November 03, 2022
When I think of favorite childhood Christmases, they always involve food. Baking sugar cookies with my mama with all the feels and sprinkles. The amazing aroma and warmth of chili on a chilly Christmas Eve after the candlelight service at church. My grandmother's kitchen on Christmas Day, helping her take her amazing homemade rolls out of the oven and waiting until dessert for her homemade pumpkin and mincemeat pies.
These days, I'm making new memories involving my favorite foods at Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas, thanks to the amazing talents of the award-winning culinary team. I'm even more excited about this year's festival food because we've added a holiday tasting pass that will allow me to try not one, not two, but five festival tastes and treats while walking among Dollywood's 6 million Christmas lights! For one price, festival goers can choose from a wide variety of treats, sweets, meats and more from throughout Dollywood's amazing array of eateries ‚Äì all with a special holiday flavor. Literally, I can't think of a better Christmas present to give myself!
Let's get started on what we can choose from. And life is short, so we're beginning with dessert options. I'm super excited that many of my sweet treat choices are in the gingerbread family: a gingerbread funnel cake, ice cream in a gingerbread cone, and gingerbread churros with a side of peppermint eggnog dipping sauce. Pick from eggnog, hot chocolate or sugar cookie cupcakes, and holiday-inspired iced sugar cookies also are among the satisfyingly sweet options at the bakery. Want even more in the sweet department? Try the holiday ice cream sandwich with your choice of ice cream between Belgian waffles, dipped in chocolate and topped with a peppermint crumble crust. Yes, please!
Now on to some hot and hearty selections that are part of the holidayTasting Pass options. There are so many delicious dishes - it's going to be hard to choose, but I think I'm going to have to start with several poultry specialties. The Christmas Toastie Sandwich combines roasted turkey pot roast, stuffing, Brussels sprouts and Swiss cheese on a delicious roll. Then, there's Dollywood's Southern-style chicken pot pie served in a homemade bread cone, chipotle turkey nachos, and the turkey campfire skillet. Maybe I'll add a side of pot roast fries ‚Äì these literally sound like the best combination of flavors I can think of for any season!
Want to add some sizzle for a perfect warm holiday meal? One of the specialty skillets combines candied pork belly, white potatoes, onions and peppers, while another combines the savory taste of a sweet Italian sausage rope with red and white skillet-style potatoes, onions and peppers.
Soup and salad more your thing? Dollywood has menu items for that! Loaded creamy potato soup overflows with the tastes of chive, cheddar and bacon, while Bush's three-bean chili features a trio of cannellini, kidney and pinto beans with ground beef and a cornbread crumble on top. Shake up your meal choices with the holiday shaker salad - a flavorful mix of Arcadian style greens, almonds, cranberries and Feta cheese topped with pomegranate maple vinaigrette.
All that food is sure to make you thirsty, and there are options on the holiday tasting pass menu for that, too. Spice up your Dollywood day with holiday limeade or enjoy a tangy cranberry orange drink. Sounds like a perfect complement to basically anything else I can taste while on my Smoky Mountain Christmas culinary experience.
If you're planning a trip to Dollywood's Smoky Mountain Christmas, getting several tasting passes for the family is a great way to go. Then you can try all kinds of different things and decide what your favorites are. You can get them on our website or at many food locations when you arrive at the theme park; it comes on a lanyard to wear around your neck, so it's easy to use and is a fun souvenir!
Now back to one of the hardest parts of my Christmas to-do list this year - figuring out which five items I'm going to try on my holiday Tasting Pass. Wonder if I can buy one for my husband and get to choose 10? Wish me luck with that idea - and happy holiday dining, y'all!
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