January 11, 2012

Butterbeer And The Great Debate

There has been a lot of online banter about whether or not Butterbeer is Gluten Free. If you don't know what I am referring to, let me explain...



Butterbeer is a non-alcoholic, sweet tasting beverage from the Harry Potter novels. It was created as a real drink for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. This top secret recipe was approved by J.K. Rowling herself. Apparently it tastes like a mix of shortbread and butterscotch. This unique drink is sold either cold or frozen (similar to a Slurpee) at a few locations within the Wizarding part of the theme park.

Back to the banter.... I have been trying to find out if Butterbeer is gluten free or not for a litle while now. Some online forums say the drink itself is safe, but the whipped topping  is not. Others, say it is completely safe. Somone even mentioned that the beverage is not allowed to be served without its frothy topping.

Too much confusion for me! I e-mailed Universal Studios yesterday in regards this matter. To my supprise, I received a phone call from Jimmy of Universal Studios Guest Services this afternoon! Unfortunately, I missed the call as I was tending to my sick little one. He was kind enough to leave me a detailed voicemail. In his message he advised that while Butterbeer by itself is gluten free, there have been issues with cross contamination because it's made and developed in an area where gluten items are made.


If you would like to contact Universal Studios yourself, please call 407-224-4233 option 2


As we cannot safely consume Butterbeer without risk, why not make our own version(s) ? I went to one of my FAVOURITE Harry Potter fan sites (yes, I am a huge HP nerd ) www.mugglenet.com to check out some HP related recipes.  Below are two Butterbeer recipes that are Gluten Free, provided all ingredients are checked beforehand.





Update


Thank you for contacting Universal Orlando® Guest Services.



I am delighted to inform you that Butterbeer™ and Pumpkin Juice™ are gluten-free. At this time, all of the desserts sold at Honeydukes™ are flour-based. The packaged candies sold at Honeydukes™ have nutritional labels, including the ingredients, as these products are made outside of our resort. I also recommend that you speak with a Foods Services Manager at each location to help you select the appropriate items.



I have taken the liberty of forwarding your email to our Food Services Department for additional assistance. Please be assured that a representative from this department will respond to your inquiry within the next 48 hours.

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