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Epcot Food and Wine Festival

by Meghann on October 10, 2009

Today I encouraged my inner foodie to live out her wildest dreams by attending Epcot’s 14th Annual Food & Wine Festival.

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I ate, I drank and I had one amazing time! ;)

Last year was the first time I really understood the concept of what the Food & Wine Festival entails, but was unable to pull together the funds to attend. This year, however, I managed to play it smart by saving the free ticket I earned from volunteering at the Disney Marathon back in January for this very occasion.

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That mixed with an extra ticket Derek and I received for participating in the Race for Taste tomorrow meant this was our year to see what all the fuss was about.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event, Epcot’s Food & WIne Festival is a food, wine and beer focused event that takes over the world showcase every October. This year 27 countries littered the area offering samples of unique food and drinks native to their country.

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Each country was set up in a booth and had a menu displayed out front to what they were offering.

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Since this was Disney, you were sure to expect a line at each booth.

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Needless to say this was not a cheap date by any means. Each plate was basically a sample with a couple of bites max per dish and ran anywhere between $2.50 and $5.00.

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To save money and our waist lines Derek and I split almost everything you see in this post. :)

Derek and I weren’t the only ones enjoying the festivities. My parents had an extra day on some some old park hopper tickets so I encouraged them to join us. This was their first Food & Wine Festival as well.

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We arrived at Epcot right at lunch time and were ready and willing to get the day started with some great food!

First stop: Greece.

Derek and I ordered the Chicken Souvlaki

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And Baklava.

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Yum! We were actually desperately trying to find my parents at this point and I was STARVING. We kept walking by all these great smelling booths and I was starting to complain. After seeing the greek booth I made the executive decision to stop and let them find us because I wanted food. Totally worth me putting my foot down.

It was the perfect meal to start the day. :)

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The next stop to catch my eyes was a beer themed booth titled The Brewer’s Collection, but it wasn’t the beer that caught my attention.

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It was the Pretzel!

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In a split second decision I ordered the Sausage as well.

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Pretzel + Cheese + Sausage = Good eats. Total bar food and I loved it.

Among the countries a few American cities were represented as well. My Dad would not forgive us if we didn’t stop at New Orleans.

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Chicken and Andoulle Gumbo

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Praline Bread Pudding with Bourbon Carmel Sauce

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Anyone else obsessed with bread pudding? My Mom referred to it as really soggy bread, but I am in love with it.

Dad and Derek chowing down.

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I was really looking forward to the Boston booth and it’s wide selection of Sam Adam’s beers. Every year Sam Adams brews a special Food & Wine Festival Beer that is only served at the festival. After high recommendations I ordered a small.

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It was ok. A little fruity for my taste. I drank about 3/4 and wouldn’t order it again.

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At this point we were feeling a little full and took a break from eating to ride a few rides. Derek couldn’t remember if he had actually ever been to Epcot before or not so this was his time doing all the newer rides.

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We also checked out a couple cooking demonstrations.

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Sometime in there I had a glass of champagne.

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I couldn’t resist sampling the refreshing bubbly I saw everyone else walking around with. ;)

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When the skies started to turn pink we were ready and willing for round #2 of the showcase.

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First stop? The Desserts & Champagne booth for Strawberry Shortcake of course.

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Strawberry Shortcake is my favorite dessert in the whole wide world, but this was a little heavy on the cream for taste.

We headed to Buenos Aires for a Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimicurri Sauce and Boniato Puree.

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This was a plate we saw others eating and had to stake it out for ourselves. The flavors were great, but the meat was very tough.

At Barcelona we ordered the Taste of SpainSerrano Ham, Chorizo, Manchego Olives, & Tomato Bread.

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I loved this beautiful plate. So many great flavors going on here. This was one of my favorites.

I was really disappointed when nothing at the New Dahli menu struck out at me, but Bangkok did not disappoint.

Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp.

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The shrimp was the winner in this dish.

Just when I thought I was done and finished, Derek suggest we order one of these in Germany.

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How could I say no?

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I managed to wash it all down with a Beck’s Octoberfest.

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And last, but not least our Cookies & Cream Gelato from Italy to finish it all off.

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I think its safe to say I was stuffed to the gils at this point. No, actually I take that back. It’s true I was full, but never did I feel uncomfortably full. I only had a few bites of each plate and that mixed with all the walking allowed me to practice moderation and balance in one day.

This was a very indulgent day, but I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. I had fun and I ate a lot of good food. I couldn’t ask for anything better. :)

Tomorrow Derek and I have a very early wake up call to make it back out to Disney for our 10k. We picked up our material this morning and Derek is a little nervous about the 15 minute per mile cut off. I told him he will be fine and I will be there to make sure of it.

We are going to practice the galloway method and I plan to push him as far as he will let me to make sure he crosses that finish line.

Wish us luck!!!

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