food allergies nuts and shellfish)

WE will be traveling to Europe...most specific a stop in Rome, down to Sicily and then Northern Italy. My concern is will I be able to find foods, restaurants or places that cater to allergies. Are there places where I will be able to buy foods that are allergen free????? Waiting for your reply. Thank you,
Libby Amato

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
4871 posts

I don't know the answer to your question, but unless you speak Italian you might want to have your allergy information written in Italian to show at restaurants, etc. what you are allergic to.

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

If you are allergic to nuts, you may need to be careful to avoid anything made with pesto, which contains pignolias. Pesto is used widely in Italian cuisine.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2501 posts

Good idea to carry an allergy card in Italian. Pests can be made with several different nuts, but the pig oil is the classic one. Be careful when ordering fish soups or stews, the broth may be made with shellfish. Most restaurants won't change a recipe to leave out an essential ingredient, but will offer you options that are free of the things you are allergic to.

Posted by Nigel
East Midlands, England
8755 posts

pig oil is the classic one Pig oil? I think she means pine nuts.

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
2858 posts

It's tough to avoid any contamination by allergens. Carry the antidote (epi-pen?)for just-in-case. Pine nuts or oil can be hidden in desserts or elsewhere. I have a serious sensitivity to mussels. Even eating in a restaurant that serves mussels can be problematic because of the possibility that mussel water (for cooking) can also be used elsewhere. I try to avoid restaurants that serve mussels.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
2501 posts

Nigel, thanks for catching another typo of mine! Actually it's the auto spell-check, which I must figure out how to disable. Pig oil could be a problem...

Posted by Rose
NYC
922 posts

Hahaha! I had to look it up - DYAC = Damn You Auto Correct! Luciano, how do you handle the restaurant situation when you're at home or when you travel in the States? Wouldn't your process for identifying problem foods be fairly similar wherever you go? - although labeling on packaged foods is maybe clearer and more exact in the U.S.

Posted by Denise
San Antonio, TX
110 posts

I am unable to provide the name of any resturants that cater to allegies. But, I have found, in Italy, that the waitstaff understand the seriousness of the situation and act accordingly.