Friday, September 30, 2016

Eleven Things I Ate Around You...

Well, we did it again! We pigged out around the world. I think we went into this year's Epcot International Food & Wine Festival with lower expectations about our eating capabilities. We just can't eat as much as we think we can.

As usual, I printed up the list of food by booth. I highlighted eleven items in yellow. Those were our must-haves. I highlighted twelve items in blue. Those were our if-we-feel-like-its. The plan was to eat all of our yellows first and only go back for blues after we rode Frozen Ever After.

Here's how it all worked out.

Croissant aux Escargots: Escargot Croissant with Garlic and Parsley
$5.75
1.
First stop, France! Au chante, voulez vous. Le purrr.

They did snails a little differently this year, hiding them inside a buttery, garlic-y croissant. Oh. My. Heavens. Delicious! And packed with the rubbery little suckers. See one in there?


Nom nom. That's French for Yum yum.

Actually not rubbery. Just perfect. 

Hubs ate some of the croissant sans snails and declared it pretty good. I ate the whole thing! The whole friggin' thing. Which, you might think, is good. But it's not. Because we have a list with a lot of things highlighted and we've got to get through it. 

And checkout that translation. Croissant aux Escargots is French for Escargot Croissant. Thanks, Epcot. I never would have figured that one out.

We enjoyed our snails with a guest at our table.




He was a tiny little thing. I did my best to keep away. It was a long, long way to the ground and I didn't want him trying to jump.


Chocolate Baklava: Rolled Phyllo Dough with Toasted Almonds and Dark Chocolate Sauce
$3.95


2. 
Next stop. Morocco.

Chocolate Baklava!

Baklava is good, right? Honey. Nutty. Flaky. So, chocolate baklava must be heaven. Eh. Not so much. Not bad. But not Chocgasm worthy. The chocolate tasted like an afterthought, or as hubs put it: like it's not supposed to be there. His exact word: Abomination. I agree that it was...different and not something I would eat again on purpose.

This did not stop me from eating more than my share.


Garlic Shrimp: Marinated Shrimp sauteed with Garlic and Butter and served over Rice.
$6.95

3. 
Japan!

This year, at the Japan booth, we tried Garlic Shrimp. Like...duh. Just say garlic and I'm there. The shrimp was tasty. Mildly garlic-y with a hint of soy sauce. The rice was tasteless, however, and the bean...it tasted green and had a nice starchy texture.

More garlic please.


Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento [sic] Cheese served on Griddled Garlic Toast
$5.25

4.
Hops & Barley.

I am a big fan, a YUGE fan, of pimiento cheese. (Ahem. Note the true and proper spelling, Epcot.) So, I knew I had to try this. And it was pretty gosh-darn good. Nummy, I'd say. Even hubs liked it. The brisket was mildly tasty and the salsa atop it tasted fresh and tomato-y. The toast was almost soggy underneath it all, but still held its own. Overall, it was spicy and full of flavor.

I'd eat that again.

Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce
$3.75

5. 
Germany. Okay. Let me explain.

I'd highlighted in yellow all the yummiest dessert things that I wanted to eat and I felt a tad selfish. So, I also put Germany's apple strudel in yellow. For hubs, you know. A bone.

As we approached the booth, however, I was informed that apple strudel was not a favorite. Still. Rules were rules. (Rules are one of hubs' favorite things.) Apple strudel was in yellow, therefore, it must be eaten. So we ate it.


Once deconstructed we found our strudel contained yellow raisins as well.

It was...well, it tasted...healthy. Is that normal for strudel? When you go at it, you...I mean I, as an American, expect something like apple pie. Sweet. Maybe too sweet. Strudel...this strudel anyway, was not sweet. So, I'd call it wholesome, except I also think sweet apple pie is wholesome. The dough wasn't flaky as it should be...if you ask me. But hubs said it was flaky on the top. Anyway, I'd give it a bland on the food scale.

Oh, and I could barely taste the raisins, too.


Black Pepper Shrimp with Garlic Noodles
$5.50

6. 
Next stop, China.

We grabbed some black pepper shrimp with garlic noodles and walked all the way over to Norway to find a spot to sit and enjoy. 

I must say. Fabulous! Just fabulous! Peppery and garlic-y. The shrimp had a bit of crustiness to its outer layer. Oh, yummy. I wanted to eat all of it. ALL of it! But I knew I still had so much left to eat. We at least ate all of the shrimp. The noodles were heavenly, though. 

As we ate, a couple of Vikings came around the corner chatting up guests and shaking hands. They just looked like guys in old clothes. So...authentic vikings! But if you listened carefully, you'd hear them saying...nonsense: "Yar! Yarm arr yar-yarr. Narm yar, yar arrgh." Disney is epic, isn't it?


Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle
$3.25

7. 
Then we went to The CHEW Collective (Yeah, I don't know what that is, either) for some peanut butter and white chocolate mousse. With caramel drizzle. Oh, yeah.

It was good. But very mild. It looks bigger than it was. Here, another picture for comparison: 






I don't know. It still looks bigger than I remember it. I kept the little container. Figured I could put something in it. Paper clips, maybe.


Duck Confit with Creamy Polenta and Fire-Roasted Salsa
$5.25

8.
Then we were off to the Greenhouse Guru Hosted by Village Farms. Another booth that just seemed unrelated to anything worldly. I really like the idea of eating foods representative of countries around the world. I think Epcot might be getting off its theme.

Here's the thing with the duck. I had some duck in a Tur-Duc-ken once and loved it. But every time I try it in any other form, it's just not the same. I guess I have to have my duck marinated in a turkey and stuffed with a chicken.

Anyway, the polenta was pretty good. Like cheesy grits. The salsa was bland. I guess I thought the "fire-roasted" part meant hot. But it was just tomato-y. And the duck could have been any pulled meat. Very mild.


Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel
$4.50
Red Wine Chocolate Truffle
$2.25
9. 
Off to the Chocolate Studio!
Again. Off theme.

Here we got the liquid nitro chocolate truffle with warm whiskey caramel. And as long as we were there, I decided to get one of my blue choices: a red wine chocolate truffle. This was against the rules. But I guess hubs was pretty full by that point and just didn't care.

The liquid nitro truffle was like hard, frozen chocolate mousse. Creamy like velvet as it melted in your mouth. I liked it, even though the chocolate was very mild.

The red wine truffle? Well, I thought it was awful. I made the gross! face with each try. I thought it tasted like wine. In fact, it was as if every time my mouth closed on it, I got a spurt of strong red wine. I don't like wine.

Hubs thought it tasted nothing like wine. He said it was just really bitter chocolate.

So, what do you think? Was I just so prepared to taste wine and hate it that I did? I don't know. I really don't know. But. Blech.

Spanakopita
$4.25

10.
Greece!

I had spanakopita highlighted in yellow. Hubs was suspicious.

"I looked it up," I told him.
"So, what is it?"
"I don't remember. But it must be good."
"It's eggplant," he said.
"I wouldn't have put it in yellow if it was eggplant."
"I'm telling you, it's eggplant."

It wasn't eggplant. It was like a spinach pastry. Very delicious! Cheesy and flaky. But sort of heavy. Could be that we were just getting really full.


Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard
$3.75

11.
Ireland.

You know what that means! That chocolate pudding cake with the booze sauce all over it! It was bigger this year. I said twice as big. Hubs said more than that.

Here's a picture of last year's cake:





Yeah, it was puny last year.

Anyway, I swear it wasn't as good. It was as if in making it so much bigger, they just spread out the flavor. It didn't pack quite as much punch as I thought it was going to...as I remembered it. Seemed a bit watered down. But it was still pretty good.

And that was it. That was all we could fit in. We spent an hour after that in line at Frozen Ever After. You can read my post about that, if you like. And when we came out into the light, it was pouring rain. We made our way into a little snack place so I could get a much needed dose of Diet Coke and then...left.

I think hubs would have gone around again after the rain let up to try some more of our blue choices. But I was satisfied. And maybe a little sick. I didn't feel very well on the ride home. Many of our choices this year were very rich and buttery. And we ate more desserts than usual.

But I'm all better now. Already formulating my plan for next year... mwuhahahaha!








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