October 1, 2012 8:11 AM   Subscribe

My SO has an issue maybe with gluten and maybe with just the processed flours...snowflake details inside...

She will swell if she eats anything made from wheat flours here in the US. If she wants any type of bread or pasta, it has to be of the gluten free varieties.

Here's the odd thing...when we travel in Europe, she seems to be able to eat anything...white breads, pastas, etc....

What gives? What is happening to the flours here that they aren't doing in Europe (Germany mainly)....
posted by keep it tight to Health & Fitness (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is it possible she's allergic to wheat bran (if you eat whole wheat in the US and white flour elsewhere)?
posted by mrfuga0 at 8:20 AM on October 1, 2012

Response by poster: White flour in the US causes the swell as well...
posted by keep it tight at 8:22 AM on October 1, 2012

Try Sprouted Bread. It might be in the frozen isle.
posted by pyro979 at 8:33 AM on October 1, 2012

Response by poster: We currently do eat those items (sprouted bread, rice breads, etc.) we are just trying to figure out what is different about the baking in Europe compared to US...
posted by keep it tight at 8:37 AM on October 1, 2012

Is it the same when she makes the bread herself? Or does it only happen with store bought bread?
posted by DestinationUnknown at 8:42 AM on October 1, 2012

This has been my my observation as well. Having just had a tasty La Chouffe whilst sitting along the Singel canal I feel pretty good. I still tend to stay away from bread and pasta. It's tough though.
posted by humboldt32 at 8:44 AM on October 1, 2012

Response by poster: DestinationUnknown...we haven't tried our own baking
posted by keep it tight at 8:46 AM on October 1, 2012

Best answer: Could it be the bromated flour? Most industrial/commercially made bread uses bromated flour-- in fact, I can't even buy non-bromated in bulk in my area-- but it si banned for use in the EU and many other countries. Potassium bromate is supposed to oxidize out of the finished baked good in the right conditions, but they are not always careful about temperature, baking time, etc.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:49 AM on October 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: A good way to test this would be to make some no-knead bread with King Arthur flour (they are firmly anti-bleaching and bromating.) For maximum scientific veracity, eat it straight out of the oven with lots of butter, wink wink.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:53 AM on October 1, 2012 [6 favorites]

Could it be her stress levels, sleep levels, etc., rather than any difference in the flours? I know I tend to react much more to foods when I am stressed than I do when I am not stressed. If you are only in Europe while vacationing, that could be it.

Also, the pastry blog Joe Pastry has a very good breakdown of differences between US and European flours -- if you have a few hours to read through.
posted by pie ninja at 9:00 AM on October 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

This sounds like a job for a registered dietician who can properly figure this out with you.1 Though a few things you might consider are the possibility of a psychosomatic reaction, ash content, bromation, or sensitivity to the various things American flour is fortified and enriched with.

1The difference between a nutritionist and a dietician is like the difference between a toothologist and a dentist. Dentists are licensed by the state and reviewed by their peers to ensure adequate ethics and competency, whereas a toothologist would not only be unvouched for but would be conspicuously so. Nutritionists are the same way, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist, all the way up to the hydrogen peroxide injecting and laser reikii ends of the woo spectrum.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:59 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Most wheat in the US is red or winter wheat originally from Russia. Most wheat in western Europe is not. At least that is my understanding why baked goods come out differently. I only buy King Arthur "cake" flour now which is supposedly like the wheat in the UK, France etc. Imho, its still not the same.
posted by fshgrl at 11:46 AM on October 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Bromated flour seems to be the result...Thanks hive!!!
posted by keep it tight at 5:49 AM on October 16, 2012

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