With a name like “Fried Zombie Brains”, this must taste good, right? Yes, Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando created a food item with just such a name. No matter your thoughts about this title for this food item, you must respect a horror event selling something with this title. Now, what if I told you this food option qualifies as vegan? If we add in the fact this gets served to guests from a highly themed food area that looks like a terrifying butcher shop, Meetz Meat, has this gotten gross enough for you yet?
An order of “Fried Zombie Brains” will run you $8.99 before applicable discounts. These vegan friendly items consist of fried cauliflower florets tossed in a spicy gochujang sauce, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and scallions. Before I describe these, this same food area in Sting Alley of Universal Studios Florida theme park serves a chicken version of this dish also.
My vegan friends enjoyed these “zombie brains.” They found the cauliflower well prepared. They felt the sauce went well with it also. However, they alerted me to the fact that this dish varies in preparation style. In my experience, that alert proved true! In my opinion, the more sauce you get, the better the taste. No matter the amount of gochujang sauce you get, this might be the best vegan items this year at Universal Orlando.
For my carnivore friends, I have some information for you that might cause you to consider this item. One, the cauliflower version does not have as much spice as the chicken version. Two, and more importantly, several people at the media preview tasted these convinced that they were made of chicken not cauliflower. When they were told later that this was a vegan item, they were amazed.
Yet, during my most recent RIP tour, they offered these. They failed to taste good. Compared to having the “Zombie Brains” from the Meetz Meats, these counted as failure. Once again, the preparation can vary greatly. The sauce with these should shine. The batter or coating on the cauliflower is very light like a basic tempura. Tempura fails to be the best explanation, but I can offer nothing better while typing this.
Since the key inspiration for these came from chefs that had been working in Asia, expect that type of flavor and spice. The texture of the cauliflower can sometimes be less than desirable. Overall, though, the presentation and food quality work well.
Does it look like fried zombie brains?
I do not know. If you do, please comment below. I
n fairness, I think the fresh ground princess, sold at same tent, looks more like zombie brains to me but I am not a zombie expert. Even if they do not look like brains, they taste good (most of the time). Universal Orlando should get high praise for creating such a solid vegan item for Halloween Horror Nights. Maybe you should give them a try when you visit.
As always, eat like you mean it!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.