Universal Studios fans who can’t stop thinking about the parks’ Pumpkin Juice, Big Pink doughnuts, and Who Hash — there’s a new cookbook just for you.
“The Unofficial Universal Theme Parks Cookbook” by Ashley Craft arrives on Oct. 25. Craft is the same person behind “The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook,” which was published in November 2020. Craft is also known for her AshleyCrafted.com blog, where she shares even more recipes and projects to help fans bring the magic of the parks home.
The Universal cookbook includes more than 75 recipes inspired by or that reimagine quintessential Universal parks food and drinks. The IP franchises with recipes in Craft’s new book include Harry Potter, The Simpsons, Jurassic Park, Minions, Despicable Me, Dr. Seuss, and The Mummy.
There are also dozens of recipes not tied to an IP but are fan-favorites at Universal Studios Florida and Hollywood, Islands of Adventure, and Volcano Bay. Take note, fans of Mythos Restaurant’s lamb burgers and Volcano Bay’s Waturi Fusion Ice Cream.
There are also a few dishes inspired by ones from the Today Café (Cinnamon Sugar Cruffins, Overnight Oats, Vegan Elderberry Croissants) Finnegan’s Bar & Grill (Potato and Onion Webbs), and Hollywood’s Halloween Horror Nights (Grilled Elote with Tajin).
“Just like for the Disney books I’ve written, I am looking to provide recipes for the most iconic and most popular dishes found in the Parks. So for Universal, I visited the Parks countless times and asked tons of questions to the servers and team members to get a feel for what people are ordering the most,” Craft wrote in an email to Attractions. “I also do a lot of online research, looking for what people are posting and Instagramming about.”
For many fans, the food, drinks, and other culinary creations inspired by entertainment franchises are some of the most beloved experiences in the parks. Theme park foods can be attractions in themselves, transporting fans to the Weasley Wizard Wheezes joke shop with Nosebleed Nougat and Fever Fudge, and to the world of Dr. Seuss with Who Hash and Moose Juice.
Some of these recipes, like Butterbeer at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, are also closely-guarded secrets. As such, fans like Craft have had to get creative with ingredients and flavors to get as close to the real thing as possible.
“I don’t have any ‘inside information’ on any recipe, so I come to all of them the same! Taste it in the parks, take a lot of notes, come home and tinker until the flavor and look match up to that in the parks,” Craft said. “I think all these recipes are really close approximations to what you get in the parks, using only ingredients and equipment that you can easily have on hand at home.”
While Butterbeer isn’t included, Craft wrote 20 Harry Potter-inspired recipes for her “Unofficial Universal Theme Parks Cookbook.” That includes pumpkin juice, cakes, and pasties, as well as pub-style food featured at The Hog’s Head and The Leaky Cauldron.
There are also recipes to create your own Love Potion, Fire Protection Potion, and Felix Felicis, aka Liquid Luck.
Craft said one of the more complex recipes was that of Fishy Green Ale, which is found at the Hopping Pot inside Diagon Alley. The creamy mint drink features blueberry popping pearls representing fish eggs at the bottom.
Craft said the Fishy Green Ale “has a very unique flavor profile” as a “cinnamon mint beverage with blueberry popping pearls.”
“I ordered this drink several times to dial the flavor in!” she said.
Beyond the Wizarding World, Simpsons fans can recreate giant Big Pink sprinkled doughnuts, the famous Krusty Burger, the Flaming Moe signature drink of Springfield, and Duff a L’Orange Sparking Beverage.
Craft said her recipes from The Simpsons, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and the Minions were among her favorites. The Roasted Pernil dish, which you can get at Jurassic Park’s Thunder Falls Terrace at Islands of Adventure, was one of the more challenging dishes for Craft to recreate.
“That is a Caribbean and South American dish a lot of families make and pass down recipes through generations. I wanted to honor the food and make it as authentic as possible,” she said.
Though all of the recipes were fun to recreate, when asked to pick just one from each of the IPs represented in her book, Craft said:
- Harry Potter: Fishy Green Ale (The Hopping Pot; Diagon Alley).
- The Simpsons: The Big Pink (Lard Lad Donuts; Universal Studios Florida).
- Jurassic Park: Papa Rellenas (Natural Selections; Islands of Adventure).
- Minions and Despicable Me: Nutella Banana Pudding (Minion Cafe; Universal Studios Hollywood).
- Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham Tots (Green Eggs and Ham Cafe; Islands of Adventure).
- The Mummy: Korean Corn Dogs (Mummy Eats, Universal Studios Hollywood).
Craft’s “Unofficial Universal Theme Parks Cookbook” does an excellent job bringing the tastes of the parks to your home kitchen. Besides recipes, the book also includes a bit of history of the Universal parks and the IP franchises featured in them.
The inclusion of guides to cooking basics, tools, and measurements makes this cookbook accessible and engaging for all ages.
“The Unofficial Universal Theme Parks Cookbook” releases on Oct. 25, 2022, from Adams Media. Preorder your copy here.