Urban Spice Garden In Morocco Pavilion

Guests of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will find that the things growing in the Morocco Pavilion center around flavoring foods with a wide variety of fruits, herbs, and spices that are native to the region and lend Moroccan cuisine its unique flavor profiles. Near the rest area of this beautiful pavilion, guests will come across the Urban Spice Garden, where Disney's gardeners have planted containers of greenery producing exotic flavors.


The Urban Spice Garden Is Located Near Morocco's Rest AreaThe Urban Spice Garden Is Located Near Morocco's Rest Area


The sign in the garden tells the tale of ancient spices once used as currency and often considered more valuable than gold. Morocco's food and the spices used in it reflect a vibrant blended culture that add depth to dishes instead of just heat. Saffron, mint, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, parsley, and sesame seeds are all grown in Morocco, and "ras el hanou" is a commonly used mixture that can contain as many as 20 custom blended ingredients.


Mounds Of Moroccan MintMounds Of Moroccan Mint


You may wonder, if the Disney gardeners are growing all of these wonderful things what is the difference between and herb and a spice?

Most botanists will say that the herbs are generally the fresh leaves and flowers of a plant. Spices are any part of the plant that is not a leaf and can be used for seasoning. Stems, leaves, roots, seeds - even the flower buds are often considered spices. However, according to the American Spice Trade Association, the definition of a spice has somewhat changed over the years, with "any dried plant product used primarily for seasoning purposes" considered a spice. Some plants, like cilantro, fall into a duel category as its fresh leaves are used as an herb, and its dried seeds are the spice coriander.


Black Pepper Comes From A Flowering VineBlack Pepper Comes From A Flowering Vine
Peppercorn DetailPeppercorn Detail


Sometimes a spice can even be a fruit that has been dried and broken down to a more useable form. Examples of this include dried orange and lemon peel, or even peppers.

The species of plants Capsicum Annuum are better know as peppers, and their fruits range from sweet to hot. When dried, these fruits can bring the heat to a wide range of dishes. The dried fruits of chili and cayenne peppers are ground into the delicious, pungent powder called paprika.


Pepper Plants - Capsicum AnnuumPepper Plants - Capsicum Annuum
Peppers Have Flavor Ranging From Sweet To HotPeppers Have Flavor Ranging From Sweet To Hot


At the Taste of Marrakesh Outdoor Kitchen guests waiting in line can continue their exploration into the world of spices. Not only are the planter boxes full of ingredients being used in the dishes, but there is a garden art display that's been covered entirely in spices!

How closely do you pay attention to the spices in your kitchen? Can you pick out the white pepper, black pepper, anise, cardamon, cinnamon, cloves, and caraway, nutmeg, and bay leaf that create the tribal designs?


Spices Being Used To Create Garden ArtSpices Being Used To Create Garden Art
Can You Name The Spices?Can You Name The Spices?


What are your favorite spices? Are they growing right now at Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival? Leave a comment and let us know!

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