Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

I was lucky enough to spend last week in Orlando, experiencing all Disney and Universal Studios has to offer. My husband and I signed up for the Food and Wine Festival Half Marathon Relay. That was the only way he could ever get me to participate in a half marathon. I had to run about 5 miles and his leg was 8. It was an event to kick off Epcot's 2011 Food and Wine Festival and started at 10PM. Yes, PM, not AM. But that meant that the after party in Epcot was filled with lots of food and wine options.

Epcot's Food and Wine Festival is a tapas-type event where 29 different countries/stations offered a few different small plates plus some beer/wine/cocktails that suited their nationality. After the race we only tried a few places, but we also spent an entire day in Epcot eating around the world. It was so much fun and a perfect event for someone like me that enjoys trying lots of different things. To make it even better our parents and my husbands brother and his family were all there. That meant that I didn't need to buy every single thing I wanted to try, we shared a lot of the dishes, which cut down on the price (and just a few of the calories...but hey, it was vacation, they don't count!!).

Here are some of the delicious plates I tasted:
- Mexico: rib eye beef tacos, delicious!!
- China: black pepper shrimp with Sichuan noodles, pork pot stickers...both were big winners!
- South Korea: lettuce wraps with roast pork and kimchi slaw, Boolgogi BBq beef with steamed rice and kimchi...I discovered I am not a fan of kimchi. I have always wanted to try it, but now I know it isn't my favorite.
- Germany: goulash suppe, Nuernberger sausage in a pretzel roll
- Italy: Di formaggio all'Emiliana (baked cheese ravioli with creamy beef Bolognese sauce, Parmesan cheese, and melted mozzarella)
- Hops and Barley: Linda Bean's perfect Maine lobster roll. Another dish I have been looking forward to trying, even though I have not been a big lobster fan in the past (I grew up in seafood beats crab in my opinion). I know lots of people really like this dish, but it wasn't as good as it was hyped up to be. I liked it, don't get me wrong, I was glad I tried it, but it won't be making a repeat appearance in the future. My curiosity was satisfied.
- Singapore: beef Randang (coconut-braised beef) with jasmine rice
- Japan: spicy tuna roll...without a doubt a favorite with my husband. How do I know? I only got a tiny taste before it disappeared!
- Morocco: Kefta pocket (ground seasoned beef in a pita pocket), Harissa chicken roll...both very very good.
- Belgium: Belgium waffle with berry compote and whipped cream
- France: Sparkling pomegranate kir, Parisian Cosmo slush (Ciroc vodka, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice)
- Ireland: Cheese assortment (aged Irish cheddar, Dubliner and Ivernia cheeses) with apple chutney, chocolate lava cake with Baileys ganache
- Canada: Canadian cheddar cheese soup (more on this in the next post), chicken chipotle sausage with sweet corn polenta
- Desserts and Champagne booth: white chocolate macadamia mousse with dark chocolate pearls

This festival lasts until November 13th, so if you are in the Orlando area, be sure to check it out! Its a great time with lots of great food and drinks. I bought a cookbook with a bunch of the recipes in it, so I am sure it will be used often!

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