When I was 7, my brother Marco, then 5, acted so out of control sometimes that my mom figured something must be "wrong" with him. Finally, she took him to see an allergist in Laguna Beach, a doctor who did a skin prick test on him and delivered the news that Marco was allergic to wheat, milk, eggs, peanuts, corn, citrus; and, furthermore, he had a sugar intolerance. I remembering hearing this report from my mother and having my jaw drop. I remember the drop of my jaw. I remember asking, "what is he gonna eat?!!" In answer to my question, my mother pulled a bag of rice cakes from a shopping bag.
First of all, they looked nothing like cake.
Second of all, they tasted nothing like cake.
I recently discovered that I am allergic to some of these things, too; only it took me over 30 years to figure this out. And, also, as I'm figuring out, it is difficult to think of things to eat when staples like wheat, milk, eggs, butter, and sugar (hello, CAKE!), are no longer available.
Ah, rice cakes. Welcome back.