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If you follow a gluten free diet then you are all too familiar with the disappointment you feel when you show up to a party and realize the only thing safe to eat is the veggie tray. We’ve all been there, right? Well, be disappointed no more, because the Mardi Gras Festival at Universal Studios Florida is one party that will not let you down!
In addition to the entertainment and floats you will find throughout Universal Studios, Mardi Gras 2021: International Flavors of Carnaval includes tasting booths representing 13 culinary flavors from around the world. Of those, 10 booths have gluten free offerings!! I could hardly believe there were so many options available. On my recent visit I tried as hard as I could to sample them all. While I didn’t achieve my initial goal, I did leave the park with a very happy belly!
Once I was in the park and the booths were opening up, I purchased a “tasting lanyard” which allowed me to sample 10 items for $55 (if you are an annual pass holder, you have the option to purchase a lanyard for 15 items for $65). Each booth has its own menu with gluten free items clearly marked. You can also ask to speak to a chef at any of the booths if you have questions about any of the ingredients. Every single thing I ate was very good, but I’ll highlight a few of my favorites.
Puerto Rico “Pernil & Mofongo” (roasted pork, smashed plantains, onion mojo)
The pork was very tender and had great flavor and while the dish was filling, it did not feel too heavy.
Colombia “Carnitas Arepas” (cornmeal cake filled with avocado, carnitas, mayo ketchup, cilantro)
Honestly, this was my favorite thing I ate on my entire trip, it was that good! All the right favors in just the right proportions. And, by the way, ALL of the tasting options at the Colombia booth were gluten free.
Belgium “Brussels Frites” (crispy seasoned fries with 3 dipping sauces)
Crispy seasoned fries from a dedicated fryer, need I say more?
Italy “Affogato” (Vanilla Gelato served with a double shot of espresso)
This was the perfect little afternoon pick-me-up after a busy morning, and no worries of cross contamination from other flavors of gelato sharing the same freezer space
In addition to the booths, there were also quite a few GF options at the Tribute Store:
Mardi Gras Macaron Donut
Bananas Foster Cheesecake Pop
Praline Cookie Sandwich
Sour Gummy Skull
I tried the Mardi Gras Macaron Donut and it was amazing!
Universal Studios has really done an amazing job of expanding available options for those of us eating a gluten free diet. It is a wonderful feeling to have so many delicious options to choose from. Go and enjoy the freedom of having so many choices!
The Mardi Gras Festival is currently happening at Universal and was just extended through May 2, 2021. There is still time to plan a last minute spring getaway and take part in the food and festivities! Contact your Road To Relaxation Professional to book your next trip! If you would like more information on traveling while Gluten Free, please reach out to me.
Julia Evans Travel Professional with Road To Relaxation Travel
I have always loved travel and now enjoy traveling with my family. I believe that creating memories for my children that they will always remember is a precious gift. I have been working with RTR since 2019 and it brings me a lot of joy to be able to help other families create those special memories as well.
I also know just how had it can be to travel for those who have food allergies, as I have lived with a gluten allergy for more than 15 years. Part of my job is to make the planning process less stressful for those navigating special diets when traveling.
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