and-beans stew, is served with considerable debate about which version is the “real” one. The stew is prepared with pork shoulder, sausage, and duck confit in some places, mutton in others, and just duck or goose meat in still others. Because of this broad range, certain cassoulets may be safe for celiacs, while others are not. A Cassoulet de Toulouse, for example, will always have a breadcrumb crust on top, while an Auch Cassoulet would not. It’s always a good idea to inquire, no matter where you are!
  • Coq au vin is a wine-braised chicken dish. Before being seared, the chicken may be coated or dredged in flour, and the sauce will most likely be thickened using a roux (flour-based).
  • Flour is likely to be added to beef bourguignon or beef burgundy during the cooking process.
  • Celiacs should avoid a few cheeses from Northern France, which border Belgium. Maroilles cheese, with its strong smell and reddish-orange rind, is sometimes washed with beer during the maturing process and should thus be vetted before eating. Similarly, since it may be beer-washed, Boulette d’Avesnes, a cheese produced from immature or “poor” Maroilles combined with parsley, tarragon, and cloves, is frequently off-limits for celiacs. You’ll sometimes come across a breaded cheese, which is a wonderful opportunity to practice your vocabulary terms pannée (breaded) and croûte (crust) (crust).

Books & Additional Reading on France

For anyone planning a trip to France, here are some excellent publications to help you learn more about the country and its cuisine before you go.

Books about the Past and Guidebooks

There are many excellent publications, as well as a few other useful resources, available for anyone planning a trip to France: 

  • Clued In Paris: The Concise and Opinionated Guide to the City, a Kindle-only $3.99 read that delights and educates, is a delightful choice for Paris.
  • Alastair Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris is a good historical read. “Whereas London…had obvious male inclinations and New York has some sexual ambiguity, has any rational person ever questioned that Paris is essentially a woman?” Horne’s lengthy love letter to Paris starts here, beginning with Caesar and Abélard and continuing through the centuries. In a series of ambitious biographical pieces, Horne explores the turbulent history of Paris, filled with compelling storytelling and meticulous attention to detail. The book deftly combines the city’s impassioned politics with its art and music, as well as the city’s scandalous royal class, resulting in a complex yet fascinating book that spans the city’s history.

Food Books about France that I Recommend

  • Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking is a classic that requires no introduction. This landmark cookbook examines both the skill and the enjoyment of French cuisine in two volumes. A must-have for anybody wishing to bring a taste of fine dining into their own home.
  • My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz is a commentary on how contemporary Parisians eat, with 100 sweet and savory dishes intended to depict this culinary environment. The eccentric tales and beautiful photographs sprinkled throughout the book only add to the feeling of location produced by this combination of dishes. (L’Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home, also by Lebovitz, is a hilarious follow-up.)
  • Mimi Thorisson’s French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards will make you desire to live Mimi’s life. This book is a combination of a cuisine, a narrative about restoring a château, and a picture of French rural life. We meet a group of people that live in arguably the most beautiful French town ever via photos, stories, and, of course, recipes.

I did not want to have to do this. I never wanted to have to write another blog post. But here we are, so I must. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about what happened in France. The day of the attacks, I was in my apartment in Sydney, Australia, which is where I will be moving to in a few weeks. I had just come home from work and was sitting down to dinner. I heard a loud knock on the door. I knew it was not the postman. I opened the door and my heart sank when I saw a man with a gun in his hand. He was shouting, “You have to get out of the apartment!” I realize now that he thought. Read more about gluten free french food recipes and let us know what you think.

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