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A Taste of Disney: Epcot® International Flower and Garden Festival presented by HGTV

Taste of DisneyAs many of you are probably well aware, the Epcot® International Flower & Garden Festival presented by HGTV is in full-swing during this month of March. What you may not have known is that Disney has Outdoor Kitchens located throughout the park selling themed foods for each location and giving you a “taste of spring.” Sticking with the flower and garden idea, these foods are made with fresh, unique ingredients. Though the Flower & Garden Festival displays will be around until the middle of May, the last day for Outdoor Kitchen food is this Sunday, March 30th. So, if you get the chance, hurry over to Epcot® to try some of these limited availability treats!

For the rest of us stuck at home, I thought I would give a peek at some of the foods being offered and share some recipes to make from your own kitchen!

The 2014 Outdoor Kitchens featured in the Epcot® World Showcase:

1. Pineapple Promenade: pineapple soft serve

2. The Buttercup Cottage: baked potato, cheddar biscuit, smoked salmon tartare, pork and apple sausage roll

3. Fleur de Lys: Parisian style vegetable dumplings, duck

4. Taste of Marrakesh: lamb brewat roll, chicken kebab, Moroccan pancake with honey and almonds

5. Hanami: highlights- temaki chicken hand roll, fruit sushi, popped rice cakes

6. The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews: smoked beef brisket, smoked turkey, back cupcake with maple frosting and pretzel crunch

7. Primavera Kitchen: Caprese, three-cheese manicotti, torta di ricotta

8. Florida Fresh: watermelon salad, shrimp and grits, Florida kumquat pie

9. Lotus House: candied strawberries, spring pancake, vegetable spring roll, bubble tea

10. Jardin de Fiestas: pork tacos, mushroom and cheese quesadilla, Mexican chocolate custard

11. Urban Farm Eats: pickled beet salad, land-grown eggplant “scallop”

This week’s recipes- fruit sushi (“Frushi”) and Watermelon Salad! Recipes provided by http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/ and www.disneyfoodblog.com.

Watermelon Salad Recipe

Balsamic Vinigarette

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons finely diced shallots
2 tablespoons roasted garlic*
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pickled Onions

1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons grenadine syrup
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 pound red onions, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rings

Watermelon Salad

4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
3 cups baby arugula
1/4 cup white balsamic vinaigrette
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pickled onion
1/4 cup balsamic glaze*
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

For balsamic vinaigrette:

Combine white balsamic vinegar, shallots, garlic, honey, and lemon juice in a blender. Blend until well combined.
With blender running, slowly drizzle in olive oil. Blend until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For pickled onions:

If using frozen raspberries, thaw. Purée raspberries in a food processor. Pour purée through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard seeds; set puree aside.
Combine raspberry purée, water, sugar, grenadine, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar.
Add onions; stir to coat, then remove from heat. Set aside 20 minutes.

For watermelon salad:

Divide watermelon among plates. Toss arugula with white balsamic vinaigrette in a medium bowl and lightly season with salt & pepper.
Top each portion of watermelon with arugula. Top each serving with 2 to 3 picked onion rings, then sprinkle with feta. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Cook’s Note: Balsamic glaze can be found in most supermarkets on the oil and vinegar aisle. To make your own, place 2 cups balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 40 minutes.

Frushi Recipe


2 cups sushi rice, cooked per package directions
1 tablespoon cream of coconut
16 soy wrappers
16 fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1/2 cantaloupe, cut into four-inch-long by 1/4-inch-wide rectangles
1/2 pineapple, peeled and cored cut into four-inch-long by 1/4-inch-wide rectangles
toasted coconut, for garnish


1. Let sushi rice cool slightly; stir in cream of coconut. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
2. Lay one soy wrapper on a flat surface. Place about 1/4 cup sushi rice on the soy wrapper, pressing with moistened fingers to cover the whole sheet.
3. Place one piece each of pineapple and cantaloupe, and four pieces of strawberry in the center of the rice-covered sheet.
4. Starting at one end, fold about 1/3 of the roll up, then roll the sheet into a cylinder, keeping the fruit in the middle. Moisten soy wrapper to seal.
5. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
6. Garnish with toasted coconut.

Have any of you tried any Flower and Garden Festival foods?

Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A taste of Disney” with everyone each week.