I have a sweet tooth. Lots of folks, when the come to the faire, go for turkey legs or steak on a stick. Not me. With the exception of shepherd’s pie from the Queen’s Pantry and the hamburgers back in the German village, I crave sweets. Yummy, sugary treats that I can’t get just anywhere or anytime.
I spent a few tantalizing minutes with our Vendor Coordinator, Dan, and his assistant, Lisa, picking their brains about what new sweet treats I (and my larger sized reserve wardrobe) can look forward to in October:
The Giles family, food purveyors extraordinaire, are bringing gourmet caramel apples and dutch pancakes at Babacia, adjacent to the Polish Pub.
Little puffed pancakes served with fruit topping and powdered sugar, the Dutch pancake is derived from traditional breakfast treats in the Germanic region. These would make a delicious breakfast tidbit, or mid-afternoon energy pick-me-up.
The chocolate covered strawberry waffle ball is available at another new food shoppe, Fat Fannie’s Funnel Cakes, located on Mockingbird Lane. It’s exactly what it sounds like- a chocolate covered strawberry dipped in waffle batter and flash fried, the chocolate melts and oozes when you bite into this powdered sugar-coated goody.
Buccaneer Bay, located near the Odeon Stage, is offering two new sweet treats: one, the classic creme brulee (my all time favorite dessert), and a gluten-free chocolate torte. The glaze on this torte sets up for several hours, so it’s got that wonderful dense texture. The recipe for the torte can even be found in our new cookbook, “All the King’s Favorites,” which will be available in the Dragonslayer for the 2015 season!
In Greece, there is a traditional dessert, baklava, which is layered filo dough, honey, and chopped nuts. Santa Lucia Concessions, in the Greek Agora, has taken baklava for a festival spin, dipping it in batter and flash frying it. It’s served drizzled with chocolate sauce and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Opa!
If lighter desserts are what you crave, Don Felipe’s Fruteria serves fresh fruit crepes and an abundant selection of fresh fruits from pineapple wedges to bananas to fruit salads. The crepes are light, and the fruit is colorful and healthy!
A Napoleon is traditionally a multi-layer dessert, built with puff pastry and layered with rich pastry cream. Traditional Napoleons have a vanilla and chocolate glaze on top, though there is also a strawberry version that has no glaze. The pastry chefs at the Queen’s Pantry make a rustic version of a Strawberry Napoleon. Bakery owner Rhonni Dubose explains, “We call ours a Strawberry Josephine for 2 reasons: One, it doesn’t look exactly like a clean-edged Napoleon. We build ours freshly all day, rather than building a sheet of them and then freezing the entire pastry to be able to slice it into individual servings. Two, we can use lines like, ‘Josephine was taller than Napoleon, and she was Stacked!’”
Candy and cotton and kettle corn, oh my! I loved baked goods, truly I do. But sometimes, what I really want is the pure, unadulterated sugar rush of gumdrops, sour balls, and cotton candy. I was so excited when this candy shoppe opened not so very long ago! It’s near the Tower Stage, and has walls and cases full of rock candy, jaw breakers, and gummies. Kids love it, I do, too. Cotton candy, the ultimate fair sweet, was invented in 1897 and served at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. It was originally called “fairy floss” by its inventors, William Morrison and John C. Wharton. How perfect is that for our faire?
We who work in the office or Performance Company have our own moniker for kettle corn. We call it “kettle crack.” When you get anywhere near the booth where the energetic and entertaining staff of Champions Concessions is stirring the stuff, you can smell the sugary-savory aroma. Let one of their staff give you a free sample, and you’ll be hooked. Actually, now that I think of it, the same goes for the King’s Nuts- I can’t resist those cinnamon covered ones!
Queen’s Pantry owner Rhonni and I were visiting in the office yesterday, and she described what the kitchen was like when all of the chefs were prepping in the kitchen for the recent food show. It was a room full of collaboration, not competition, with the sharing of ingredients: “I have maraschino cherries open if anyone needs any,” or help with supplies “I found the scraper.” That positive energy finds its way into every sweet treat you eat here at the Festival.
I’d better head outside for some exercise- need to make room in my costumes for a few pancakes and creme brulees!