On July 4, 1776, USA claimed their independence from Britain. Every July 4thAmericans celebrate that freedom and independence with barbeques, picnics and family gatherings.
Everyone 'dresses' up their houses with the American Flag – called the Stars and Stripes and there is celebratory fireworks throughout the country. Some great statistics about the 4th July are:
- 145 million hot dogs will be consumed;
- 700 million pounds of chicken will be purchased in the week leading up the the 4thJuly;
- 185 million pounds of red meal/pork purchased in the week leading up to July 4th;
- 87% of Americans will enjoy outdoor grills or barbeques;
- Approx 41 million Americans will spend the 4th July at someone else' house
As you can see, the Americans have a love affair with their grills and barbeques on the 4th July. Being gluten-free can often be difficult when attending a barbeque at a family member's or friends home. Here are a few tips for you to allow you enjoy a great July 4th party:
Suggestion 1: - You will find that most BBQ sauces that you buy contain gluten! Some can contain soy and others might contain Worcestershire Sauce which can both contain gluten. Maybe you can take your own sauce to the barbeque so that you can enjoy a nice tasty grill.
Suggestion 2: - Pack a few GF items- Even if a close friend or family member has assured you that they will have a few gluten-free options for you, it would be safer if you took a few items that you know are gluten free. Pack some small snacks nut bars or some rice crisps.
Suggestion 3: - At the BBQ's there will be plenty of burgers and hot dogs, along with other meats. Some hot dogs and sausages that you buy from supermarkets etc may contain gluten - be aware of this!! Maybe you should offer to bring your own hot dog (gluten free of course) and or some gluten free hamburgers. It is also important that you separate your food on the grill from food that contains gluten. You do not want to contaminate your gluten free sausage by having it cooked next to a sausage or burger that contains gluten. At most BBQ's it is the men who do the cooking so you have to ensure they understand the importance of contamination. This is equally important for any vegetarian food that is being cooked. You might like to take some baking paper to put your meat on. Also, take your own bread or gluten free bun so that you can enjoy it with your grill.
Suggestion 4: - Offer to Take a Side Dish - You may want to offer to take a salad or sweet dish and that way you help out with the catering of the function, but more importantly, you will know that there will be at least one dish you can be confident that it is gluten free. You may offer to take a simple green salad, potato, or coleslaw.
Suggestion 5: - Remember contamination can be a way that you may accidentally eat some gluten, especially if you eat chips and dips. Many dips contain gluten and even if your host manages to get a gluten free dip especially for you, you have to make sure that people do not dip biscuits into the dip that are not gluten free. Maybe you need to put gluten free biscuits on a plate with the gluten free dip, use a special spoon/knife for that dip only and put up a sign saying that the dip is gluten free.
These are only a couple of suggestions but , if followed, can ensure that you have a great July 4th.