Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013: Argentina

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Continuing our trip around the World (Showcase), we arrive in Argentina, land of beef and malbec. Two great tastes that taste great together.

Argentina booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Would you like beef or beef?

Beef, please! First, let’s try the Beef Empanada.

Beef Empanada Argentina Epcot Food and Wine

Baked pocket of yum

I was pleasantly surprised with the beef empanada. I skipped this last year, frankly because we have an Argentinian restaurant right down the street from our house that makes THE BEST beef empanadas on the planet. Next time you’re in Arlington, MA, go to Tango. But if you won’t be hanging out in Arlington any time soon, these are pretty good. The crust was nice and flaky, and the filling well-spiced with some nice currants for sweetness and pine nuts for crunch. Overall a pretty tasty snack.

The better option however is the Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree.

Grilled Beef Skewer at Argentina Epcot Food and Wine

Like a yummy little meal.

If you like herbs, and garlic, you’ll like this. The meat is not really the star since it’s covered with so much chimichurri, but that sauce is awesome. And I really like the boniato puree. If you haven’t had it, boniato is also known as white sweet potato. Its flavor is not nearly as sweet as a typical orange sweet potato – more of a subtle sweetness that makes it taste really homey and satisfying.

Drinks at the Argentina booth are limited to wines: Terrazas Reserva Torrontas or Malbec, Pascual Toso Sparkling Brut, and Kaiken Cabernet Sauvignon. I like the Malbec just fine, but can’t really understand the appeal of walking around on a hot Florida day drinking red wine.

My verdict? Argentina continues to be a solid (if a little staid) offering at Food & Wine. Would love to see them branch out to something new next year!

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Epcot Food & Wine 2012 Recap #2 – Caribbean and Argentina

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Continuing our trek clockwise around the World Showcase at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival (we started at Terra), we come to the lovely Caribbean booth. The offerings here were Ropa Vieja with Cilantro Rice, and Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney. Because I adore jerk rub (tee hee) I decided to try the chicken. Drink options were from Bacardi – a Torched Cherry Frozen Cherry Limeade and Frozen Dragon Berry Colada. I didn’t have either of the drinks – had to pace myself.

Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney Caribbean Booth Epcot Food & Wine

Jerk Spiced Chicken Drumstick with Mango Chutney

The chicken itself was cooked perfectly – not pink at all, but not overcooked and dry. However if there was any Scotch Bonnet, scallion or thyme flavor in this jerk it missed my piece of chicken. It was truly almost flavorless. The mango salsa was nice and fresh, but very one-dimensionally sweet. It was basically a bust. I wish I’d tried the Ropa Vieja, which the person we shared a table with was enjoying. It looked quite good. (But then my chicken also looked good.)

Next stop on our trip around the World Showcase was Argentina. Here, the choices were Beef Empanada or Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree.  The wine options were from Terrazas Reserva – a Torrontes, Chardonnay, Malbec, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I opted for the Malbec. I saw the empanada, and it didn’t look great. I’m super picky about empanadas, and the pastry looked too thick and doughy. The person standing next to me told me it was like a calzone. So I ordered the beef skewer.

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree Argentina Booth Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree

This was like a perfect mini-meal. The beef was tender, flavorful, and medium rare. The chimichurri was bright and herbaceous, garlicky, with just enough tangy-ness (if you’re not familiar with chimichurri sauce, here is an explanation) And the skewer was on pureed boniato, which basically tasted just like good mashed potatoes. I wasn’t familiar with boniato, so looked it up. It’s what’s sometimes called sweet potato in the caribbean (not the orange sweet potato I was familiar with). It’s got some sweetness, but really just tasted like mashed potatoes. And apparently it’s available year round in Florida, so hopefully it didn’t have to travel far to make it to Epcot.

Oh, and I’ve never met a Malbec I didn’t like.

Did you make it to the Caribbean or Argentina booths? I saw many people who really enjoyed the chicken, and I know I like my food more spicy than most. What did you think?