It may feel like winter still in large portions of the country, but spring has sprung at Epcot and the 2018 International Flower & Garden Festival starts today. Over the past several years food has become an additional focal point of the festival offerings, with some fan favorite items remaining from year to year and new items being refreshed annually. As the festival kicks-off today, let’s head on over to the Pineapple Promenade and take a bite, and a sip, out of a pair of returning favorites.
We’ll start with a little heat in the form of the Spicy Hot Dog with Pineapple Chutney and Plantain Chips. The name kind of says it all, but there is more to this souped-up hot dog than meets the eye. For starters, yes, it is your typical Walt Disney World hot dog. It has a good flavor and a good snap, but isn’t necessarily anything to write home about. The bun seemed to have a bit of a sweetness to it, but that may have been from soaking in the pineapple chutney juice.
In case the description wasn’t clear, this isn’t your typical mustard and relish hot dog. The aioli used has a subtle heat to it, but there was a lot of it on the hot dog. If you’re not a fan of mayonnaise-based condiments, then this could be a deal breaker for you. Living up to the name of its outdoor kitchen, however, the pineapple chutney on this hot dog has a lot of pineapple to work with. The sweet and sour flavors of the pineapple worked well to mute the heat of the aioli, while not making this a one note hot dog. Lastly, the plantain chips added a nice crunch that varied up the textures, but I would have preferred a handful of full plantain chips on the side.
Moving on to our beverage component, we loved the Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade, which has absolutely nothing to do with pineapple, but we don’t care! This lavender colored frozen slush, like most of the slushes around Walt Disney World, is very sweet. It also has a tart factor that makes it play with various parts of your palate. This may not be very novel anymore, but it is still tasty and refreshing when the combination of Florida heat and World Showcase’s promenade has beaten you down. It also comes with an edible flower, which is sure to get a giggle out of your little ones.
Pineapple Promenade may not have the most inventive food offerings at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, but they do bring a fun element to the festivities. The festival offers and entire range of fresh food items just waiting for you to sample, and I highly recommend sampling as much as you can, but whether you’re looking for sweet or savory, just remember to have fun! And if you’ve forgotten how to do that after looking at gardens and topiaries all day, the Pineapple Promenade seems to have the recipe to help you remember.