*This gluten free dining experience took place in September 2019. It includes notes about vegetarian options.
For Food & Wine Festival Gluten Free marketplace booth options, be sure to click over to the marketplace booth page for more info.
Hawai’i, located this year in near the Refreshment Port, first debuted at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in 2011. It’s sadly never been a booth that I could visit as a gluten free guest because it’s never had any GF options. This year, however, I was surprised to see one gluten friendly option available.
Because this booth is NOT 100% gluten free, there is always an increased risk of cross-contamination. Use your own judgement when consuming items that are not in dedicated gluten free booths or booths that contain almost all gluten friendly dishes.
The one gluten friendly option available at the Hawai’i booth this year is:
- Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts
As I mentioned, with less options marked GF at them contain a higher risk of cross-contamination. But, because this was a pre-made dessert that was essentially just stored in the refrigerator and required no prep except to add toasted macadamia nuts on top, I felt like the risk at this booth for the dessert was fairly minimal. Of course, use your own judgement and comfort level when decided what to eat at the festivals.
The Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts is marked gluten free and vegetarian on the festival passport and costs $4.00 and is eligible as a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan. The dish does contain dairy and cannot be modified.
As far as desserts go, this was right up my alley. I’m not a particular fan of super sweet desserts, and this was a nice mild and only slightly sweet flavor. If you like a rich and creamy simple cheesecake, this is for you. The passion fruit puree on top was really nice and also not overly sweet. The cheesecake itself was crustless. So, the toasted macadamia nuts added the perfect texture.
My only slight criticism to this is the dessert choice. I love cheesecake, but it’s about the least likely thing I want to eat in the blazing heat and Florida sun. I would love to see this at a restaurant like Kona Cafe, but it just seems odd for an outdoor festival in warm temperature months. That being said, I might get it during the evening again and take it with me to a nearby air conditioned space to enjoy.
I was so glad to finally see a gluten free option at the Hawai’i booth. Although desserts aren’t always my favorite, this one was really excellent. I would definitely get it again if the temperatures are a bit milder. If you enjoy a dessert that’s rich but not overpowering, you’ll enjoy the passion fruit cheesecake at the Hawai’i booth.
Have you been to the Hawai’i booth? What did you think of the gluten free and vegetarian cheesecake?