Have it Your Way / Can’t Eat Won’t Eat / The Naked Allergy Debate

Gluten free

Ever heard of the saying ‘from small acorns...’ Well we at Vassaliki have had an experience of this in our restaurant.  What started with a simple omelette for a travel weary guest has now developed into a fully functioning restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, evening meals, cuisine night,, BBQ’s and themed buffets!  However, as usual our guests constantly set us new challenges and now we are experiencing a new trend that is opening new culinary avenues for our chef to explore through dietary requirements and lifestyle choices in terms of food consumption.

There is an increased awareness in our clientele that what we eat can have an impact on our health and well being.  This being the case, we have made every possible effort, here at Vassaliki , to accommodate those diners who would in previous years, have been thought of as fussy.

Allergies are increasing!fresh ingredients

The latest surveys show that rates of allergies throughout the world are increasing and affecting 30-35% of people at some stage of their lives.  Recent studies have confirmed a significant increase in the incidents of food related allergies.  A large number of children are diagnosed with an allergenic condition, and guess what they become adults.  It is still unclear what is causing this growth in food intolerance and food allergies.  But one thing is clear, it is something the modern restaurateur has to take into consideration and it can no longer be brushed aside by chefs as an inconvenient fad!

Nut allergies and their potential severe, possible fatal reactions (anaphylactic) have been well documented. Sufferers know to avoid obvious foods and notify the restaurateur of their condition.  However other less common and less aggressive allergies are becoming more prevalent.

Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disorder that is known to affect 1 in every 100 people.  The ingestion of gluten leads to damage of the small intestine.  ConsequGluten freeently some of our guests require a full gluten free diet.  Others have a yeast intolerance or just feel better when they reduce their intake of these two products.  Our experienced chef Nick has developed a number of recipes using imported gluten free ingredients, baking gluten free pastries and making yeast free bread for those guests who require it.

Some of our diners are lactose intolerant, unable to digest milk products.  We have guests with allergies of beef products, shell fish and even one lady with an allergy to pepper.

In many restaurants , these allergies create a problem for the diner.  Not only that he / she must avoid the obvious food stuffs, but also the less obvious such as sauces, desserts, soups, ice cream etc. where hidden ingredients may be lurking.  This is not a problem at Vassaliki because Nick makes all our dishes from scratch and knows exactly what has gone into them.

As well as allergies the discerning chef must also cater for the lifestyle. The vegetarians, pescetarians and vegan lifestyles are all becoming much more in evidence.  It is up to us to cater for these requirements and we hope the guests feel able to tell us about their dietary requirements.  At Vassaliki we pride ourselves, that as a small resort with a high staff to guest ratio and an enthusiastic and talented chef, we are able to offer an individual culinary experience.  We have even catered for vegetarians who don’t like many vegetables!

Our chef offers delicious vegetarian dishes as an alternative to a meat course. In fact some of them are so tempting that our veggie dishes sometimes out sell the meat options.  All our food is locally sourced and our dishes made with the freshest ingredients.

So do not hide away, you are not awkward, a problem or fussy.  You are part of a growing population with alternative dietary needs.  It is your choice, your health, your holiday and here at Vassaliki we strive to make it a memorable and gastronomically satisfying experience.

Written by Sheryle Daniels