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How to survive in Iran with Gluten and Lactose intolerance

As a person who suffers from gluten intolerance, I deeply understand how it could be frustrating to think about the food and snacks during your trip, especially if you are a foodie and not familiar with the language of the destination.

Unfortunately, the concept of gluten is not well-known in Iran; hence I as a person who works in the tourism industry try to write you a handy guide to assist you how to handle this issue on your awesome trip to Iran.

Due to unawareness of people about this issue, you can download the celiac travel card in Farsi here; in fact, it is for lactose and gluten intolerance.

The good news is that Persian’s cuisine is based on rice and you have lots of options. Although everyone recognizes Kebab as Persian’s cuisine and Kebab is a national dish, but the diversity of food in Iran is so broad.

  1. Kebabs: In the Koobideh version, wheat flour is used, the safest Kebab to eat is Barg and Chenjeh kebab.
  2. All stews (Khoresht) are safe to eat. (Exception: Khoresht Mast for lactose intolerance (Isfahan))
  3. All dishes having the name of polo at the end (like addaspolo, lobiapolo) are safe to eat.
  4. Aash and soup: It is tricky to eat them unless you will be 100% sure there is no wheat inside or it is homemade one, so I would generally abstain from them.
  5. Halim (super delicious food, but sorry it is pure wheat and meat).
  6. Shole Zard (rice-based pudding and it is safe, even for lactose or whey intolerance).
  7. Ferni (rice-based pudding, but NOT suitable for lactose and whey intolerance).
  8. All sweats and pastries are contaminated by wheat, except (Rehsteh Khoshhkar in Gilan province) and Shirini Berenji, and Shirni Nargili.
  9. Ice noodle (Fallodeh) is made of starch, but the source of starch could be different, so I do not recommend for gluten intolerance travelers but it is safe for lactose and whey intolerance ones.
  10. Non-alcoholic beer (Delester): it is a malt-based drink.
  11. Any food with the name of Kashk (drained yogurt) is NOT suitable for lactose or whey intolerance.

For lactose and whey intolerance travelers, I should let you know that; you could rarely find any Cafe in Iran that serves coffee with soy or non-diary milk. However, there is one special local brand (Bekrsoy) that produces soy products in Iran and can be found in selective supermarkets.

        The important question is how to handle bread in Iran??

Generally talking, traditional bread are a big NO-NO for you, BUT, there are two ways to have gluten-free bread in Tehran:

 One Iranian food factory called Kalleh produces Gluten-free products (such as toast, muffin, cake, pizza), which are accessible in big supermarkets. Secondly, the only branch of Sahar bakery in Tehran (located in front of Shahid Sadr metro station on the red line) is the only bakery in town baking fresh gluten bread and pastries. But you should be there before 10 am; otherwise, you would face empty shelves.

As co-founder of PersianWalk dealing with gluten intolerance in my daily life, we decided to offer special service for travelers, who need assistance for providing gluten-free bread in Tehran.

Just contact us and we provide the bread for you as soon as possible.

Finally, in our food and spice tour, we are always concerned about people dealing with food allergy and intolerance. Joining our evening walking tour can be helpful for you to know how to handle this issue on your trip to Iran as well.

 

Iranian Gluten-free Products

 


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