Have you ever seen a guava? Do you know how ginger grows? How about sugar cane?
The 13 Outdoor Kitchens at the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival are serving delightful bites for the run of the festival through May 30, from Smoked Pork Ribs with Roasted Corn Salad at THE SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecues & Brews to a Lemon Scone with Crème Fraiche and Mixed Berries at Cider House. And right next to THE SMOKEHOUSE, an edible garden showcases corn used in the recipe, along with pecans, collards, jalapeños and potatoes. The Cider House garden features lemons for the scones as well as apples and field greens.
There’s a guava plant in the garden adjacent to La Isla Fresca where the Tres Leches cake is served with a sweet guava sauce. Asparagus grows right next to the Bauernmarkt in Germany where it’s served in the chicken fricassee. Each plant is clearly labeled for easy reading.
“Some of the fruits and vegetables are seasonal, so you may not see them in bloom or ready to harvest all the time,” says Disney horticulturist Heather Will-Browne. “We have unusual vegetables like soybeans, pigeon peas and chayote in the gardens that we planted from seed and just have to patiently wait for them to grow throughout the festival.”
Right now, for instance, arugula is in its full leafy splendor, but as the festival runs through May 30, it may not fare as well in the heat. “But we try to keep the plants growing as long as we can,” says Will-Browne. You’ll always see citrus, onions and tomatoes, for instance.
“We hope that our guests will see plants they might not have seen before,” says Will-Browne.
As you make your way around World Showcase Lagoon, check out these crops growing in each of the edible gardens that correspond to the food being served in the Outdoor Kitchen:
- Urban Farm Eats: watermelon, arugula, carrots, potatoes, soy beans, green beans, onions and tomatoes.
- Fleur De Lys (France): oranges, grapefruits, rosemary, parsley and onion.
- Hanami (Japan): coconut, red cabbage, mangos, pineapple, strawberries, soy beans.
- Jardin de Fiesta (Mexico): jalapeños, cilantro, lime, avocado, onions, hibiscus.
- Lotus House (China): guava, peaches, ginger, tea, strawberries, oranges.
- Pineapple Promenade: pineapple, sugar cane, lemons, taro, Australian violet.
- Morocco: mint, cucumber and tomatoes.
- Bauernmarkt (Germany): peas, asparagus, paprika, potatoes, leeks and mint.
- Intermission Café: grapes, greens, tomatoes and cucumber.
- Primavera (Italy): lemons, tomatoes, olive tree, oregano, rosemary and spinach.
- SMOKEHOUSE: Barbecue & Brews: pecans, cabbage, collards, corn, jalapeños and potatoes.
- La Isla Fresca (Caribbean): guava, mangos, pigeon peas, chayote squash, papaya, lime and cilantro.
- Cider House (United Kingdom): apples, lemons, field greens.
For more details on the festival, go to FreshEpcot.com.