23 September 2007

But lots of foods in moderation

While not my favorite event at Epcot each year, the International Food and Wine Festival, is a very popular happening in Epcot. This year its 12th annual kick-off weekend happens to be while I am down there for Epcot’s 25th, the event itself runs from September 28 until November 11 of this year. The Marketplace, small stands that provide various specialty foods and drinks, offers you more variety of food than you could ever possibly attempt to eat, even if you had an entire week. This year’s participants in the Marketplace are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Champagne, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, United States, and the always popular (especially to those playing Drinking Around the World) Hops and Barley Markey. New participants this year include the Dominican Republic and Oklahoma, which has two booths in the Festival Marketplace, one themed around Route 66 and another highlighting Native American dishes. And here I only ever thought of Oklahoma as a state, and all this time it has humbly been hiding the fact that it had been promoted to a country. I feel the need to break into a rousing musical number now, but I’ll save you from that.

There are also a number of fine dining experiences, discussions with chefs, some of whom come prepared with their own cookbooks, culinary classes, and wine tastings. Some of these events do not even require park admission, as some sessions will take place at resorts such as the Grand Floridian, the Contemporary, and the Yacht and Beach Club. The gathering that caught my eye was the Afternoon Tea with Stephen Twinning. That’s right, the man whose family has been making fine tea for ten generations is going to have four discussions on tea with an audience and afterwards cakes, savories, and tea, I bet they serve Celestial Seasonings, will be provided. Though events, like the one above, generally come at an extra expense I am of the general opinion that most of them are once and a lifetime opportunities and a bargain value as well.

For more information on specific events, including what is sold out, prices, locations, times, cost, and where to call for reservations, I recommend you check out the extraordinary site over at allearsnet.com: Food and Wine Festival.
Menus for the Festival Marketplace can be found at: Festival Marketplace.

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