Whew, I am exhausted after eating and drinking “around the world” today. For those of you not familiar, Epcot, one of Walt Disney World’s theme parks, hosts their Food and Wine Festival every fall where they feature about thirty different countries. There is a giant lake in Epcot called the World Showcase Lagoon, which is lined by different countries’ kiosks, so as you make your way around, you are literally going around the world. Each country features two to three small plates specific to that country that Epcot’s chefs put together. Each country also features native wines, alcohol drinks and beer. It’s nice because since the portions are reduced, so are the prices (although they add up quickly, especially if you are drinking!). Every year I look forward to snacking my way around.
Kevin and I met up with our friend Judy, a huge foodie, to do some damage. The weather was perfect today. It wasn’t too hot or cold, and it was nice and breezy. It was also really empty when we got there. We didn’t have to wait in lines for any of the foods, which is pretty unheard of.
Below are our eats from today and the countries they’re from.
Belgium Waffle (Belgium)
You can smell the waffle batter as you walk up to the kiosk. You can also order it with fruit in addition to the whipped cream.
Bunny Chow (South Africa)
Judy ordered this, and when I first read it, I thought there was going to be rabbit in it. It’s actually vegetable curry served in a bread loaf. Judy said it was very good and very spicy.
Xinjiang Barbecue Chicken Stick (China)
The chicken was so moist and had a nice sweet, sticky sauce. I thought the chicken might be a little chewy and dried out, but it just fell apart.
Frozen Rock Coconut Mojito (Caribbean)
If you like coconut, this is the drink for you. Although it was a little on the small side and not very strong, it was very refreshing.
Escargot Persillade en Brioche (France)
This translates to “garlic and parsley snails in brioche.” Every year, France features this dish, and every year this is the dish I most look forward to. I’ve gotten more than one plate on multiple occasions. The bread bowls are so garlicky and buttery. Each bite is extremely rich and decadent. I urge you to try this, even if you think snails sound gross. It’s so wonderful.
Funnel Cake (America)
This actually isn’t special to Food & Wine Festival, but a trip to a theme park just wouldn’t be complete without some funnel cake!
Griddled Greek Cheese with Pistachios and Honey (Greece)
This wasn’t as good as the flambéed cheese you can get at Greek restaurants. The cheese was very salty, and the honey wasn’t sweet enough to offset it.
Grilled Lamb Chop with Potato-Goat Cheese Salad and Shiraz Reduction (Australia)
This is another annual favorite. I like my lamb a little rarer, but the meat was tender and juicy with a ton of flavor. I also really loved eating the chunks of goat cheese that came on the side.
Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Lobster Roll (Hops and Barley/America)
I loved that there was relatively no mayonnaise in the lobster roll. It was really just chunks of lobster, dill, and a very buttered bun. The lobster was fresh and sweet, and everything altogether was wonderful.
Black Pepper Shrimp with Sichuan Noodles (China)
The shrimp tasted great. They were full of flavor and succulent, but the noodles fell a little short on flavor. I thought they were under seasoned and a little bland.
Pork Pot Stickers (China)
Kevin got to go to Food and Wine Festival a few weeks ago, and he loved this dish so much that he knew he wanted this again. They were very flavorful, and the accompanying sauce was nice and light.
Nuernberger Sausage in a Pretzel Roll (Germany)
Judy ordered this and seemed to really enjoy it. Germany always has great pretzel breads. They’re doughy and taste really fresh.
Seared Sea Scallop with Kumara-Red Curry Puree and Apple Radish Salad (New Zealand)
Judy also ordered this dish and said it was one of her favorites.
Taste of Scandinavia (Scandinavia)
This was a plate of shrimp salad, cured salmon and herring served with a cracker and mustard dill sauce. I was in Scandinavia a few years ago for a family vacation and this took me straight back to Copenhagen. This was a close second favorite to the escargot. I really wanted a second plate but knew I wanted to try other dishes more. The flavors of the fish were so great, especially if you’re a smoked salmon lover. If we return, this would be the first thing I would order again.
Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Lotus Root Chips (Hawaii)
So this was probably a close third favorite to the Taste of Scandinavia and escargot. The festival featured a whole Hawaiian kiosk to help promote their newest vacation club resort in Hawaii. The chunks of raw tuna were huge, and the seaweed salad was nice and spicy.
Are you hungry yet? Suffice it to say, it was an amazing day, and I’m so thankful that I was able to go to Food and Wine Festival again this year. After three laps around the World Showcase, I am exhausted. Kevin and I are fading slowly in front of the TV in anticipation of work tomorrow. Happy Sunday!
If you could sample any country’s food, what country would you choose? I love Food and Wine Festival because you can try regions that you normally wouldn’t get to without having to commit to a big portion or one type of cuisine.