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The rise and rise of gluten-free in Italy | NBC Left Field

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The rise and rise of gluten-free in Italy | NBC Left Field
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If you suffer from Celiac disease — an intolerance to gluten — Italy probably doesn't feel like the safest of places for your intestines.

But more and more "senza glutine" products are emerging alongside the country's famed gluten-laden pizza, pasta and focaccia.

In fact, Italians take the problem so seriously that people suffering from Celiac disease receive a stipend from the government of up to €140 per month.

"In Italy, bread is the foundation of our culinary tradition. As soon as someone’s diagnosed with Celiac disease, they’re immediately terrified about how they’ll live without bread. This for us, the biggest disaster that could happen," Rosanna Caponio explained to NBC Left Field.

The number of manufacturers of gluten-free products has increased over the past five years, Luigi from l'Altro Gusto, one of them, said.

"Ten years ago, there were very few of us. Celiac disease is developing in Italy at an alarming rate. Every year, more and more are diagnosed.

"In the beginning, you really tasted the difference, but these days, you really can’t tell," he added.

Watch the NBC Left Field video in the player above to find out more about the rise of gluten-free products in Italy.

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