We spent 9 days on holiday in sunny Spain recently. The good news for eating dairy-free is that it is very easy to find dairy free alternatives in Spain. Spain being in the EU, means that the allergen labelling and eating out laws are the same as here. The labelling is observed the same way, with all the 14 allergens highlighted on the ingredients lists of products where they occur. Milk is Leche. As for eating out, I’m not sure if it’s just taking a while for restaurants to get organised or if we just ended up in tourist trap restaurants that were going to be busy no matter what so they didn’t care too much. I suspect it’s a little of both. There did seem to be a good awareness of food allergies in one or two places and they tried hard to understand the allergy and then cater for it but it was the exception rather than the rule.
Alcampo was our nearest supermarket, a huge hypermarket and there was a whole range of dairy free milks to choose from. These included Alpro Soya (Soja) which was instantly recognisable from home. There was also Almond milk (Almendra), Oat milk (Avena), Coconut Milk and Rice milk (Arroz). I also visited a Carrefour supermarket which carried a big range also.
There was also a huge range of yogurts and desserts, all soya though.
We tried the Soja chocolate, the boys loved this of course. I also bought some soya mixed fruit, and soya banana yogurt. The banana ones were lovely and smooth, the boys loved them.
There was a way bigger range than you’d find at home.
Alpro was instantly recognisable in the butter/margarine aisle, with both a regular and a light spread available.
Sorbet & Ice Pops
On the sorbet front I found Carte D’or Lemon or Mandarin flavour sorbet which were dairy free. I bought wafer cones and we made cones for them.
I also got Pirulo Happy multipack of ice pops which were may contain milk (puede contener trazas de leche). I found these singly in the freezers in smaller shops too. Also in the shop freezers they had a calippo shaped one which was dairy free.
Sin Lactosa / Lactose Free
There was a wide range of Lactose free milks, ice-cream and yogurts available and easy to find.
On the free from dried goods aisle, there was a large section of ‘Sin Gluten’ (Gluten free) but no ‘Sin Leche’ (Dairy free) that I could find. With bread, biscuits and crackers etc. I just checked the ingredients labels as I do here. There were plenty of brands the same as at home like Oreos and McVitites so it was easy enough to pick up snacks. For crisps I bought Lays Ready Salted.
Top tip: To analyse the ingredients label: look for Leche highlighted or underlined in the list of ingredients. Or for may contain milk look forpuede contener trazas de leche.
For eating out, I brought my printable so I could ask about dairy free options. In most places the staff spoke English though and often even addressed us in English. This made it easy to ask but in one place that was busy we were told ‘I can ask, but it will take ages because there are loads of requests ahead of you‘. Ahem!
I did not find any evidence of menus having allergens listed except for in McDonald’s which had it on the tray liner the same as at home. I had an amusing conversation in another restaurant when I asked if they had any dairy free desserts and the waiter said ‘The owner’s wife is gluten free’. But no, they had no dessert options.
We found sorbete at an ice-cream stand in the big shopping centre nearby. Whew, day saved!