We passed it many times driving back and forth along one of the few major roads in Grand Cayman: The Tortuga Rum Co. The brightly colored yellow building inviting us to try the pleasures of island life. Who doesn't want to try some free rum cake all the while sipping a shot of tasty Caribbean Rum? But...Kid Allergy can't drink Rum at age nine. And he certainly couldn't be able to enjoy Rum cake with an allergy to wheat. So alas...we scurried away from the location several times throughout our trip without ever getting to stop in.
A little history on Tortuga. In the 1980s, the owners created the company to introduce Cayman Rum primarily to the tourism industry. By the 1990s, they expanded to include offering Rum Cakes. This became the first commercially produced Rum cake in the world. By 1997, they opened a location in Miami to start worldwide distribution. Quickly, Tortuga Rum Co. became one of the fastest growing companies in the world by cornering the cruise ship customer and expanding to other Caribbean islands including St. Lucia, Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas.
But...it didn't change the fact that they are primarily a bakery. Visiting just wasn't right for my gluten free family I convinced myself.
Cut to: a friend returns from the Bahamas with a gluten free treat just for Kid Allergy.
I paused. It was Tortuga Chocolate Rum Fudge.
Wait. So there IS something we could've given Kid Allergy if we had popped in for a quick tasting. This Tortuga brand chocolate was labeled gluten free!
That got me to researching Rum. Is Rum really gluten free?
The answer is yes and no.
Plain Rum (light or dark) should be gluten free because it is made from sugar cane and not wheat, barley or rye that contain gluten.
Spiced Rum, however, is questionable. Alcohol manufacturers are not required to label their ingredients.
To learn about major Rum brands throughout the world and their gluten free status, more check out this Very Well Fit article that goes more in depth.
So next time you are in the Bahamas, Jamaica and/or Grand Cayman, we suggest you do stop by that Tortuga Rum Co. Just skip the bakery tour (it is just viewing the bakery via big picture windows anyway) and head on over to the shop. Now you know you can let the kids nibble on gluten free Tortuga chocolate Rum fudge, while you enjoy a bit of free plain Rum that should be devoid of any gluten allergens!