Tuesday, August 14, 2012

GLUTEN for Sale

"Gluten Free" is so hip these days.  It's on everything.  You know what's not normally advertised?  Gluten.  Pure gluten.  Except in Queens.

I was walking down 30th Avenue in Astoria this weekend and passed a Thai restaurant. I picked up one of their takeout menus to check out just for fun.  They have silly sayings next to some of their dishes such as "You got to love this dish" and "The sweet chili paste still rock".  It wasn't until later that I noticed they offer Gluten as one of their topping additions.  You know, like Pad Thai with tofu, veggies, chicken, beef, shrimp, or gluten.

Huh?  What does that even mean?  How do you put "gluten" on top of Pad Thai?  I was feeling a bit sassy so I called to ask.  The conversation went a bit like this:

Lady: Yajai
Me: Hi.  I picked up your menu today and I'm wondering what the "Gluten" is you offer.
Lady: Huh?
Me: It says I can get Gluten on some of your dishes.  What is that?
Lady: You want Gluten?
Me: No, I'm wondering what it is.  It says I can have Pad Thai with Gluten.  What is the Gluten?
Lady: You want Pad Thai with Gluten?
Me: No.  What is Gluten?
Lady: Oh. Uhhh. I think tofu and beans...
Me: Oh...
(Ladies talking in background.  Seems to be some confusion.)
Lady: Oh uhhh...it's wheat.
Me: So you put wheat on the Pad Thai?
Lady: You want Pad Thai with Gluten?
Me: No thanks.

This left me a bit confused but it later occurred to me what they probably meant.  They have mock duck on their menu and I figured it was made out of Seitan.  Seitan is used to make a lot of the "fake meat" products out there and it's basically just a big hunk of wheat protein (wheat gluten).  I.E.: DANGER.

I think it's pretty funny that Gluten is so proudly displayed on their menu.  Has anyone else been offered "Gluten" before?  Are people starting to eat pure gluten just to spite us gluten free folks?