Most people with food allergies develop them as a child. I suppose that’s sort of true for me, I did develop my first allergies when I was 12 years old… but most of those allergies were environmental, and relatively mild. My allergist noted that I was allergic to hazelnuts, and that I had Oral Allergy Syndrome, but told me that I could continue to eat them until I noticed a reaction, and then I should stop.
I probably shouldn’t have put “hazelnuts” on my Christmas list a few years later… but I LOVE hazelnuts in all its forms. That Christmas I ate basically half a jar of nutella for Christmas morning (what a glorious invention, nutella…). Then I was given two big boxes of Ferrero Rocher, which I ate during the 12 days of Christmas, ignoring the persistent itchy throat I started to acquire. By the time the 11th day of Christmas had come, I opened a new jar of Nutella and inhaled deeply. My throat got itchy, and I reluctantly admitted I had a food allergy.
It wasn’t that bad. Honestly, it almost shouldn’t have counted as an allergy. I could still eat things with traces of nuts, and most of the time it either a) didn’t matter at all or b) only made my throat itchy, which was solved with antihistamines if necessary. I read ingredients, avoided a few chocolate companies, and counted myself lucky. Of course, a decade later that all changed, but I’ll cover that in another post.