Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Day 1373: Food & Wine - Part 1

If there's one thing I've wanted to do for years, it's attend the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Seriously, I've been pleading to go for years, which meant that when we made the decision to add a trip in October, Food and Wine was at the top of our list for things to do (along with the Halloween Party and everything else fall at Walt Disney World has to offer). 

And if you think I can sum it all up in one post, you'd be wrong! 

In this first edition of Food and Wine, let's take a closer look at some of the food we tried on our first day at the festival, all of which was amazing. Prior to our trip, we went through the full list of food at Food and Wine to get an idea of what we each might want to try. Ultimately, we knew we wouldn't be able to try everything on our lists, but it gave us a place to start and was actually really helpful as we made our way part way around World Showcase. 

First up on our list: Australia! In the picture above, you'll see the three selections from the country, all of which we wanted to try. First, there's the Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion and Snap Peas, which I thought was pretty great aside from the peas (my least favorite food). The Lamington Yellow Cake Dipped in Chocolate and Shredded Coconut was good, although I also felt like it was something I'd had before, so I didn't find it particularly special. The Grilled Lamp Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies, on the other hand, was a favorite of ours from the entire festival! We actually got another one because we liked it so much! 

From New Zealand we got the Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney, which I definitely enjoyed. I was the one who wanted it, and let me tell you, the tomato chutney was delicious. We also went for the Seared Venison Loin with Wild Mushroom Marsala Sauce and Kumara Dumpling, which was also great! 

From the Islands of the Caribbean kiosk, we settled on everything except for dessert, starting with the Jamaican Beef Patty. That's those little yellow things, which took us forever to figure out. They tasted great, but were definitely one of the more interesting things we ate at Food and Wine. My dad really loved the Pescado con Coco, a Seared Grouper with Pigeon Peas and Rice with Coconut Sauce, which was good, although I preferred the Mojo Pork with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Pickled Red Onions. There was just something about the combo of the pork, beans, and rice that I loved! 

From the Wine & Dine Studio (which got Hamilton stuck in my head more than a few times), we tried the Seared Scallop with Truffled Celery Root Puree, Brussels Sprouts, and Wild Mushrooms as well as the Trio of Artisan Cheese. The cheeses featured a goat cheese with dried cranberry bread, a Karst Cave-aged Cheddar Cheese with Fig Compote and a Blue Cheese served with Spiced Candied Walnuts. Both places were excellent! 

I may have forgotten to take a picture of our plates from the Chocolate Studio until after I started eating them, but pictured above are the Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel and the Ghiradelli Chocolate Raspberry Torte. As you can imagine, both were pretty sweet (literally and figuratively)! 

A Favorite of my mom and I from the Flower and Garden Festival in the Spring, we had to have the Taco de Camaron from Mexico again. It's Battered Shrimp served over a flour tortilla with Crispy Purple Cabbage and a Chipolte Mayonnaise. I don't know what it is about this taco, but it's absolutely one of the best things I've ever eaten. 

But my all time favorite dishes from the entirety of the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival have to be the ones from Hawaii. The Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise was my all time favorite dish we had, and I'm looking forward to trying to make it for myself at home just because I would eat it every day for the rest of my life. And the Spicy Tuna Poke with Seaweed Salad and Nori Rice was brilliant as well - definitely something I would love to have for lunch back home! 

And that's what we ate on our first day. We learned very quickly how fast you fill up at this festival, even sharing dishes like we did. Honestly, I feel like it would take weeks to do the whole thing right, since even after a few days like this one, we still only got maybe a third of the way around World Showcase, and we didn't even try every dish from the kiosks we visited! 

Stay tuned for more Food and Wine though, because there's so much more yet to come! 

Have a magical day!