[Sca-cooks] Sca-cooks Digest, Vol 4, Issue 109

Tara Sersen Boroson tara at kolaviv.com
Sun Aug 20 08:14:01 PDT 2006

>I was going to mention this last night, but got side-tracked. My  
>experience has been that many of the instances in which flour has  
>been specifically mentioned as a hidden allergen has been in  
>reference to restaurant foods, where A) restaurants rarely use actual  
>flour for that purpose, although some related product or derivative  
>_is_ possible, and B) most often flour is used by home cooks for  
>these purposes, where presumably you can get an honest, simple and  
>straightforward answer to questions you may have.

Going back to my reference, I was mistaken.  Gluten ingredients are used 
in the coating on fries, but it's not neccisarily flour, as Master 
Adamantius said.  McDonald's was just sued for failing to claim gluten 
and casien ingredients in their french fry seasoning, that they'd listed 
as "natural flavorings".  I swear I saw a reference to flour being used 
as the base for the coating on fries, too, but I can't find that now.  
The article that I can't find talked about how frozen fries become all 
soggy before the middles cook, so they're coated to become crisp and 
that coating typically contains wheat ingredients.

I had lunch at IKEA the other day.  I asked about the ingredients in the 
swedish meatballs, suspecting there would be bread crumbs in them.  The 
guy quite literally gave me a song and dance (I mean, bobbing around 
while he was talking to me, ala Johnny Depp playing Jack Sparrow) 
telling me that "OH, NO!  The recipe is a company secret, just like the 
chicken and KFC."  I said, "Uh, no.  By law, KFC, and you, have to make 
the ingredients list available."  He kept arguing with me, then tried 
telling me that they get them in a bag and dump them in the microwave, 
but they sell them downstairs and I could go down there and look.  Then 
he asked what ingredient I was concerned about, so I said breadcrumbs.  
"Oh, no, there aren't breadcrumbs in meatballs!"  I said, "There are 
usually breadcrumbs in meatballs.  It's very common."  After all this 
song and dance, I sure as hell wasn't going to believe his claim that 
there were none.  He was clearly blowing hot steam out of his nether 
orifice.  I asked if I could look at the bag they got them in, and he 
evaded my question.  So, I walked away.  His manager chased me down and 
asked what product I was inquiring about, and sure enough, they had 
breadcrumbs in them.  I was *livid*.  The worst part is... this isn't 
the first time I, or other people, have encountered similar attitudes.  
People get really defensive when I ask about ingredients, refuse to go 
ask.  I mean, it's not like I'm asking him to go out back and make me 
special meatballs on the fly.  I was just trying to gather the 
information to help me decide what to buy my daughter for lunch.  My 
older daughter wanted the meatballs, and I knew her younger sister would 
agitate for them if I bought them. 


Tara Sersen Boroson

'Normal' is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car you are still paying for, in order to get to the job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car, and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it. -Ellen Goodman

[T]o admit authorities, however heavily furred and gowned, into our libraries and let them tell us how to read, what to read, what value to place upon what we read, is to destroy the spirit of freedom which is the breath of those sanctuaries. -Virginia Woolf

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