Saturday, February 12, 2011

flying carpets and magic lamps

The Morocco pavilion at Epcot is one of those amazing places that gets more interesting with each visit. I must confess that it's all too easy to simply pause in front of MoRockin, take a quick peek inside the little shop right on the water, and then simply move onto the next country. But when you take the chance to actually walk back into this pavilion, there are lots of hidden treasures to behold.

This pavilion is rather unusual in that it's the only one actually sponsored by its government, and not by a corporation. The tile-work found here is absolutely stunning - the King of Morocco actually sent his royal craftsmen to do the work. (How cool is that?!) Near the back of the pavilion, there are a couple of little "scenes" that I just find enchanting. I just love this one:

Here's a close-up of the book:

Aladdin and Jasmine can often be found posing for photos, and signing autographs in this pavilion.

But we're here looking for vegan food, right? At first, I thought I was going to strike out. Of course, there's always the vegetarian plate at the Tangierine Cafe, but I was on a mission to find snacks from the gift shops. Sure, the flying carpets were fun, and who doesn't love a nice fez, but was there anything to eat? I did come across a display for rose water and orange water. Doesn't sound all that tempting to me, but I took the time to read the blurb about it. (The sign behind the bottles reads says that Rosewater is produced in a small in the south of Morocco. Most of it is exported to France for use in perfumes and beauty creams, but some is also added to desserts and cakes for a unique flavor. Orange water is distilled from orange blossoms. It's been used in cooking since the Middle Ages, mostly in soups and stews.)

Finding that there were a lot more little shops here than I realized, I finally came across the food. While not exactly "treats", or even "convenience foods", I am happy to report that nearly all these boxes are vegan. Hummus and tabbouleh - Morocco is really not a bad place for vegans.

And we mustn't forget the falafel.

I kept digging, and did finally find something that I "think" is a treat, LOL. It appears to be called "Halva". According to the Internet, this is "a delicious East Mediterranean dessert". (Ingredients are: Tahina (ground sesame), sugar, halva extract, almonds, citric acid, natural flavors.)

Now, I realize that I'm showing you all these interesting items without actually being able to give an opinion about them. Here's the problem... I followed my own advice this time a little too well. I made sure I brought plenty of tasty vegan snacks from home, and purchased a few others on our grocery run at the beginning of the trip. I had a LOT of food in our hotel room. While I most definitely recommend "being prepared" - and I strongly push this on first-time vegan Disney visitors in particular - after so many vegan trips, I probably should just leave the snacks at home, and experiment a bit.

While it looks like my next trip won't be until the end of the year, I am strongly considering attempting a trip without ANY vegan snacks or treats from home, and seeing if I can find enough tasty options at the parks to keep myself happy. It would give me an excuse to try a lot of the items I'm writing about is this series. I would, of course, share all my findings with you. What do you think? Should I brave the unknown, in the name of research?


Anonymous said...

The vegetarian platter at the Tangerine Cafe in Morocco is our all-time favourite counter-service meal at WDW! As for snacks, I definitely think you should leave them at home for your next trip and try all the delicious treats you're telling us about. Besides, with the portion sizes at the parks for breakfast, lunch and dinner, don't you usually find that you're not even hungry for snacks most days?

Anonymous said...

oh wow, i had no idea Morocco had halva! I've always wanted to try halva! another thing to add to my list for my next trip :)

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