*This review took place in March 2015.
Please note that the Flower & Garden Festival booths have increased risks of cross contamination.
The Lotus House has been a repeat outdoor kitchen booth at the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival for the past several years. And their Beijing-style candied strawberries have been a favorite for gluten free visitors of the festival, especially since last year they were officially marked gluten free on the marketplace passports. However, this year they weren’t weren’t marked gluten free, which was surprising for most to hear.
I wanted to stop by the booth to see if they could give me some insight as to why they aren’t gluten free, and when I did, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the strawberries are still gluten free (according to multiple cast members). When I arrived, the cast member grabbed multiple other cast members to assist me and every one of them stated that the strawberries are still the same as they have been and continue to be gluten free and dairy free.
It’s weird then that they aren’t marked as such on the passport; however, it was suggested to me that this booth is not owned by Disney and therefore might not have made the marketplace passport updates because of that.
Here is the list of gluten free offerings at the booth:
- Beijing-style candied strawberries – Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free (*Note: This is not marked gluten free on the marketplace passport; however, the Disney culinary team advised me that these are still gluten free, like they were on previous years – March 7, 2015)
In looking and tasting the candied strawberries (I only had one), they were identical to years past. And of course, delicious. These continue to be my favorite sweet treat at the festival, especially since so few of the sweets are gluten and dairy free too. Be warned, the candied coating is crunchy and hard so they can be a surprising texture if you aren’t expecting it. There’s a reason I jokingly call these razor strawberries!
I’d love to see the passports better reflect all of the options at the festival, as in years past (and this one too), there are occasionally misprints and/or missing items from the list. It’s always good to consult with cast members, and if possible a chef and/or ingredients binder (if available) for the current ingredients.
For more Flower & Garden Festival info, check out my main festival page, as well as the reviews found on Gluten Free in Orlando’s website. Alexis visits the festivals regularly and offers terrific updates