International Biscuit Festival – 7 Things to Know Before You Go

Thinking about going to the International Biscuit Festival in Knoxville? Whether you are local or have to travel across the country, you should find some of my notes helpful.

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1. Go! Yes, it is worth the trip and there are so many delicious, creative biscuits to be devoured in a relatively short period of time. Read my previous posts of favorite biscuit, second favorites, and honorable mentions to see examples of the kinds of biscuits you might encounter.

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2. Go early! Tickets for Biscuit Boulevard went on sale at 8:30 while the festival started at 9:00. We got there at 9. There were already long lines for some of the really popular booths. Although the festival officially goes to 3:00 pm, some booths were out of biscuits by 11:00.

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3. Finish your coffee before you get there. You want to have your hands free because they will fill up quickly. You will be carrying around your ticket, plates with biscuits, and the bottle of water they give you when you buy the ticket. Better yet, bring a shoulder bag you can put the water into. You may have to manage a huge biscuit like this one!

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4. Prepare for weather. It was raining when we left our hotel but that did not seem to diminish the crowd (I kind of hoped it might mean more biscuits for me!). See #3. Even more difficult to hold everything when you also have an umbrella.

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5. Bring a friend. Eating biscuits together is a bonding experience. Also, the way it works is you purchase a ticket for $10 that allows you 5 biscuits. If you and your good friend share each of the biscuits, then you each get to try 10.

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6. Stay close to Market Square if you are coming in from out of town. This area of Knoxville is lovely and everything you could want is within walking distance. Great restaurants. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza because it had a discounted rate for festival goers. Check the festival web site a few months ahead for info.

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7. Don’t panic! You will get your fill of biscuits. I wish I had taken a little more time to think about which biscuits I wanted to try because I missed a few that looked really good. I was worried by the long lines at first and then realized they move quickly. We actually could not finish all the samples that we did get.

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See you next year!

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International Biscuit Festival 2013 (part 3)

While they did not quite make it into my top three, there were several other biscuits that are definitely worth mentioning. The Biscuit Love truck totally rocked the sweet category with their Bonuts. Yep. That’s a biscuit donut combo.

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It was filled with cream and served with some kind of berry compote. Folks were talking about this one. Biscuit Love Truck is from Nashville, too. Nice to see my hometown represented.

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This biscuit with bacon, clabbered cream, and a balsamic reduction drizzle was the most “gourmet” of the bunch I tried. Sometimes that kind of thing feels forced and sounds better than it really is. Not so in this case.

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I had to Google clabbered cream. It is basically a sour cream but better. It was piped into the hot biscuit right before serving and then the balsamic was drizzled on top. It was slightly sweet and the flavors all melded well. It is so pretty, too!

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Southern Living is another I have to mention. They made a kind of “pigs in blankets” biscuit that was crusty and buttery on the outside, soft on the inside, with the perfect proportion of sausage to biscuit. I read later that they went through all 1000 biscuits they had brought in two hours! See my next post for tips on getting the most out of your festival-going experience so that you don’t miss out when you go next year.

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International Biscuit Festival 2013

What a beautiful, rainy, crowded biscuity day it was! May 18, 2013. My first International Biscuit Festival and it did not disappoint.

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This was one of my favorites. The Green-eyed Monster Pimiento Cheese Buttermilk Biscuit from Biscuit Mecca, aka Tupelo Honey Cafe.

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It was huge, moist, slightly spicy, and fabulously flavorful. The pimiento cheese was in the biscuit dough, while the “monster” from the title was a deep fried pepper.

Green-eyed Monster Pimiento Cheese Buttermilk Biscuit
That, folks, is just the beginning. More later….