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Jun 11, 2012 08:43 AM

How declassé would it be to bring my own gluten free pasta to the restaurant and ask them to cook it?


I have survived in Italy before on risottos and the places that carry gluten free pasta. I am going to be staying in Sorrento for about 5 days starting this Saturday, traveling to Naples, Amalfi, etc.

Has anyone brought their own pasta to the restaurant and asked them to cook it? There is a brand that I am sure I have had in the restaurants that comes in 6 curled up sections of fettucine per 250 gm. I could bring it with me from Germany or buy it there.

Anyone done this before?

  1. I think it would be ok. I would first ask if they have it and then ask if they can cook yours if the answer is negative. But, wouldn't the water they cook the pasta in be a problem for you?

    1 Reply
    1. re: vinoroma

      This would be the biggest problem...there's always the chance they'd throw it in a pot of water that had already been used for wheat pasta.

    2. Trés gauche, I would say. I can't imagine any restaurant would agree to prepare someone else's ingedients for them, at any price.

      2 Replies
      1. re: GH1618

        I really don't think I would trust that it hadn't been tossed into the 'pasta water' which had boiled wheat pasta...although I'm sure your experience will vary depending on the type of restaurant you are in, how busy they are, how effective the communication between you/the server/the kitchen is. If I did it, I'd be tipping the heck out of everybody involved, including the kitchen staff. Had you thought about carrying a ziploc of pre-cooked pasta of your choice and just asking for a serving of the sauce in which to dump your own pasta ( that I'm thinking of it, lots of places thin sauce with pasta-boiling water, which could be scary for you). This sounds kind of fraught with intolerant are you?

        1. re: tonifi

          I'm sure you meant to reply to the original poster, but you make a good point here. If a dietary restriction is due to an actual allergy, should one trust an unfamiliar restaurant even if it appears to be accommodating a special request?

      2. Always the chance they will say "Sure, no problem," then throw your pasta in the trash and give you a plate of their pasta.

        1. Not sure how they would handle this in Italy, but might the kitchen be suspect of bringing outside products into their kitchen not knowing where it came from? The types of restaurants I've been to in Italy are very proud of the strict control they have over their kitchen and everything that goes into their dishes. Plus, is it practical for any restaurant to prepare food from an unknown source in their kitchen given the legal responsibility they have to their customer? I know this example is stretching it, but what if there was a foreign object in that box of pasta and you ate it and choked? Who is responsible for this? How does it play out in a court of law? All things a restaurant owner has to think about in a situation like this. Just "food" for thought.

          8 Replies
          1. re: ttoommyy

            To the OP. As we say here in italy, it takes a great deal of chutzpah to do what you are suggesting. Simply unbelievable.

            Just go to a restaurant and don't have pasta. No big deal.

            1. re: allende

              As the saying goes, "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." Or Naples, Amalfi or wherever in Italy. I like what you said allende: "Just go to a restaurant and don't have pasta. No big deal." It's really just a matter of the culture; what would be considered OK to do in the States is just not done in Italy. And vice versa.

              1. re: ttoommyy

                Ive never heard of this being done in the States, either... though admittedly I dont have this issue.

                1. re: jen kalb

                  I can't imagine it being done in the states either....or anywhere.

                  1. re: jen kalb

                    I was just giving the OP the benefit of the doubt by assuming she may have done this in the States.

                    1. re: jen kalb

                      To the OP- I cant believe yoiu would even think of that-
                      jenlkalb- Like you, I dont have this issue- but 5 members of my family have celiac. They would never do this- and have never heard of anyboday doing this.. For Celiacs, cross contamination makes them really ill.My relatives tend to dine at restaurants that have a gluten free menu- or, even better, gluten free restaurants. I host Thanksgiving, and it requires a lot to make sure there is no cross contamination of foods.

                      1. re: jen kalb

                        This isn't considered OK to do in the states- not necessarily because it's "declassé" but because it's a serious liability for the restaurant owner to serve food that comes from an unknown source. We prefer to eat humane meat and once asked our friend who owns a restaurant if it would ever be possible for him to cook some of our (outside) meat- and the answer was no way, even after hours- it's against code and any possible contamination could create a huge issue.

                    2. re: allende

                      + 1, go to the restaurant and don't have pasta, simple solution

                  2. I found these further infos for you. The first one is a very famous american glutenfree food blogger:
                    the second a friend of mine:
           who has put together a guide.