By Sarah Rosenblum
Imagine being in Italy and not being able to eat their world-renowned pasta and pizza. Jordana Kozupsky ‘12 is currently abroad in Sicily and following a gluten free diet. While Kozupsky anticipated being challenging to not be able to indulge in the carb loaded Italian classics, she has been pleasantly surprised at the wide variety of gluten free option in her Sicilian neighborhood.
“I have never eaten more gluten free products in my life! I live in the capital city in Sicily, and within a block in either direction of my apartment, there are gluten free supermarkets and bakeries,” she says.
Kozupsky was diagnosed with lactose, gluten, and fructose intolerance during her freshman year at Union. Kozupsky was unsure about why she felt sick after eating and had to frequently go home to see different gastroentologists.
“I don’t have celiac disease, which is the original gluten disease. Doctors don’t really know a lot about the problem that I have, but I have been feeling so much better after eliminating gluten from my diet.” Although most people assume gluten-free bread is healthier or lower in calories, Kozupsky says “they are actually worse for you in terms of calories, fat, and carbohydrate content.”
Gluten is the protein that binds bread together and “the gluten- free substitutes just aren’t the same—they tend to be a lot heavier and crumble much more than regularly bread.” Kozupsky misses bagels the most, but there are some gluten-free bagels that she occasionally eats. She typically eats sandwiches on gluten- free bread, and in Italy she has even been able to enjoy gluten-free pizza and pasta!
At Union, Dining Services has been very considerate to her gluten-free diet, and Kozupsky is able to call ahead to request certain foods. “Union has been really accommodating, they make an effort to make separate food for students with different food allergies and intolerances,” she says.
In Italy, there is an increasing trend in preparing gluten free substitutes. “Apparently, gluten intolerance is a problem that is getting more common in Italy, so the recipes they have for gluten free pasta and pizza are a lot better than the one’s in the states,” she says.