California Pizza Kitchen Lying About Going Gluten-Free?

california pizza kitchen gluten freeAs gluten-free eating gains trendy traction, menus for the gluten intolerant are popping up everywhere. This is good news. No, this is great news. After all, when you can't eat gluten (wheat, barley, rye products and other randoms), it's incredibly difficult to eat outside your home. It's kind of like being allergic to air, since gluten is everywhere.

As a recently diagnosed celiac, I was stoked to hear that California Pizza Kitchen was whipping up some gluten-free crust. However, some people in the same boat as I feel otherwise. In fact, gluten-free eaters are crying foul on CPK's new gluten-free crust, and avoiding the chain like it was Panera Bread.

The claim is that even though the chain is making gluten-free crust, they're preparing the pizzas in the same areas as the gluten-filled dough. So the pizza is getting cross-contaminated, and that is very dangerous for the celiac.

I, however, decided to give it a shot anyway.


I've missed the BBQ chicken pizza, and now that I'm in California, well, there's a Kitchen near me everywhere I go. So, hooray! The same day I learned about the gf transition, I picked one of those bad boys up. Not only was it delicious, the guy working at my local CPK warned me away from the artichoke dip I wanted to go along with my 'za. It's gluten-filled apparently. I got home, chowed down, and felt fine. So for me, the gluten-free pizza was a hit.

But I'm not every celiac in North America. Everyone reacts differently to gluten, and cross-contamination can really screw someone up who is battling the autoimmune disease. In fact, cross-contamination has hurt me before. It just didn't this time, thank goodness. California Pizza Kitchen admits that they do not have a designated space for all gluten-free menu items and isn't trying to hide that fact. I appreciate that, but it does make it seem like they're going gluten-free to be trendy rather than to really help people who have horrible reactions to gluten.

Celiac disease leads to osteoporosis, cancer, stroke, diabetes, and even malnutrition if you don't keep gluten out of your diet. It's nothing to mess around with, and usually I don't. However, the temptation of pizza was too much for me, and I was lucky this time. It seems like some people were not. Which means, if you have celiac, you should contact your local California Pizza Kitchen before you dine there to make 100 percent sure it's all clear for cross-contamination. If it's not, you might want to just make your own.

Would you eat at CPK if it were gluten-free?

Image via California Pizza Kitchen

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