And now what I'm sure you've all been waiting for...what we ate, and what we thought about it. :-) (Tigger serves as food model in the photos...to read HIS report, go here.)
There were 27 Food and Wine booths - we had something from 19 of them over the course of 5 days.
Chilaquiles at Mexico - sort of a chicken enchilada casserole with green (verde) sauce, and a very generous serving. (Pictured right, along with the Conga juice.)
Aussie Beef at Australia (Lee) - marinated beef tenderloin on a skewer.
Tortilla at Castilla y Leon (Laura) - layers of sliced potatoes and caramelized onions; another generous serving. At only $1.50, I think this was the bargain of the Festival.
Chocolate Creme Brulee at France - ooh-la-la!!! Creamy, chocolatey, and VERY generous for $3.00!
Pistachio Baklava at Morocco - even Lee really liked this one - it was rolled like a taquito and wasn't as sticky and syrupy as more traditional baklavas.
Other things we tried, in no particular order:
Greece: Spanakopita - ok, but small. Moussaka - generous, and very filling. Karydopita - kind of like gingerbread, but a little too dry.
Tortilla Cocina: Chicken and peach salsa wrap - good, Zambra Sangria - cool and fruity. (Both pictured left)
Puerto Rico: Pasteles de Guayaba (guava turnovers) - too much pastry, not enough guava. Coco rico - coconut soda, light and refreshing.
Mexico: Conga juice - blend of orange, pineapple and lime juice. Yummy...it didn't really taste like ANY of its ingredients, but it was really good.
Chile: Porotos Granados - Cranberry beans, squash, and corn "soup". Very tasty.
Ireland: Potato and Leek Soup - Very good, especially on a chilly night. Flourless Chocolate Cake with Irish Whiskey Sauce - small serving, and would have been better without the whiskey sauce.
China: Chicken Sha Cha with Peanut Sauce - I couldn't taste any peanut flavor in this...the one we had was a bit dry.
Australia: Aussie Lamb with Caramelized Onions and Polenta - pretty tasty, and a generous serving size. Chocolate Macadamia Nut Dream - like a pecan pie tart only made with macadamia nuts, and with a layer of chocolate inside. This was a close third for favorite dessert, and one of the few things we had twice. Rosemount Traminer Riesling - I liked this - just a little bit sweet.
Italy: Chocolate Covered Cannoli - pretty small - it was ok but nothing special. Caldiroli Moscato Spumante - sweet, sparkling and yummy. My favorite of the wines I tried.
Champagne: Iron Horse Fairy Tale Cuvee - not as dry as most champagnes,
though I still prefer something sweeter.
Barley and Hops Market: BBQ Beef with New England Cornbread - Lee really liked this, and said the beef was nice and lean. Samuel Adams Chocolate Cream Stout Cake - Lee really liked this, too, but it tasted too much like beer to me. (Pictured right)
India: Curried Vegetable Pocket with Tamarind Chutney - pretty small. Not too hot, though. Red Curry Chicken - fairly generous serving - I preferred the rice to the chicken, which was a little too spicy for my tastes.
Morocco: Hummus with Pita - plenty of hummus, but only one crisp pita triangle! Lemon Chicken - the piece of chicken was so small I could hardly even tell what it tasted like, and it was a little dry. There was plenty of rice, though. Beef Shish Kabob - Lee liked it, but not as much as the Aussie beef.
Turkey: Circassian Chicken - cold chicken salad with hazelnuts. Pretty tasty, generous serving, and a couple of decent sized pita triangles.
New Zealand: Custard Kiwi Roll - not bad, but very small.
Canada: Cheddar Cheese Soup - always a winner, though I find it to be quite rich, and one spoon full is enough for me. Inniskillin Ice Wine - served in a teeny tiny little cup!!! It was VERY sweet - I really liked it.
Some things we noticed while wandering around:
The menus outside the booths had lights powered by solar cells - that way they were readable at night with no electric cords to trip people up. Very clever on Disney's part!
People unclear on the concept: The Tourons who thought that the "Turkey" food booth should be serving turkey...people who'd stand in line for 5 minutes and get up to the counter and still not know what they wanted...Men (it was *always* men) who tried to get around the "one adult, one drink" limit.
The Festival was definitely less crowded during the day on weekdays than it was on the weekends or in the evenings.
There were some booths that seemed to have lines no matter when we saw them...for some reason Morocco was particularly bad, which I found quite interesting because there's rarely a line at Tangierine Cafe. I guess everyone else like the Pistachio Baklava as much as we did???
We really enjoyed the Festival, though we ran out of time and appetite to try *everything* we would've liked to have tried. Other than the two events (Party for the Senses and Sweet Sundays) that we signed up for in advance, we didn't have a chance to do any of the other events, like wine or beer tasting (though Lee would've been doing the beer tasting by himself!) or any of the seminars. Guess we'll just have to go back during the Festival again one of these days!
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Text and photographs copyright © 2005, 2006 by Laura Gilbreath. Feel free to link to this document, but you may not redistribute it in any form without the express written consent of the copyright holder.
Laura Gilbreath lgil at lgil dot net