OK, I know Christmas in July was last week. However, The EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival is quickly approaching. This popular event will take place from September 27th through November 11th. Food and Wine aren’t the only things you will be able to experience. You will find everything from celebrity chef demonstrations, and educational seminars, to even a star studded concert calendar. Some of the seminars and experiences do require a separate admission fee, but most of the fun is included in your park admission.
Eleven countries will be giving guests a culinary tour of their homeland, along with beverages and desserts as well. The United States will feature booths from Florida and Hawaii. For the non meat fans there is the “terra” vegan booth as well.
So because I love my readers so much I have painstakingly combed the menus from all of the booths that have been released so far to bring you the highlights.
- Brazil will feature black beans topped with crispy pork belly, onions, avocado, and cilantro, which is paired with a sparkling white wine from Carnival Moscato.
- Canada will bring out the best from Le Cellier with its wild mushroom filet mignon and truffle butter sauce.
- Florida Fresh will showcase all that Florida has to offer. The grass fed slider topped with white cheddar, and a mixture of hot and sweet peppers. Check out my review of this booth from the Flower and Garden Festival.
- To many chefs France is the Mecca of the culinary world. This year they will feature a cabernet braised short rib with mashed potatoes.
- The island state of Hawaii has a kalua pork slider with Dole pineapple chutney, and drizzled with spicy mayonnaise. They will also serve a “seven tiki mai tai” ( I wonder if that means you have to drink seven of them to get the full effect).
The last country I will feature is near and dear to my heart. I am a proud descendant of the Scottish Clan Russell.
New this year the festival will feature food from Scotland. Many people have the misconception that Scottish food is bland, full of potatoes and cabbage, and not very sophisticated. Scotland not only has a great culinary tradition, but a bright future as well. Fifteen chefs in Scotland have earned the prestigious Michelin Star award.The landscape of Scotland vastly shapes its culinary offerings. From the sprawling farmlands to the coastline, Scotland offers a wide array of food options.
At Epcot they will feature Scottish Salmon with a cauliflower puree,watercress salad with malt vinaigrette. For Dessert they will offer a banoffee tart. This tart is made with bananas,toffee, and a glenfiddich cream. Lastly I have to admit I take a little offense to this next dish. It is titled “Vegetable Haggis”. For many the mere sight or sound of the word haggis is enough to make them quiver.
Haggis is the national dish of Scotland. It is a savory pudding made from spiced organ meats of a sheep. Mixed with onions, oatmeal, and stuffed into the stomach lining, it is then boiled and served with “neeps and tatties” (turnips and potatoes). I have to tell you it is delicious and worth a try. I have never heard of an all vegetable version. So I enlisted the help of a friend of mine. Sharon is from Scotland who writes the food blog www.houseofherby.com . I asked her if she had ever heard of vegetable haggis. She said she had heard of it, but it’s not very popular there: “it’s kinda like meat free pate. It’s not pate” she replied. I feel that people go to the festival to branch out of their comfort zones and try things they wouldn’t normally try. I think it was a safe move to offer it, but not very true to the Scottish heritage.
There will always be debates between what is offered or not. However what will never be debated is the popularity of this festival. Make sure you go with an open mind and empty stomach!
Keith was born and raised in Northeast Ohio.He now lives with his wife a few miles from his childhood home. His first trip to the Magic Kingdom was at the age of two and while the only memories are in pictures, the magic laid dormant within him. Until he saw the animated movie Robin Hood, and his love began to grow. He has always had an interest in food and the togetherness it brings. He became a classically trained chef and all around foodie. His last trip to Disney World was in 2011 and he has been learning, researching, and keeping up on all things Disney since. He hopes to bring you all of the food news from the parks, tips on how to save money on food, and all the tastes and smells from the House of Mouse (especially when smell o vision is invented). You can follow Keith on Twitter @DarthChef79.