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Galician bread

Break bread together

The greatest thing since sliced bread

They go together like bread and butter

I have been gluten free for three months.

It ain’t really that hard, especially for someone like me who thinks lunch is the most over-rated meal of the day.  I hate sandwiches.  That might harken back to my mother’s economizing attempts, when we were allowed to have one (sliced so thin it was see-through) slice of lunch meat between two pieces of store-brand white bread.  (20 loaves purchased on sale and stored in the bread freezer in the basement, which stood next to the meat freezer, and around the corner from the vegetable freezer.)  Seven kids DO go through copious amounts of food, yes.  But there was no joy in those grade school and high school sandwiches, not even the afterthought to dress it with anything but yellow mustard.

When you are gluten free you can eat all the cheese you want, and wine contains none of the offending oats.  Fresh cooked meals are often gluten free:  fish in a tomato-Sambucca sauce, vegetables, steaks on the grill, bacon, eggs… it is definitely not as hard as it seems.

It’s just the bread…  good bread…  grainy, peasant bread…  crusty on the outside but still warm on the inside bread…  dredged through olive oil and some seasonings.

Perhaps bread will become the new focus of my dreams, like cigarettes did when I first quit smoking.  I learned that smoking in your dreams doesn’t count!!!  I would smoke an entire pack in one dream!  It has been years since I delighted in nocturnal and imaginary Marlboro Lights.  Maybe it is time for bread to move in, dragged through seasoned olive oil.  And this version is definitely calorie free!



About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!


  1. Claire,

    I share the genetic BREAD gene. We just got back from San Diego where we enjoyed our favorite dish at the Fish Market Restaurant: Crab Cioppino – a delectable soupy collection of various sea creatures. This of course is complemented with a mug of Anchor Steam Beer. However, the glue (tin) that ties the meal together is the ample supply of fresh warm Sourdough Bread, hacked into 1″ slices and dripping with butter! Nothing else better to absorb all of the cioppino juices and balance the protein overload! http://www.thefishmarket.com/default.aspx

    • Claire Ziamandanis

      This is the one missing element – something to dredge through excellent sauces or fragrant olive oils. I believe I have just identified a market opportunity?

  2. I have a love/hate relationship with bread . . . It’s so hard to resist. Especially with the bV mussels. I guess I could substitute fries for the bread, but that doesn’t seem too healthy.

    • Claire Ziamandanis

      Our fave Albany restaurant, Athos, now stocks rice crackers so you can still scoop up all the great dips they bring out before your meal!

  3. Two questions:
    1. Is this part of why Atkins/South Beach worked for you (as it did for me)?
    2. (with a tear) What about pasta?

    • Claire Ziamandanis

      1. Quite possibly. The positive change was immediate and surprising. Unfortunately.
      2. I have a lead on pasta made with quinoa – supposed to be quite good. The recommender has been GF for a year, and found other pastas made with chickpea flour to be too “earthy”. That actually sounds a bit appealing to me, but I also like Donkey Ass Wine.

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