Saturday, 17 September 2011


US Agricultural policy is rather more complicated than the Australian policy. I know that many of you are educated readers and fully aware of the history of the US Farm Bill. Back in the Great Depression the Farm Bill was launched by Roosevelt as part of his New Deal, and it's been around ever since although it looks very different today.

The big change was brought about in the 1970's by Tricky Dick and his Ag Secretary Seymour Earl Butz. Tricky and Seymour turned the Farm Bill on it's head removing limits on production - giving subsidies for increasing production. There was a bit of hoo har with soy bean exports, secret loans to the Soviets for wheat sales and off-the-charts corn production.

VICTORY .......for cheap corny snacks!
What to do with all the excess corn??

High fructose corn syrup - and stick in EVERYTHING.

When you go to the US you will find corn in almost every food product you can buy. It has either been added as a sweetener - it is WAY cheaper than sugar cane; used as an additive - it's in every chemically sounding additive you can think of; or it was fed to the animal you are now enjoying in between 2 slices of bread (which also contain corn). It's in your tea bags, cosmetics, even toothpaste.

So all the food became cheaper and more calorific. Today, you'll hear many Australians talk about how Americans have a "sweet tooth" and that's the HFCS.

When you go on holiday you expect to get treats to eat and Disney doesn't slack off in this area!

So let's have a quick whip around the Disney World of Snacky Sweet Goey Treaty goodness.

BUT  - what fun would there be in showing ice creams, fries and chocolate bars? Let's take a look at the deeply popular treats that are pretty rare or non-existant in Australia and are big time favourites in the US, especially in the south.

Join me after the jump for a cornucopia of corny, creamy, calorific comestibles - all in full colour!

Oh and you might want to get a cup of tea. The Americans have invented rather a long list.

Firstly - credit to the Disney Food Blog. I have their permanent link over there on the right - and I have copied all photos from their site. These chaps do a fantastic job of tracking anything food related so give them a try.

Bring on the HFCS treats .....

Let's start with pretzels. Now you will be used to those small, dried, hard, salty crunchy things but at WDW you can enjoy large, soft, squiishy, salty, bready ones. AND they are sometimes stuffed with cream cheese or jalapenos AND they are mickey shaped - YAY!

I have not tried these.

More recognisable are Pretzel Rods - these are the hard, dried, crunchy, salty pretzels in a rod shape. And of course at Disney they are not left alone. These rods are dipped in anything and rolled with everything and sprinkled with whatever you want.
dipped in milk chocolate, rolled in biscuit crumbs, drizzled with white chocolate
I have not tried this   

Next is Churros. Now these are mexican donuts. So it is exactly the same except in a stick shape. And occassionally they put different flavours in the cinnamon sugar mix or squirt jam inside.

I have not tried this

Americans seem to have a love for peanut butter that knows no bounds. There seems to be nothing that doesn't come in a peanut butter flavour. Ice creams, chocolate, breakfast cereal, fudge, jelly beans, dog food - and Disney also sticks it in cupcakes, cookies, chocolate, desserts, drinks - oh they love PB.

Choc-marshmellow PB squares / PB cookie / PB choc dipped sandwich
PB and Jelly milkshake / PB cupcake / PB chocolates
Is this not too much peanut butter?? Have peanuts been subsidised like corn?

Oh well - I have not tried any of these.

Moving on - cinnamon rolls. Now you might be saying "but Mrs Banks - we have cinnamon scrolls here in Australia". But are our cinnamon scrolls the size of a house brick? AND the other nice touch is that the icing is a warm, gooey, liquidy, cream cheese based icing which is spooned over hot when serving.

I have not tried this

Are you still with me? haven't keeled over from a sugar coma? let's keep going!

Another thing Americans are very keen on but I never really noticed in Australia is Rice Krispy Treats. At WDW these are cut into any shape you can think of,  dipped in anything and then coated with everything, and then dipped and coated again!

Classic / chocolate face / Pooh's Hunny
Popsicle / with the lot
I have not tried this

Funnel Cakes. In 2001 I was addicted to a game called Rollercoaster Tycoon - where you had to build your own theme park, and increase the guest numbers etc etc. There was also a whole series of food outlets and one of them was Funnel Cakes. I never knew what I was serving those little cartoon peeps until I went to Disney. So funnel cakes are so called because the batter is poured through a funnel, swirlingly, into the fryer and then when cooked treated like a pancake with ice cream and chosen toppings. The peeps in my game used to turn green and then vomit everywhere. Couldn't say if it was the rides or the funnel cakes.

I have not tried this

Remember as kid going to the primary school fete and getting a toffee apple? That's WAY boring! What you really want is Caramel Apples! Take your apple on a stick, dip in goey caramel, dip in melty chocolate and decorate with anything and everything. The choices for this are endless, and if you can't decide you can make your own at Goofy's Candy Co.. The Cast Members will quarter the apples and put in a container to make for easy eating.

Belle / Pooh's Hunny Pot / Oreo Cookie
Minnie and Mickey / Halloween
I have not tried this

What has got to be one of the most beloved snacks, the Beignet, seems strangely, uncharacteristicly unvoluminousy. Basically, a beignet is a flat, square piece of dough, which dropped in the deep fryer (I am beginning to wonder if WDW own an oven - reminds me of Ren and Stimpy's "Billy the Beef Tallow Boy" DEEEEPPPP FRRRRYYYY")

When the beignet comes out of the deep fryer it is all puffed up. To serve, douse in icing sugar and enjoy the taste sensation of air - yes they are hollow and thus surprisingly lacking in substance compared to average Disney fare.

I have not tried this

Believe or not - there is more!

An institution at WDW is the Turkey Leg - at 1000 calories and up to 700gms this is not for the faint hearted.

Turkey legs are so famous they have their own t-shirt

I have not tried this

As a kiddie I would go girl guide camping and we'd toast marshmellows over the fire. In America they have the same tradition except they add a few things and call it S'mores. Toasted marshmellows, with melty chocolate sandwiched in graham crackers. Disney play with S'mores and produce different styles - like high end desserts, cheesecakes and fudge.

I have not tried this marshmellowy goodness

But I have tried this marshmellowy goodness: Tigger Tales and Cheshire Cat Tales
Put some marshmellows on a stick, roll them in caramel, dip them in chocolate, and retreat to your hotel room to sleep it off.

The artifical food colouring does make each eye spin in a different direction
It took me 6 hours to eat it

Now you can see you will never go hungry at WDW. You may suffer from malnutrition though.

final recognition once again to Disney Food Blog who keep track of everything you could eat at every place you could go in the world. Check them out.

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