After scoring a zero on Sidney’s last two skin prick tests, we were given the go-ahead to try a taste challenge at home. Actually, we were given the go-ahead a year ago but couldn’t for the life of us find any hazelnuts in their shells (naked ones run the risk of being contaminated by other nuts) until Christmas. And then I had a baby and we only got round to it now.
Mostly it’s good news for me, because it means I can now eat praline with abandon.
For Sidney, it doesn’t change anything very much because we still can’t buy anything pre-packaged, due to the risk of cross-contamination in the shelling process with other nuts.
What we can do, though, is buy them in their shells and crack them ourselves. I could whizz up a smooth hazelnut butter, or add ground hazelnuts to gluten free pastry (apparently it improves the mix). I’m happy to be adding something so nutritious to the repertoire.
But we have to tread cautiously. Throughout the oral challenge (a dab on the inside lip on day one, a quarter of a teaspoon on day two, doubling doses to a tablespoon on day six) we referred to the nuts as ‘hazels’. Sidney is just too young to understand why we would tell him he must not eat ‘nuts and nutty things’ and then promptly feed him some.
It’s safer too not to shout about it to all and sundry (yeah, I know this is hardly keeping schtum) because it’s hard for other people who don’t have to deal with allergies to keep abreast of the nut do’s and don’ts. There can be confusion, leading to mishaps, or even the apprehension that if one type of nut is fine, the others must be too. Skin prick tests show us that, mostly, they are not: we have definite reactions to peanut, pistachio, cashew, brazil, macadamia, almond…
So we’re pretty much nut free as was. But I, on the other hand, might sneak in the odd jar of this…