Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Flower and Garden Fest 2015: Round Four

I bet you all didn't realize it was still Flower and Garden Fest at Epcot. It's actually winding down, so, even though it's better hotter than Hades, I still had some things I was determined to try. Off I went, like a brave little Disney Fest freak.


Kale Salad with Dried Cherries, Almonds, Goat Cheese, and a White Balsamic Vinaigrette.

I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect here, as the only time I've ever had kale, it's been cooked. I've been told you either love it or you don't. How was I to know into which camp I belonged without ever trying, right? Turns out, I liked it. It's definitely a strong flavor, but with all the other tastes mixed it -- the creamy goat cheese, the tart cherries, the tang of the dressing -- it all worked very well together. It was a hefty portion as well.

Since I was working on the final remaining items on my list, I just went with whatever I came to next, which was...


Coconut Tres Leches.

Again, no clue what to expect. Just the strong recommendation of a friend. This was pretty incredible. It was a super moist, super dense vanilla cake, similar to a sponge cake but without the airiness. That "frosting" was actually an ice cream. I don't even have the vocabulary to tell you what it was like. It was creamy but...not. Also very dense. And then there was a little toasted coconut. For all the density, though, it wasn't overwhelmingly so. It was actually kind of refreshing.

Moving right along, I found...


Desert Rose (sparkling wine topped with pomegranate liqueur).

...something to drink! And I knew what to expect with this one. It's one of my favorite beverages of this fest. It's bubbly and a little fruity and a tiny bit sweet. I really just like it a whole lot. And nothing else was appealing to me on the menu, so I sipped it solo.

And as I sipped, I made my way to...


Smoked Debreziner Sausage with House-Made Kraut and Mustard.

Sure, this just looks like any old smoked sausage. But it doesn't *taste* like any old smoked sausage. This one has some kickiness. It was tasty, but I was grateful I had also purchased a cool bottle of water. The mustard was amazing -- zippy, not sweet. But the star, for me, was the kraut. This kraut was shredded finely, very juicy, and had caraway seeds in it. This last detail means nothing to you, without understanding that my Gramp used to make his own sauerkraut and he would add caraway seeds to his. I've never seen kraut served this way, other than his, so this was a special nostalgic treat I wasn't at all anticipating.

Smiling to myself, I had one final stop to make.


Limoncello Panna Cotta. Rossini (sparlkling wine and marinated strawberries).

First of all, I tried to get them in the same photo, but I was thwarted twice over. Their difference in size was very challenging (that is a plastic champagne flute with a very long stem that extends beyond the bottom of the photo, and that dessert cup was the size of a slightly oversized shot glass). Also, it was crazy windy, all of a sudden, and I honestly thought it was going to blow my dessert right off the table. So, separate photos. The panna cotta was lovely. Light and silky. Raspberries are my favorite berry, and I've really grown a taste for lemon over the past decade. Perfect combination. The panna cotta was a new menu offering, but the Rossini is a returning beverage. One I have enjoyed quite a bit, in fact. Bubbly and strawberry-y. It's like a mimosa, but with strawberry instead of orange.

The perfect toast to conclude another delightful culinary Fest.

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