Delicious Disney Memories
By Georgina Cruz
It was a great spring day and we were enjoying a three generational vacation at Walt Disney World in Orlando, with a visit to Magic Kingdom Park. We watched the fanciful parade, rode thrilling Space Mountain, and posed for photos with the world’s most famous mouse, Mickey. But as it turned out we were not done making memories yet… We also had dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland –and 10 years later I am still remembering not just the French castle-like décor and ambiance of the restaurant but the flavors of that meal including the onion soup with Gruyere, filet mignon with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes and Bernaise sauce and the yummy chocolate tart with “grey stuff.”
I can still see the delight in our grandsons’ face when they tasted that “grey stuff” –the same “grey stuff” that they had heard Lumiere, the candlestick character, sing about in the hit Disney animated feature “Beauty & The Beast”:
“Try the grey stuff it’s delicious
Don’t believe me, ask the dishes”
Up until now, we did not know –few knew—what was in that “grey stuff” of song and legend. We only knew that its chocolatey goodness was indeed delectable, but the publication of The Official Disney Parks Cookbook – 101 Magical Recipes From The Delicious Disney Vault by culinary genius Pam Brandon & The Disney Chefs has changed all that.
Brandon, who believes that “Good food is part of our memories,” as she states in the Introduction to the book, has included the recipe for the “grey stuff” in the book, which as the other 100 in the cookbook, are official recipes from Disney, each just right for prepping on a smaller scale in home kitchens. So now, when we prepare the “grey stuff” at home –in addition to giving our taste buds a really special treat each and every time we want—we can remember that moment with our grandsons when their faces lit up when we all first tasted it.
This gorgeously illustrated book with easy to follow instructions and hints for preparation, and notes from chefs, features tried-and-true recipes for appetizers, main courses, sides, desserts, and even libations that for years have enchanted guests at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line ships and Disney Vacation Club Resorts, as well as at various Disney festivals.
Treasure Coast residents may be delighted to find the recipe for the BLT Flatbread, a big favorite at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, a Disney Vacation Club property. This popular flatbread is a savory party dish with garlic aioli, caramelized onions and marinated tomatoes that can be made up ahead of time, then popped in the oven to serve at the party with fresh greens. Those of us, including myself and my family, who have tasted it at the nostalgic, seaside Vero Beach Resort when we prepare it at home, will also savor the memories of a visit to the resort as well.
Another official recipe in the book is for the legendary Dole Whip, a cool, classic Disney treat also served at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and at the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort’s Pineapple Lanai in Walt Disney World. Every time I indulge in one of these Dole Whip pineapple delights I also enjoy the memories of visits to Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and to Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort with our family. As Pam Brandon puts it, good food is definitely part of our recollections.
Other recipes in the cookbook that caught my eye and which I plan to try at home include the Grilled Pork Tenderloin from Disney’s California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, the POG breakfast juice with passion fruit, orange and guava juices, the Caramel Hawaiian Sweet Bread Pudding from Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Ko Olina, Hawaii, and the Orange Almond Cake With Lemon Cream from Disney Cruise Line.
Info: The Official Disney Parks Cookbook – 101 Magical Recipes From The Delicious Disney Vault by Pam Brandon & The Disney Chefs is published by Disney Editions ($19.99) and it is available at bookstores.