We’re back today with another delicious look at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
It’s always exciting to see what new Marketplaces and other experiences pop up each year at the Festival, but I’m always eager to indulge in my tried and true favorites as well!
The France Marketplace Booth
When you visit the France Marketplace, you’re participating in Food and Wine Festival Heritage! That’s right — it’s one of the original spots from the very first event, which was held in 1996.
And though the menu has changed a bit from year to year, it’s always a favorite stop for guests.
You’ll notice that the France booth has a very robust menu. With three different savory items, plus dessert, you could easily make a meal out of the offerings here. Add to that wines and cocktails, and you would definitely want to visit the Marketplace more than once to try everything.
The big news at the France booth this year was a change to the classic Escargot offering. In the past, guests have enjoyed Escargots en Persillade in the perfect stroll-and-eat version; the escargots were nestled in rounds of Brioche.
But in 2014, escargot became an ingredient in a savory tart. The Tartelette aux Escargots combined the Snails with Spinach, Garlic, Bacon, and Parmesan, presented in a deep, rectangular savory tart.
This one has probably been one of the biggest controversies of the festival this year! We’ve heard from guests who love it, and from guests who hate it.
Me? While I’m not a huge fan of spinach or snails on their own, the combo of flavors is an absolute win here. But really, is there a way to go wrong when Bacon and Garlic are involved??
Also joining the line up this year is Gratin de Crozets de Savoie. The savory combination of Gruyere and Mushrooms makes this rich vegetarian dish a hit.
The pasta used in the dish, Crozet, comes to us from Savoie. It’s a uniquely French version of pasta, customarily a whole wheat variety.
Also on the menu is another popular option from years past: Boeuf Bourguignon is back for an encore in 2014. I absolutely love this dish. But I’m a meat, potatoes, and gravy kind of girl.
France is also updating things a bit in the dessert department, as the Milk Chocolate Crème Brûlée of past years makes way for a hot flavor trend: Crème Brûlée Caramel Fleur de Sel.
This is another winner in my book. I’m a big fan of salted caramel, and thought this version of the dish had more flavor and appeal than the milk chocolate from past years.
For those of us who are over 21, there’s also a fun new Grown Up Slush to enjoy here! The La Passion Martini Slush replaces the Cosmo Slush from the last few years. The passion fruit flavor definitely stands out, and this is a good addition to the Lemon and Orange varieties available in France year round.
If you’ve never strolled the Promenade with a plastic martini glass in your hand, it’s time to change that.
The Mexico Marketplace Booth
Walk clear around to the left entrance of World Showcase and you encounter our other featured booth, Mexico. This one has been around since the beginning of the Festival as well.
The 2014 Mexico menu is fairly small when compared to the France menu. But it still offers some fan favorite tacos — one seafood and one meat. Dessert and a complementary array of beverages round out the offerings.
Once again, they’re offering a Shrimp Taco here, but they’ve changed up the garnishes a bit. The crispy fried Shrimp are topped with Pickled Habanero Pepper and Onions this go around. The creamy Sauce and fresh Salsa temper the heat just a bit. This is one of our 2014 Best of the Fest Picks!
The Rib-Eye Taco with Roasted Chipotle Sauce and Grilled Scallions is offered in a Corn Tortilla, which offers a contrast of flavors and textures — and also makes this a gluten-free option. This has always been one of our favorite dishes at the festival, so it’s nice to see it back in action.
It’s not a must-have dish, but it certainly offers guests a unique dessert experience as they dine around the World.
There are lots of different drinks to choose from here as well! I really enjoyed the Sangria this year with the Shrimp Taco. It was an excellent pairing! It’s also worth mentioning that the alcohol is a bit lighter in this one. So it’s a refreshing and less expensive option on your Drinking Around the World tour.
The popular Tequila Flight returns this year. It’s a great way to compare and determine which you prefer — Blanco, Reposado, or Anejo.
Of course, this wouldn’t be Mexico without at least one Margarita, right? This year, the featured flavor is a fruit-flavored combo, Strawberry Mango. The more-sweet-than-tart drink is served on the rocks rather than frozen.
And if none of these options appeals, there’s always the classic Dos Equis to enjoy!
Whether you’re looking for Continental Cuisine with flair, or plenty of heat from South of the Border, you’ll find lots to enjoy at both France and Mexico. Definitely a couple of must-try booths.
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What dishes from the France or Mexico Booths are your new or classic favorites? Join in the conversation by leaving a comment!