Thursday, October 29, 2015

Food and Wine Fest 2015: Round One

It's the moooost wonderful tiiiiiiime of the yeeeeeear!

Actually, it's been the most wonderful time for a month now and I'm just very late sharing it. We're going to fix that right up though. Promise.

This year is the 20th anniversary of Food and Wine Fest.

I hope it goes for twenty more. And then twenty more after that. (At which point, I will be approaching 80 and then we'll see.)

My first go-round is usually a full Fest circuit, just taking photos of the Global Marketplaces (kiosks) and the menus, before I start eating. This year, I had come to EPCOT following a highlights appointment, it was about ninety minutes later than I typically start, and I was *starving*. I finally caved and could go no further by the time I reached the halfway point in...


Harissa Chicken Roll. Mimosa Royale.

I remember the first time I tried the food from Morocco at one of these Fests. I was tentative, having no clue what to expect. I have had this particular dish quite a few times now and it doesn't disappoint, but this may have been the best I remember. It was crisp on the outside. Flavorful and a bit spicy on the inside. And unlike previous years, this one wasn't at all greasy! Also, it is important to toast the start of a new Fest with bubbles.

Ok. Now that we're not in danger of a hangry episode, we carry on. But not very far, because lines were super long. Like longer than I have ever seen in all the years I have been Festing. Long even for an opening weekend crowd. My point is that I realized I better get in line because otherwise I was going to be right back to hangry again in no time. So I stopped in...


Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans and Tomato. Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine.

They have a couple of Global Marketplaces each Fest that get an "expanded" area. This is the second year that Brazil has been awarded one of these "places of honor," and I really love how festive it is with all its brightly colored banners. It's pretty to look at while you wait...and wait. But the food was worth the wait. I have a serious love affair with pork belly (something I also learned at an earlier Fest!). There is a lot of flavor from the meat and the black beans, and it's rich and heavy. The tomatoes and micro cilantro brighten it up a bit, but really, the sweet sparkling Moscato is exactly what I needed to cut through the dish. Also? *Bubbles*.

Speaking of sweet. I think it's time for something dessert-ish. Off to...



Now, one of my favorite people in this world finds coconut to be truly vile (his reaction is on par with how I will flail around and gag if you come near me with a banana), so I always take pleasure in texting him a pic of this one. It is delightful. It's the moist, yellow butter cake that they dip in chocolate that is somewhat thicker and richer than just chocolate frosting, and then they roll it or sprinkle it or somehow coat it in shredded coconut. And really it just makes me very happy.

Sometimes, I can eat three things, decide I *maybe* have room for one more bite of dessert and call it a day. Not this day. I knew I needed something else "food-ish" before I could have my final dessert of round one. I decided to backtrack for...


Remember how I said that two Global Marketplaces get the special treatment each Fest? Well, this is the other one. Just look at how lovely all the details are!

Pescado con Coco.

The seared grouper was nice. Flaky and just the right amount of fishy to give it flavor, but not so much that it's a turnoff (or questionable). There was rice and pigeon peas and some veggies all swimming in this mild coconut sauce. It was very tasty, but I also started to get full. This was a far bigger portion than I anticipated receiving.

Time to round up that final dessert! Over to...


Terra be gone! No more "Trick'n Chick'n" or "Beefless Tips." This Global Marketplace has been repurposed to house dishes that incorporate "food science" trends! (If you watch Top Chef, think Richard Blais.)
This is the first year that the Fest has expanded away from World Showcase and spilled over into Future World with two Global Marketplaces in the Next Eats area. (The other is Sustainable Chew and we'll get to that on upcoming round.)

Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel.

This? Was incredible. It looks so delicious and it tastes even better than it looks. It was like...a rich chocolate ice cream and it had crushed almonds on top, which gave it some texture. But that sauce. That whiskey-caramel. It added yet another layer of texture and it's warmth contrasted the liquid nitro-frozen chocolate. But you could just hand me a little cup of that caramel and I would be completely blissed out.

Let's be honest: it wasn't getting any better than what I just ate and I didn't have any more room left anyway. Time to head out and plan my next round!

6 with their own thoughts:

*krystyn* Friday, October 30, 2015 10:43:00 AM  

I'm just sad that you made this round alone...I should have been there to help you through. haha. Oh and the coconut...I'm on "Team T"!!! You can have my share. :)

~**Dawn**~ Friday, October 30, 2015 10:48:00 AM  

We totally need to Bucket List Festing together, Krystyn! It's so much fun! And soooo yummy.

*krystyn* Friday, October 30, 2015 10:49:00 AM  

yes indeed! *adds to bucket list* :)

Stacy at Exceedingly Mundane Wednesday, November 04, 2015 9:46:00 PM  

Ooh, some of my MOST favorite posts of the year! I live vicariously through your Instagram photos, but these longer descriptive blog posts are even better :) One day, I will get back to Disney and maybe if I'm really good, we can come around my birthday and do foodie stuff too.

OK, silly question, you might have blogged it but I missed it... you said this is the 20th year of the Food and Wine fest, how many years have you been going? :)

Oh, and I'm heavily in the HATE-COCONUT camp. No Lamingtons for me! :(

~**Dawn**~ Wednesday, November 04, 2015 10:11:00 PM  

My first Fest was in 2007, Stacy. =)

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