Before writing more about our time spent in Sweden, I feel compelled to write about the wonderful options for gluten-free eating in this great country. My fiancée was diagnosed with Celiac a number of years ago. On our travels in non-English speaking countries, this has made for a few difficulties while eating out. Sometimes we have to simply leave a restaurant, sometimes my love is on the receiving end of a dirty look or an uninspiring meal while I go to town on a delicious dish she can’t have. Not so in Sweden. At every eating establishment we visited, there was an immediate understanding of Celiac Disease and the requirement for strict gluten-free food. Everyone was good enough to warn us about possible cross-contamination if any items were fried in oil used for other non-gluten-free items. You come to expect that level of service at nicer restaurants, but on this trip, a true sense of the ease of gluten-free eating came from visits to a couple of fast food places and cafes.
Not the kind of place we’d normally visit while traveling, but when your partner hasn’t had a fast food hamburger in more than three years, McDonald’s becomes a bit of a novelty. So much of a novelty, that on our arrival we dropped our bags at the hotel and made a beeline to the first set of golden arches we saw. Here are the gluten-free versions of their double cheeseburger and Big Mac. Taste-wise, they’re authentic to the regular burgers. The buns are actually pretty good:
Less well publicized, you can get a gluten-free Whopper at Burger King. Once you unwrap it, it isn’t as visually appealing as the Big Mac, but still had reasonable taste. The bun at McDonald’s was much better though:
A popular Swedish tradition is “to fika”, which really means going out for a coffee and something sweet. It was something we thought might be out of the running for my love. But on a Sunday in Uppsala, we were able to fika at a great cafe along the river that had an interesting gluten-free sweet in their display – it was a coconut/almond square with preserves and chocolate:
All in all, gluten-free eating was really easy in each of the four Scandinavian countries we visited, particularly in Sweden. It far surpassed anything else we’ve encountered on our travels to date. So go ahead, book the trip to Sweden and eat like a (Burger) king.