Though the Disney parks are known for all sorts of innovations, the food continues to be a big draw for many tourists. Some Disney fans go so far as to plan whole trips around sampling as many dishes as possible, and even Florida’s stork population seems to love the food on offer. Disneyland in California, however, has created a dish that might be a little divisive among park guests. I’m having some conflicted feelings about it right now just thinking about it. It’s dessert pasta, and everyone has an opinion.
This peanut butter and jelly pasta is now available at the Nuts About Cheese stand in Disneyland as part of the Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival. I want to understand the motivations of whoever created this. Food writer and Takeout contributor Julie Tremaine sampled this new concoction for SFGate and came away with some mixed feelings.
The peanut butter & jelly mac involves macaroni noodles coated in a peanut butter sauce and finished off with a dollop of strawberry jelly, a sprinkle of brown sugar streusel, and a layer of strawberry crackle, which is pretty much just a serving of Pop Rocks.
“The first bite, I got only the peanut butter-coated pasta, and none of the toppings,” Tremaine writes. “That was savory and strange, not my favorite flavor combination, especially when it came in the form of a should-have-been-creamy sauce dried onto pasta.” But after tasting a bite with a bit of everything on top, she changed her tune.
“All of a sudden, there was a savory/sweet/fruity combination that worked, especially propelled by the popping sensation that lasted through the bite,” she writes. “At that point, I was pleasantly surprised.” It might not be the sort of thing she (or anyone) would order again and again, but it definitely proved to be a worthy experiment on the part of the Food & Wine Festival.
Dessert pasta, Tremaine notes, is a real concept that dates back to the Italian Renaissance. I guess I shouldn’t be terribly surprised by that. After all, it’s a combination of starchy and sweet elements, of which most desserts are composed. Since I’m not too much of a sweets person to begin with, I don’t generally seek out desserts, but even in spite of a positive review, this peanut butter and jelly pasta just does not sound good to me.
After some thinking, I really do think my distaste has to do with the pasta for some reason. Is it the idea of its springy texture weighed down by creamy peanut butter? The semolina flavor mixing with jam and candy? I’m not sure. Either way, I can’t really get on board. Does the idea sound good to you? Would you try this dish at Disney prices?