One of the signature events at Carowinds is returning for 2017, the Taste of the Carolinas. This is the must attend culinary event to experience for unique food offerings, beer/wine from the region, and of course all the signature Carowinds attractions like our personal favorite, Fury 325, or the all new County Fair section of the park featuring four new flat rides and a revamped Flying Cobra coaster.
Taste of the Carolinas is Saturdays and Sundays from April 22 through May 14, 2017.
Admission to Taste of the Carolinas is included with your ticket to the park. However, if you wish to sample the food or beverage, you need to purchase tokens.
Pricing for tokens is as follows:
– $4 (3 tokens)
– $8 (6 tokens)
– $12 (9 tokens)
– $16 (12 tokens)
– $20 (15 tokens)
– $24 (21 tokens = 3 extra tokens)
Food items are 3 tokens per serving. Wine and beer tastings are 4 tokens each.
All of the food booths are set up in front of Harmony Hall as well as the vendors.
One of the big things you will notice that is different about this years #TasteCarolina event is that at each of the food booths, they are manned by professional chefs preparing your dishes fresh in front of you when possible. Certain items have to be premade like the Tomato Pie and are heated upon purchase. However, the majority of the items are made to order, hot and fresh, right in front of you.
We tried all 21, yes 21 items on opening day. It is a lot of food, and we suggest bringing a friend to share in the eats.
2017 Carowinds Taste of the Carolinas Menu
Menu subject to change
Smoked Egg & Pork Belly Salad (Gluten Free)- We love some good pork belly and were really excited to try this dish. We do not normally eat eggs but tried it since it was the first time we had a smoked egg. Great little dish.
Mushroom Ravioli with Wild Herb Butter (Vegetarian)- Five ravioli are pan seared in front of you with wild herb butter. So, so good!
Pecan Cinnamon Bread Pudding with Cream Cheese Icing (Vegetarian)- Excellent, dense bread pudding…just the way we like it!
Upstate South Carolina Region
Sweet Potato Pop Over (Vegetarian)- This dish was a nice little puff pastry filled with sweet potatoes! Excellent!
Spring Onion Bread Pudding with Pickled Peaches (Vegetarian)- Another different dish we had never tried prior that was good.
Butterbean Slider with Pimento Cheese and Arugula (Vegetarian)- This was our most surprising love of #TasteCarolina! The butterbeans were fried before being placed into a really nice bun with pimento cheese and arugula. This was a light and refreshing dish that tasted terrific in the heat!
Tomato Pie (Gluten Free)- We are not a big fan of tomatoes, but for those that do, we heard good comments about this dish.
Peanut and Oyster Stew- Very interesting dish, which we never knew a peanut stew existed. It was alright but an acquired taste that we would have like to been heated through a little better. You also must be a fan of eating raw oyster, which we are.
Bourbon Chocolate Fritter (Vegetarian)- This dish wins the WOW factor! Lots of people, including us, LOVED the bourbon chocolate fritters!
South Carolina Barbecue Region
Pulled Pork Spring Roll with Carolina Mustard Sauce (Gluten Free)- One of our favorite options from #TasteCarolina! The spring roll was packed full of BBQ meat and cabbage and the mustard sauce paired excellently with the dish!
Barbecue Roasted Corn (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)- We love, love, love grilled corn and only make it this way at home! The #TasteCarolina version was excellent and packed a ton of flavor!
Poached Peaches over Gelato (Gluten Free, Vegetarian)- Great dish of gelato with fresh peaches!
Outer Banks Region
Frog Legs- Not a favorite and an acquired taste.
Fried Catfish with Calabash Hushpuppies- Nicely fried piece of catfish with crispy hushpuppie. Many guests were raving that this was one of their favorite dishes of the event.
Seafood Potato Croquette- This was our favorite of the three dishes at this stand, offering a nice shredded potato croquette with slight seafood flavors.
Lexington Barbecue Region
Beer Basted Pulled Pork Slider- We opted to have both sliders topped with slaw and our choice of sauces. For this one we choose a sweet sauce.
Barbecue Chicken Slider- We selected the spicy sauce for this slider. Both meats were tender and flavorful on nice slider buns.
Barbecue Ribs- Very tender rib with nice dry rub.
Sweet Tea Glazed Chicken- Another one of our favorite dishes from #TasteCarolina! The chicken was fried with the tasty sweet tea sauce drizzled over the top!
Shrimp and Grits- Our favorite option from all of #TasteCarolina was the shrimp and grits. The dish offered a unique twist on the traditional meal and was amazing in flavor and preparedness!
Lady Baltimore Cake (Vegetarian)- Good dessert option for the event, but if we had to choose, we would go with the fritters or bread pudding.
There will also be an extensive list of regional beers and wine available, live cooking demonstrations, and live music.
Reference: Review 2016 Taste of the Carolinas
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