Thursday, October 17, 2013

Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

Disney's Food and Wine Festival at Epcot is one of my absolute favorite events throughout the year. It is the reason I decided to become a Disney annual passholder two years ago. That was the start of my adult love for all things Disney. Hard to imagine that two years ago this month, I visited the Magic Kingdom for the first time in nearly 20 years. Now I visit one of the Disney properties almost on a weekly basis. 
The Epcot Food and Wine festival takes place in the fall for 46 days, offers more than 300 national and international wines and more than 76 kinds of international foods. The foods are small plates, ranging from $3-$8. Celebrity and celebrated chefs make appearances while cooking, wine and beer seminars are offered. Famous musicians perform during the Eat to the Beat concert sessions. You can easily see why this is my favorite time of year at Disney. I've had the fortunate opportunity to visit Epcot Food and Wine Festival twice this year and have made my way around the majority of the food booths.

My top four dishes at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival are:
China: Mongolian Beef in a Steamed Bun
South Korea: Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce
Hops and Barley: Lobster Roll with Lemon Herb Mayonnaise
Brazil: Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Onions, Avocado and Cilantro

On my two visits so far this year, I have dined on the first three items. I cannot attend the festival without these three. My Mother freaked out over the Mongolian Beef bun and is making it her goal to recreate this at home (good luck). Meanwhile, I am so looking forward to the Lobster Rolls being offered at the Walt Disney Food Trucks at Downtown Disney sometime this fall! The pork belly melted in my mouth and was delicious, leaving me wanting more.
Ireland: A massively popular item at Food and Wine Festival is the Lobster and Seafood Fisherman's Pie. I just wasn't impressed and we were both looking very forward to it.
Canada: Oh my lord....for less than $8, you can get a decent size cut of Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce; it is in my mind one of the best values at Food and Wine Festival. Another huge favorite of mine was the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup
Hops and Barley: The Clam Chowder was excellent - just don't use the miniature Tabasco sauce, it will overpower the soup, which is perfect on it's own. 
Although I am not a big dessert person, the dessert and champagne booth may be my favorite - Moet is available in multiple choices. We tried the dessert trio which Gabe quickly consumed. 
I had a chance to try out the Florida Local Booth this time around. The Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Vegetables and Micro Cilantro was killer but I do not suggest the White Sangria offered at this booth.
Back to Brazil for Seared Scallop with Ragout of Tomatoes - very good and I am not a huge Scallop fan. 
On our first trip to the festival this year, I recall walking by the Poland booth, who offered Kielbasa and Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream. On my second trip, I tried it but can tell you to save your belly for other goodies here. Two small slices of kielbasa and one pierogie wasn't worth $5 in my mind.
I was a very happy girl at the Cheese booth. I found myself among three brands I am a huge fan of, one of whom I have worked with in the past. I was introduced to Once Upon A Vine this spring and fell in love with their wines and their labels. Also, the wines are only $2.50 a glass here, definitely a steal. Beechers Cheese was offered, which I noshed on in Seattle and Savannah Bee Company was the honey of choice! My Mom was quick to order the Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Souffle with Fig Jam, which was a little too much for my taste but she really enjoyed it. 
At the Belgium booth, we quickly ate a Potato and Leek Waffle with Braised Beef - but it did not photograph well, although quite delicious. Also in Belgium, we ordered two souvenir cups of beer. Mom got Stella and I ordered Hoegaarden. For $12, you received 22oz of beer in a glass you could take home. Souvenir and beer - score. 
While on this trip, I learned that Paris now has offers ice cream and sorbet. I had to take a look around and thank god I did - or I would have never encountered this beauty. A Chocolate Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich. Oh my goodness............I want to go back right now to have another.
Well, my food passport is almost complete - thankfully I will be back in Epcot for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon in 21 days!

1 comment:

  1. If your mom does in fact recreate those buns, please....let me have the recipe. Seriously, I need to get here. Between the mini lobster rolls and the pork belly as well as the cheese station (cool that Beecher's was there)...I'm salivating over it all. And a few more I'm jealous of...the seared scallop from Brazil, the Canadian Cheese Soup, and of course, that kimchee hotdog. Ugh..I hate you ;)

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