How To Eat Gluten Free At Hersheypark (Hint: There are Plenty of Options)
Tips from the official Hersheypark Gluten-Free Taste Tester
If you are Celiac, you have a disease. It’s not an intolerance or a preference, eating any amount of gluten makes you sick almost immediately.
Amanda works for Hershey Entertainment & Resorts in Corporate Partnerships at Hersheypark. She also has Celiac Disease, which means her body can’t tolerate gluten in any food that she eats. I caught up with Amanda to hear more about her perspective on gluten-free eating and her tips for the best gluten-free eats at Hersheypark.
Amanda, how long have you been gluten-free?
I was diagnosed with Celiac disease during my junior year in college, which was 11 years ago. I was having other health issues and an infection when I contracted triggered Celiac, which other members of my family also have.
So what did you have to change about your eating when you were diagnosed?
Transitioning your diet to accommodate Celiac can be very difficult. It’s not just about cutting out bread and eating more fruits and vegetables. There is gluten in salad dressings, soy sauce and so many other products that you would not expect. It can be very overwhelming to find what you can eat safely from the grocery store, not to mention going out to eat.
What foods can’t you eat now that you miss the most?
Hoagie rolls and soft pretzels. I grew up in South Jersey and I really miss a good hoagie.
What do you eat when you come to Hersheypark?
I feel very safe eating any of the gluten-free items at Hersheypark, but my favorites are from The Outpost food location:
- Chicken tenders
- New chicken sandwich
- Soft Pretzel bites
I heard you are the official taste-tester for new gluten-free menu items in Hersheypark. Tell me about that.
Yes. I’ve visited several restaurants that say they are gluten-free but they don’t understand cross-contamination, or they think as long as there isn’t bread it is gluten-free. I really appreciate the attention to detail and training that Chef Thad Campbell, Executive Sous Chef for Hersheypark and Giant Center, makes to monitor the kitchens, train employees and create flavorful food options that myself and other Celiacs can enjoy.
Big thanks to Amanda for sharing her journey and her dining tips with us!