So my aunt, the sickly one, has a deathly allergy to sulfites.
Turns out that ever expanding list of foods which I seem to be intolerant to are all high-sulfite foods. Half of me is having a 'Eureka!' moment while the other half is groaning in despair.
Fresh meats and vegetables cannot have added sulfites, with the exception of potatoes (oh look, I thought I was allergic to potatoes). Neither can anything labeled organic, even the lowly 'made with organic foods' label is supposedly sulfite free. So, theoretically, if I buy my own organic potatoes, I should once again be able to have french fries and tater tots! I just won't be able to have potatoes in any restaurants or any kind of processed potatoes (or any non-organic potatoes for that matter). I have already found a recipe for homemade tater tots and the potatoes should be here on Thursday.
Of course, sulfites occur naturally in garlic and onions. (Thought I was allergic to that also-- okay, technically I still am.) Also, foods like grapes and tomatoes have sulphur compounds which can become sulfites when dried or processed (so no grape juice, wine, or dried tomatoes). And basically, every processed or dried type of food has some kind of sulphite added to it, even if not listed on the label.
¡Ay, caramba! I even discovered that my very odd 'canola-oil allergy' may be sulfite in nature. And processed meats? Forget about it.
Some of the switches will be easy. If I move away from processed foods in general (requiring a lot more effort on my part when it comes to laziness and cooking), I should nip most of the allergy right away. I will have to stop using corn starch and pick up some arrowroot as a sauce thickener. I don't know what I'm going to do about shrimp, or vinegar, or soy sauce. For some reason, if I heavily roast my garlic and caramelize my onions, they don't bother me as much. Also leeks don't have as much of an effect on me as onions or shallots (white onions are the worst).