2013 Epcot International “Food” & Garden Festival – Part I

Yahoo!! The 2013 Epcot International Food & Garden Festival is almost here!

Oh, OK, so it’s officially the 2013 Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. However, those of you who have been following me since the beginning had to know that I was going to morph that long-standing festival name into what it will really become this year … the Food & Garden Festival. Or, the Flower & Wine Festival. Or, Food & Wine Jr. Hey, whatever we want to call it here at All in WDW, we’ve been absolutely jumping for joy since it was announced that this year’s flower-fest (scheduled to run from March 6th through May 19th) would include food kiosks. Food & Wine is comin’ early, folks! And, here I thought that we were still 209 days away from Disney food paradise!

All right, so if you haven’t been following me since the beginning, you’ll have to come to grips with the fact that …

… Mrs. All in WDW and I are Epcot Food & Wine Festival fanatics. And, the bold font doesn’t do the reality of the word “fanatics” justice. To help you all catch up, why don’t you hop into the All in WDW “time machine” and scan through our 2012 F&W Festival Top 25. That’ll set you up for what comes next.

As usual, in order to prepare for this new foray into food, I turned to my favorite “go to” resource for all things related to Disney dining – that would be A.J. Wolfe’s Disney Food Blog, of course. I have told you all many times in the past, if you’re not following A.J., you’re not a true Disney “foodie”. Anyway, A.J. and her team have done a great job of bringing us detailed menus and initial photos that will ‘clue us in’ as to what tasty morsels we have in store for us at this Spring’s shin-dig.  The Dole Whip with Spiced Rum is going to be a MUST DO!

So, here’s how it’s going to work. Using the information and descriptions presented by Disney Food Blog, I have carved out a twenty-item All in WDW “menu”. I don’t include beverages (adult or otherwise), and I don’t include desserts. For us, it is about the food – nice, delicious, savory plates of Disney genius.  Besides, I would have to break another bank in order to pay for all that stuff!

The fun of this, for me, however, is in the ranking of the dishes. What I present here, today, is Part 1 of a two-day preview. Below, I present #11 to #20 of what will, now, be the “All in WDW Flower & Garden Pre-Festival Top 20 List”. I have added a short comment or two explaining why the dish landed in its particular spot. At some point, very soon, Mrs. All in WDW and I will go on a “research trip” to update this list into its final rank.  Mmm.  I cannot wait!  Yum!  Here we go:

#20 – Country style pâté served with baguette and cherry compote (France) – according to Wikipedia, for those of you who don’t know, pâté is a mixture of cooked ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste.  I have to admit I have never been a huge fan of pâté, but I’m willing to give it another try.

#19 – Baked goat’s brie with kumquat chutney (United Kingdom) – one of the things I love is looking up the ingredients to confirm whether or not they are in my culinary “wheel-house”.  Wikipedia is a great resource for that.  Brie is a soft cow’s milk cheese named after the French region from which it originated – Brie.  A kumquat is a fruit that closely resembles an orange, but it is much smaller and ovular.  It is approximately the size and shape of an olive.  The rind is sweet and the juicy center is sour.  The raw fruit is usually consumed either whole – to savor the contrast – or only the rind is eaten.  Thanks, Wikipedia!  You learn something new every day.

#18 – Zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, onions and tomato tart with goat cheese (France) – solid doses of goat cheese in this and #19.  This plate edges out the brie with kumquat because I know nothing about the taste of kumquat.  Who knows if I’ll like it?!  Besides, did you notice this one is a tart?!

#17 – Potato, chive, and cheddar cheese biscuit with smoked salmon tartare and sour cream (United Kingdom) – I like potato, chive, cheddar cheese, sour cream, and biscuits.  I’m “hit-or-miss” on smoked salmon.  We’ll see on this one, but I would admit that it has a chance to improve its rank when all is said and done.

#16 – Green asparagus, lobster, and garden cocktail sauce (Italy) – I’m not a huge asparagus fan, but Mrs. All in WDW loves the stuff.  Nonetheless, how can you argue with lobster?

#15 – German meatloaf sandwich with sweet mustard and fried shallots (Germany) – I have high hopes for a ‘skyrocket to the top’ for this one, but its pre-rank is low for one simple reason.  The last time we visited Biergarten for dinner, I tried the German meatloaf.  I didn’t like it.  It presented as almost “rubbery” in texture, and I couldn’t get past that to come even close to making a fair assessment of its taste.  Hopefully a bun (or bread?), some mustard, and a solid dose of onions will rescue the meat as it hits my palate and push this dish up the list.

#14 – Watermelon salad with pickled red onions, baby arugula, feta cheese and balsamic reduction (Florida) – simple but sounds tasty.  I love every ingredient, and since having the seared tuna dish at Hurricane Hanna’s, I have become a little bit obsessed with seeing baby arugula used in recipes.

#13 – Waterkist Farms heirloom tomatoes with house-made mozzarella, Minus 8 vinegar, and basil (United Kingdom) – I’ve always been a huge fan of tomatoes and mozzarella.  That fact puts this one’s pre-rank ahead of Florida’s watermelon salad.  Again, a simple – but sounds tasty – dish.

#12 – Shrimp and stone-ground grits with andouille sausage, Zellwood corn, tomatoes and cilantro (Florida) – Mrs. All in WDW was surprised that I had this one so high on the list.  Since moving to Georgia, I have tried grits a number of times.  With one exception – The Flying Bisuit Cafe and their award-winning creamy, dreamy, southern-style grits – I have determined that grits are not my thing.  On the other hand, shrimp, andouille, corn, tomatoes, and cilantro are my thing.  Hoping this one can turn me into a fan of southern grits!

#11 – Spring pancake with grilled chicken and green apple (China) – this one simply raises my curiosity.  One of my favorite words is “pancake”, and how can you go wrong with grilled chicken and green apple?  In fact, just the mention of the combination of chicken and green apples has me thinking about re-designing some of my own recipes.

I know this was a long one, folks, but I want to thank you for sticking with me.  Now you know why I’m going to present the Top 20 in two parts!  See you tomorrow with the Top 10!

Leave us your comments, fans!  What do you think of these ten dishes.  Which would you like?  Which would you avoid?  What should be ranked higher or lower?  We want to hear from you!

Mickey & Minnie

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2 thoughts on “2013 Epcot International “Food” & Garden Festival – Part I

  1. Everything sounds delicious! I can’t wait to hear how they taste! I’m still wondering how some of the dishes are related to flowers and gardens, though.
    Also, It’ll be fun to see how the food ranks after you try it.

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