The Saturday Six is a weekly look at the most interesting, most fun, and sometimes even the most outrageous things within the theme park world that we all love so much. Whether it’s checking out the World’s Largest Hard Rock Cafe in CityWalk, a look at Marvel Superhero Island in Islands of Adventure, or even going to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, the Saturday Six is your personal guide to experiencing the very best Orlando has to offer.
Photo courtesy of Morgan Crutchfield
This week’s Saturday Six looks at the Top Six Reasons We Loved the 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. An annual event that originally started in 1995, Food & wine has grown each year and has become one of Orlando’s signature events of the fall. Over 25 marketplaces are placed around World Showcase and each bring their own unique food and drink offerings that offer guests the amazing opportunity to challenge their culinary palate and experience dining opportunities that just don’t exist in the theme park world during the rest of the year. But that’s not all, Food & Wine has a whole bunch of other stuff going on at the same time including seminars, concerts, and even the chance to meet celebrities from the world of food and wine. We loved this year’s festival but what are our favorite parts? For that we need to start the list~!
(Remember, you can click on any picture to see the full size version)
The Cranberry Bog (presented by Ocean Spray)
#6 – The Cranberry Bog
I don’t know what it is about it, but I am completely mesmerized by the cranberry bog. At night, it actually looks like it could fit in well over at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. During the day Ocean Spray has representatives who will guide guests through the process or harvesting cranberries. Here you’ll find out that cranberries grow on lung running vines and Ocean Spray (along with other cranberry farmers) use rake-like tools to brush them into water. Because the cranberries have air pockets in them, they float, so the berries are then collected en masse. I love watching people wade through the cranberry bog and continue to try to wrap my mind around the fact that something like this exists in the real world. It also will allow me to drop some knowledge bombs during my next Thanksgiving dinner when I explain where the cranberry sauce comes from and – as a bonus – there are free packs of Craisins nearby the bog at the Ocean Spray booth.
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The 2013 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (see all the menus) is in full swing and continues to pack in the crowds. Some guests like to attempt to “Drink Around The World” and sample all the various drinks, while others like to try exotic food items from countries not regularly found in World Showcase. While eating vegetarian at Disney and Universal can be challenging (especially if you want more than the ubiquitous garden salad or veggie burger), this year’s Food & Wine has many unique options. Below is a list with every vegetarian option at this year’s festival, along with my review of the items I personally tried. (Click on any picture to see a much larger version)
Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese (Terra)
We’re going to go through the booths in alphabetical order except to start off, as that spot is going to Terra. Why Terra? Because everything in Terra is vegetarian. That earns it a special spot on the list.
*Trick’n Chick’n Curry with Basmati Rice ($3.75) – A returning favorite from 2012, Trick’n Chick’n is made from Gardein brand chick’n breast with a great spicy curry served over basmati rice. I enjoyed the curry because it had a kick to it, but overall was mild and not overwhelming.
*Chili Colorado with House-made Chips and Cashew Cheese ($3.75) – The chili is made with Gardein brand beefless tips and cashew cheese. I’m pretty tough on vegan cheeses, as I feel they generally come nowhere close to real cheese (as compared to the incredible advancements in the meatless meats over the past few years), but this was great. I loved scooping up the chili onto a chip and eating it that way.
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