Low FODMAP foods and food producers have finally begun to make themselves seen and heard in the world of free from food – see our listing here for a number of brands specialising in such products – but are we beginning to see evidence for the arrival of low FODMAP menus in food service too?
November saw the launch of a dedicated menu for those following the diet at Glasgow’s French-themed Atlantic Bar and Brasserie – featuring low-FODMAP Entrees, as well as main courses (albeit nothing for veggies or vegans, sadly) and a few desserts.
We have created a menu that is classified as a ‘Total Ban’ selection. This means that all dairy, onion, garlic, lentils and pulses have been removed. As many people who adhere to a Low FODMAP diet benefit from the removal of gluten from their food, we have also made the menu gluten free.
(Strictly, it’s the fructans in gluten-containing grains which those with IBS are reacting to – not necessarily to the gluten itself – although it’s possible to have a co-existing sensitivity to gluten as well as IBS.)
The Atlantic have been joined in their low FODMAP menu endeavours this February by Sezamee – a new pop-up restaurant which has current residency at Gran Sasso, King’s Cross, London. You can see their menu here – and although more limited in choice, there are a couple of veggie options available, although note that a number of allergens are used, including dairy (low lactose / lactose free).
All of this is great news. As anyone following a restricted diet will tell you, eating out presents a particular set of problems which can be difficult for some to overcome – not least the embarrassment of causing a ‘fuss’ in a public place, and the stress of knowing that you could be presenting a challenge to food service staff, and occasionally risking unpleasant symptoms when all you want is to enjoy yourself and eat well. A set, dedicated menu not only validates your condition, but is a huge reassurance.
We obviously need to see more low FODMAP menus before they ‘normalise’ to the extent of the far more common gluten free or vegan menus, which have become regular sights in eating establishments up and down the country, but The Atlantic and Sezamee have set the ball rolling. It’s up to other caterers to keep it moving.