I spent a few lovely days in Mendoza, the highlight of which was a tour of local vineyards by bicycle. Tour a vineyard followed by sampling, cycle to the next and repeat equals an amazing day in the beautiful Argentine sunshine.
One stop on our route was chocolate, jam and olive tasting. I opted out of this one since I was already tipsy and didn’t want to face asking lots of questions about ingredients and cross contamination for just a small sample. I did however ask about the chocolate as it smelled amazing. They had 3 or 4 different varieties and the white chocolate with dulce de leche contained flour to help it stick together but the milk chocolate with nuts did not. The kind man doing the tasting went into the back and brought me a couple of large, uncontaminated pieces. Delicious!
As for finding gluten free food in and around Mendoza, there are a few dieteticas. I came across one called Celidiet which had a decent variety of both snacks and frozen goods but everything was totally overpriced.
By chance I came across a little cafe called Santo Remedio (on Juan B Justo y Paseo de los Andes) that does gluten free food and snacks. I was running past when the big no wheat symbol on their window caught my eye. We ended up going back there for lunch and it was great (and not overpriced) I had two small sandwiches with ham and cheese with was $9 pesos (US$2). The cafe also has media lunas, ice cream and a few cookies and snacks. The man who served us was very nice and he told me that they sell gluten free food because their owner is a coeliac. All of their gluten free products were from celi club which is based in the city of Mendoza. It had been almost a month since I’d eaten bread and since these sandwiches were tasty I bought another two for my bus ride the following day. I also found an ice cream chain called Grido (which can be found at a few locations throughout the city) and which does a large variety of gluten free ice cream. They have a list of products suitable for coeliacs which includes a large variety of different flavours.
In Mendoza I had the chance to meet a fellow gluten free traveller which was really nice. Cristoph from Germany is travelling in Northern Argentina for 3 weeks and so being in the city of Mendoza at the same time, we had the chance to meet for a drink. It was nice to hear about his experiences of living gluten free at home and abroad and I look forward to meeting other gluten free travellers in the future…