I recently returned from a 4-week, self-catered trip to Australia. I thought that eating low-FODMAP might be easier there, plus there is fabulous wildlife and scenery. Well, the wildlife and scenery were great! I was in Sydney for a few days before heading up to the Cairns area. Few people had heard of FODMAPs. Maybe it’s better around Melbourne. Fortunately, I had made reservations at places where I was able to cook, and I bought an esky (Australian for a cooler) at Target.
My favorite grocery was Woolies (aka Woolworths). They had lovely produce (amazing carrots!) and large stores to supply some of the rural areas in Northern Queensland. The shop in Mossman was fabulous.
I did find some foods with the low-FODMAP symbol meaning that they have been tested and are certified to be low-FODMAP. “Munchy muesli cookies” come in 4 flavors, all low-FODMAP. While I didn’t think they were fabulous, they were nice when I wanted a little something sweet, and they come in twin packs within the package, so they were nice for an outing. I tried the vanilla toasted and cinnamon spice flavors.
It was fun to see some of Sue Shepard’s gluten-free candies available at one grocery, so I tried the jelly beans, which according to the Shepard Works website are suitable for a low-FODMAP website. Unfortunately, I was disappointed in them, probably because they weren’t exactly what I was used to and hoping for.
I also got a bottle of Cobram estates garlic-infused olive oil. Wow, is it potent! It would be great for those recipes where you want a lot of garlic flavor without a lot of olive oil.
When I want bread at home, I usually opt for a modest amount of slow-rise sourdough bread. In Australia, I had Country Life Bakery gluten-free white bread, which appeared to be low-FODMAP, and according to their website is certified low-FODMAP but did not have the symbol on it. (Note: their gluten-free multigrain does NOT appear to be low-FODMAP.) It was pretty widely available at Woolies (aka Woolworths), it wasn’t crumbly, and it stayed fresh in a plastic bag. While I’m not a fan of plain white bread, I was delighted to have this as an option for a sandwich or toast with peanut butter.
We tried a couple gluten-free pastas that looked like they were also low-FODMAP, but had not been certified as such. We were pleasantly surprised by Barilla gluten-free penne. Our previous experience with corn-based gluten-free pastas was that they fell apart, but this one didn’t (maybe it’s the rice flour) and was a lovely alternative to semolina pasta.
I also ate quite a few rice crackers. I liked the brand “eat rite” which clearly shows their ingredients on the front of the package. While I can’t guarantee that they’re low-FODMAP, the sea salt & apple cider vinegar flavor and the black pepper and sesame flavor looked OK to me, and I didn’t have any trouble with them. The sea salt & apple cider vinegar flavor was delightful topped with a pecan. Peckish brand brown rice crackers also appeared to be low-FODMAP and they didn’t give me any problems. They tasted a bit like hippy dippy communion wafers, but alternated with the sea salt & apple cider vinegar crackers, they weren’t bad.
I fell in love with Lindt Excellence 78% cocoa bars. While I don’t see them on the US Lindt website, I was able to find them at a local grocery store. I’m a dark chocolate fan, and these were dark and rich and my new favorite chocolate (US version shown).
One of our other decadent delights was Red Rock Deli sea salt potato chips. We thought they were the best potato chips we’d ever had.
While I had some frustrating times in the grocery store consulting my Monash Uni low-FODMAP app, I did eventually find food to eat. I tended to err on being careful, and I felt good almost all of my trip. I had a bit of a tummy ache one day, but I tried not to obsess about it, and it quickly passed. I did enjoy having some new foods to try!