For the 2023 Strawberry Festival, the food availability is getting a makeover, as several new foods are making their debut this year, along with returning classics. Among the many new additions, customers can find innovative dishes like the very berry battered corn dog, a fried oyster-mushroom po’ boy or a mac stack. There will also be more traditional-styled new treats, like Sandy Ann’s Old Fashion Fried Pies, very berry sugar waffles and Mrs. E’s Strawberry Freeze.
This year, the dining experience at the Strawberry Festival has been brought to a new level in variety. Interesting hybrids like the very berry battered corn dog take classic carnival treats and give them a unique Strawberry Festival twist, as they fry the corn dog with a berry batter before it is donned with a sweet strawberry syrup. Find it at the Dessert Factory on the west side of the grounds. The pumpkin patch with a strawberry twist is another example; enjoy a hard pumpkin ice cream covered with marshmallows and fresh strawberries from Polar Bear Concessions near Neighborhood Village.
If you are in the mood for something more classic, try other new items like delectable fried pies offered by Sandy Ann’s Old Fashion Fried Pies, located near East Independent, or the very berry sugar waffle, located at Fain’s Concession on the south side of the festival grounds. A more savory option is available at Piggy Palace, also on the south side of the festival grounds, where it sells mac stacks. A layering of classic barbecue items, Piggy Palace covered all the bases with this one: It comes as a hunk of cornbread topped with pulled pork, mac and cheese, baked beans and coleslaw, all with barbecue sauce drizzled over the top.
For those with an inquisitive palette, there are non-American and vegetarian options available as well. For a taste of Hungary, head to the north side of the Entenmann’s Strawberry Tent, where there are lángos ears, which are a Hungarian deep-fried, garlic-buttered flatbread with a homemade cream cheese and sour cream blend and bacon crumbles topping the dish. For those who prefer to avoid animal products, the oyster-mushroom po’ boy sandwich provides an alternative, finished with lettuce, tomato, pickle and remoulade sauce.
The Florida Strawberry Festival is taking place from now until Sunday, March 12. The festival grounds are located at 2209 W. Oak Ave. in Plant City. For tickets and more information, visit https://flstrawberryfestival.com/.