If there is something you’re just dying to try, but you don’t know if it’s gluten-free, you might be inclined to investigate further. If you know the host or guest who made the dish, you probably won’t be bashful in asking about the ingredients. However, if you don’t know who made the dish, you’ll have a challenge on your hands. In this case it will be best not to indulge.
But when you ask someone about what is in a dish and how they made it, let them know that you’d love to try their dish but you’re gluten intolerant and wanted to ask a couple questions first. It’s important they know you’re gluten intolerant because they will be extra careful to disclose all information (and won’t be offended that you’re asking about their food). Be prepared to explain to them what gluten is because this may be their first time hearing of it.
Caution: Simply asking “Did you use flour in this?” is not sufficient, you’ll need to ask the person to name every ingredient in the recipe. This could be a bit awkward depending on the situation, but if you want to eat a mystery dish, you have to be a gluten sleuth. As they recite the ingredients, eliminate what you know to be safe and keep track of the ingredients you need to ask more about. Perhaps the host can show you the bottle or box they used and you can scan the ingredient list. Or if they have the recipe handy they could show it to you. And then don’t forget to ask about cross-contact.