Dining out: Mexican Cuisine – Anne Willner

Heavily based in corn and fresh vegetables, and meat, Mexican food can be a great choice when dining out.  However, there are potential sources of gluten to watch out for. In addition to the obvious gluten-unfriendly dishes (such as wheat tortillas), here's what to check for when confirming which options are gluten-free.

1. Corn Tortillas

Corn tortillas are a natural gluten-free alternative to wheat tortillas. However, some corn tortillas are not pure corn! Certain restaurants might use corn tortillas that have wheat flour added – which makes them cheaper to produce. Always check when ordering corn tortillas that they are 100% corn-based.

2. Tortilla Chips

The chips served with salsa/guacamole and nachos are often corn chips. However, some restaurants fry tortilla chips in oil to make them crispy. Sometimes this oil is the same used for frying wheat tortilla dishes such as chimichangas or battered fish included in fish tacos. This can cause cross-contamination. Always ask about whether chips are fried and if the fryer is shared with other wheat-based dishes

3. Sauces and Seasonings.

Certain sauces, such as enchilada sauce and queso, may be thickened with wheat starch. The spice mixes coated on otherwise gluten-free meat dishes (such as carnitas and chicken tacos) can sometimes have flour in them as well. Always double-check with seasonings and sauces.

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Anne Willner

Born and raised in New York, I relocated to Sydney, Australia in 2018 for work. I love exploring the incredible gluten free food scene in Sydney as well as experimenting with gluten free cooking and baking.  I was diagnosed with Celiac when I was 12 years old and in the 14ish years since my diagnosis, I‘ve maintained a strict gluten free diet. I love sharing tips and tricks I’ve learned through my experience and showing how a GF diet can be exciting and delicious.

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