It can be quite challenging traveling or going on holidays with food allergies. Recently, I was in Germany and had a fantastic holiday despite my food sensitivities, you can read about my trip to Germany in my last post. My food sensitivities don’t cause me to go into anaphylactic shock but rather aggravates my existing autoimmune condition and causes a flare up of my symptoms. Thus, I avoid these foods like the plague.
The biggest offenders for me have always been gluten and dairy but just before I left on my holiday to Germany, I found out that apart from Gluten and Dairy, I am highly sensitive to Eggs and moderately sensitive to Almonds, Soy, Corn and Beef after doing a blood test. Even though my health has improved in leaps and bounds with not eating gluten and dairy there were still some symptoms that were lingering on.
Things suddenly started to make sense. When I changed to a unprocessed, gluten and dairy free diet I had started to also eat and use a lot of eggs in my cooking and baking! Leaving eggs and the other foods I am sensitive to out of my diet has since made a huge difference in my health and those lingering symptoms have disappeared.
I knew going on a holiday ANYWHERE with a long list of food that I could not eat was going to be a challenge and coupled with my battle with Candida at that time, that challenge could only get sweeter. Well, as they say when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. That is what I did. Ohhh…. well actually that was what my tough cookie of a husband did. He started researching on where in Germany could we go for a hiking holiday with me not having to end up in a hospital half way through the holiday.
One name consistently came up and it was perfectly located among the mountains and rolling hills of South Germany: Scheidegg
About Scheidegg, Germany
Scheidegg has become known to be spa and recreation area with the town’s first documented mentioning in 1255. According to Wikipedia:
When in 1912 the construction of the Prinzregent-Luitpold-Kinderklinik (a paedriatic clinic) began, this was the cornerstone for the development of Scheidegg to a spa. In 1936 Scheidegg became a licensed air health resort. After World War II a new start had to be made. The necessity to qualify as a spa was soon acknowledged and hence the first licensed kneippism business formed in 1964.
It is situated at about 800 to 1,000m above sea level and in an area called “Dreilaendereck” which means it is situated in the “corner of three countries”- the border area in the south where Germany’s border meets Austria and Switzerland at Lake Constance.
Lake Constance is barely half an hour away by car which is another attraction within close reach and adds to the attractiveness of Scheidegg as a holiday destination- Scheidegg is not only a destination for its clean air or kneipp treatments but also a great place for any other holiday maker. It is an all-year round destination with well developed walking and hiking tracks in and around Scheidegg itself but also in the nearby and more alpine and mountainous areas which are visible from many points in Scheidegg. The “Skywalk Allgaeu” is one of it’s latest attractions and a magnet for families with children. In winter it offers winter sports such as a network of cross country skiing tracks, ice skating, etc.
As mentioned earlier it has also developed into a bit of a gluten free holiday haven. The various hosts of the local Restaurants and Hotels together have put an emphasis to offer gluten free options. Besides its natural beauty and the hiking and walking options we were interested in, having gluten free food available there was our main reason for choosing Scheidegg as our holiday destination. The Scheidegg tourism website has all the information you will need to organise your gluten free holiday there (they have a english language version too!).
Our Accommodation in Scheidegg
There are many different options when staying in Scheidegg- from self contained apartments to hotels and what is called “Pension” in Germany (similar to a Bed & Breakfast often in a family home where they offer overnight accommodation with Breakfast).
We chose the “Landhotel Herzberger” a very welcoming family owned “Country Hotel” in Scheidegg. Despite my worries about not being an easy customer requiring gluten free, lactose free and egg free breakfast it was very pleasant not to have to worry about any of this during my breakfast. The owner knew very well about these things and so I was able to have bread rolls from the bakery in the morning for breakfast just like everyone else… They also offer tea, coffee and (gluten free) cake in the afternoon for their guests. The owner of the hotel Frau Wuehler-Herzberger especially made cake and muffins to suit my particular food intolerances. It was always YUM!
During our stay there were many other guests in the Landhotel Herzberger as it was still peak holiday season in Germany and most of the guests had at least one family member with gluten intolerance. Some of them still kids and so they were very excited to be able to eat “real” bread rolls for breakfast!!
At the ground floor level of their house they have a Physiotherapy Centre that also offers spa massages for the stressed and to relief the sore muscles from a long hike.
Gluten free eating in Scheidegg
“Glutenfrei (=gluten free) in Scheidegg” is not just a slogan but a very practical reality even more so on a holiday when you want to escape the daily rut and worries and the last thing you need to worry about is what to eat…
From the local supermarket which offers a range of gluten free products to the Butcher offering gluten and lactose free products to the Bakery and of course the many Restaurants- nowhere during our days in Scheidegg did we speak to any of the personnel who did not know about food intolerances. No one gave me the classic blank or puzzled look when I asked for my meal to be gluten and dairy free. Everyone was happy to accommodate and always checked with me if they were unsure about what gives.
Other then packing our own tucker for our day hikes, we went to few of the local restaurants such as Restaurant Fuenflaenderblick, Restaurant Zum Hirschen and the Kurhaus Scheidegg. All of them had a good selection of gluten free food and were also able to accommodate my dairy and egg free requirements.
The “Kurhaus Scheidegg & RuKi”
The “Kurhaus Scheidegg” is a Restaurant and Cafe which prides itself in offering many different food choices including cakes. The team around Frau Rullo (a pastry chef) and Frau Kirchberger offer many classic (south) German dishes.
Some years ago one of their guests after looking at the gluten free food choices on their menu complained that they should not advertise for gluten free holidays in Scheidegg if that was all the food that was on offer. This was too much for Frau Rullo and so she decided on the spot to show this lady what she could do! She immediately went to her cellar and pulled out some old cooking utensils they hadn’t been used for a while, cleaned it up and cooked a Schnitzel in a nut crust. The lady was over the moon and throughout her holiday kept coming back- and Frau Rullo kept improvising. Frau Rullo continued experimenting in the kitchen and is now baking and cooking with her own gluten free flour mixes instead of the store bought ready made kind with additives.
This was the starting point of their journey in seriously offering a good choice of gluten free food at the Kurhaus in Scheidegg. As they have told us it is very rewarding for them to see how happy their guests are when they are able to have a choice in the variety of food they can eat and when children say “… and I am allowed to eat this cake?”
Frau Rullo and Frau Kirchberger are also the founders of “RuKi“. A company developing and offering gluten free flour and freshly made packaged food with ingredients sourced from the region and without any additives. They are offering their products through their online shop for the normal consumer as well as with the intention to supply other Restaurants.
I think they are on the right track with their idea of delivering freshly made products with the ingredients regionally sourced to the wider market. The gluten free local delicacies they offer e.g. Spaetzle and Maultaschen are definitely novelties in the gluten free market in Germany.
Not having to worry about where and what I could eat with my multiple food sensitivities when I am traveling is a luxury. I was blessed to have that luxury during our holiday back to Germany and I don’t take that for granted one bit.