Without a doubt we loved our meals out whilst in Italy, but sometimes it was equally fab to be able to stay in and enjoy a glass or two alongside a simple home-cooked meal. I decided we would travel lighter than normal this year in an attempt to avoid the mammoth queues that were plaguing the UK airports over the summer months. This meant I couldn’t pack our usual extra suitcase of safe foods to take with us. Fortunately, there was a large Co-op hypermarket near our farmhouse in Orvieto and we found a great free-from section there with plenty of options to keep everyone happy.
The shelves were stocked with a variety of Schar gluten-free breads which were perfect for our “at-home” days and there was plenty of choice of cooked meats and local goats cheeses that both G and M enjoyed. With fresh fruit and vegetables and crisps to sit alongside the rest of the food, most mealtimes were plentiful and we didn’t really need too much else to satisfy the pickings of my hungry duo. However, it was amazing to find these extras to keep them both smiling throughout the day:
Pizza: Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the label for the gluten- and dairy-free pizza we found, but with the option of both proscuitto and magherita pizzas which suited both G and M, these were a big hit on our first night there. They were easy to oven-cook and it was fantastic to find a free-from pizza that was both gluten- and dairy-free to prepare as that’s rarely the case at home in the UK. In fact, I’d go far as to say UK brands should take note as this would be an absolute game-changer for us. The two pizzas were more than enough to feed even the hungriest amongst us – the 16 year-old boy who appears to have hollow legs – and Mike and I even managed to sneak a slice to taste-test too.
: These were a real find during our holiday and G and M tried both the Quinoa and Cranberry bars and Rice and chocolate drops bars, although the latter did contain a small amount of soy lecithin which was a shame. We also tried a selection of their biscuits, though these contain egg and M had to be sensible about just how many he consumed in any one sitting! We bought a few boxes of the cereal bars in particular as they were easy to pack to take out with us when we were on the move and were great at tiding M over whilst waiting for the next meal!
Valsoia & Bene-si Ice-creams: Another set of great finds, though soya was the main ingredient in the Valsoia ice-cream and hazelnuts the base for the Bene-si one. Fortunately, neither child struggles with an allergy to hazelnuts and M in particular was extremely careful about how much of this one he tried. We managed his consumption of the sour cherry soya ice-cream with an increased dose of his anti-histamines and anti-allergens when he had a bowl and we didn’t see any ill effects during our time away. It was fantastic to see a wide selection of different flavoured dairy-free ice-creams readily available in the hypermarket, although I wish we’d been able to find a good coconut ice-cream for M to try as well as the others.