Joining the Coeliac conversation
Feedback is always appreciated here at Lovemore, and we continuously strive to improve our range so it’s the best it can be! In order to do this, we see the importance of really understanding our customers and their needs, particularly those who have serious allergies to gluten, wheat, or dairy, and those with Coeliac disease.
This month we decided to ask 25-year-old Coeliac Ross Piper a few questions about his experiences with the disease, and in return we gave him a selection of yummy gluten free treats to try.
First of all, we asked Ross to tell us a little bit about his diagnosis story…
As with many, my diagnosis story is not full of glamour, thus many details will be skimmed over. I believe the symptoms were originally noticed when I was around the age of 17. After many sick days from sixth form, multiple blood tests and an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, I was finally diagnosed as a Coeliac. After a brief hunger strike, I embarked upon my gluten free life, which initially involved sampling each and every loaf of bread, as I'm sure anyone whose dabbled in the realms of gluten free can attest, some of them are far from desirable.
From our previous experience listening to the concerns of Coeliacs, we found that many of them receive some unfavourable reactions to their strict diet, which Ross went on to tell us about.
I'm often at the end of pity after an explanation of my gluten free dietary requirements, as everyone's favourite foods contain gluten. Although, the pity is usually followed by "well, at least you can have dairy", this is a blessing I'm ever thankful for.
As awareness of Coeliac disease is still developing, we wondered if Ross had experienced a negative stigma attached to the gluten free diet, and to our surprise he said he actually felt looked down upon in social situations, just for ordering gluten free food. From this it’s clear that there are still some misconceptions about the condition and he went on to explain some of these.
There are two common misconceptions which I've encountered; what gluten is, and how serious eating gluten for a sufferer of Coeliac disease is. Many people, even those within the the food industry, lack education as to what gluten is. By not knowing what gluten is, some staff at restaurants may offer what they believe to be a gluten free option, but in reality is packed full of the offending grains. Other people who are aware of what gluten is, do not realise the repercussions of a Coeliac sufferer eating something containing gluten. Often asking "Can't you just eat a little bit?"
Lastly, we gave Ross four products from our range to try out, as a thank you for sharing his story! Here’s what he thought:
I had the privilege to try 4 different products from the Lovemore range; the custard creams, the jammy wheels, the double chocolate chip cookies and the lemon cake.
The lemon cake exceeded where so many fail, it was fluffy and moist. I begrudgingly gave a taste to both my wife and mum, who both agreed that it was delicious. In hindsight, it was a good job I had to share, the cake went down far too easily.
Both the custard creams and jammy wheels were fine contenders to the gluten free biscuit game - they both tasted great. Unfortunately though, they did suffer from the typical gluten free texture of being a little dry and crumbly, but when accompanied by a cup of tea the issue was nullified and they were both great little dunkers.
The double chocolate cookie, however, succeeded in avoiding the chalky texture but appeared almost as if it was an oat based biscuit. Because of this, it maintained a crisp crunch which was an excellent companion to the rich chocolate taste.
I'd definitely love to eat any of the products I tried again, as well as venturing into the other products from Lovemore's free from selection.