Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013: Cheese!

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“I’m just crackers about cheese!” – Wallace

Cheese, cheese, cheese. The most delicious, varied, and amazing food product ever invented. Oh how I love cheese.

So it stands to reason that I am consistently disappointed by the Cheese booth at the Epcot Food and Wine festival.

Cheese booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival

The sign is so promising

First for the good news. The cheese plate is not offensive. It includes:

  • La Bonne Vie Triple Creme Brie served with Apricot Jam
  • Beecher’s Flagship Reserve served with Honey
  • Wyngaard Goats Gouda with Craisin(r) Bread
Cheese plate at Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

In order, from mild to slightly less mild

Sorry, it looks like my goat gouda was hiding behind the Craisin(r) bread.

It’s a very simple cheese plate. Just fine, but nothing truly exciting or challenging here.

Contrast that with the VERY “challenging” Almond Crusted Blue Cheese Souffle with Fig Jam.

Blue Cheese Souffle Cheese booth Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2013

Skip it.

And by challenging, I mean icky. Seriously not good. I LOVE blue cheese, so that’s not the issue. But think of this – a hot Florida day. A fairly full stomach. Very strong blue cheese, mixed into a grainy-textured “souffle” with sticky and thick fig preserves. We ate ours near the booth, and watched at least 5 people take a first bite and…well…have you ever seen someone take their first taste of Beverly soda? it was like that. One after another went from happily enjoying their day at Epcot to wishing they’d never put this awful thing in their mouths.

One bite each and it went into the trash. So sad, but somewhat expected. Seriously, how well could they be expected to execute a cheese souffle in that booth? I think it could have benefitted from being a smaller portion served with some crostini.

If you must try it, be sure to get some wine to wash it down quickly. The Cheese booth is featuring wines from Once Upon a Vine, with adorable names. I didn’t try any of them, and am interested to hear from anyone who did. Were they any good? Your options are:

  • The Last Slipper Sauvignon Blanc
  • The Fairest Chardonnay
  • A Charming Pinot
  • The Big Bad Red Blend

Or maybe just get a Beverly to wash down that souffle.

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Recreating Disney Snacks at Home – Manchego and Guava Paste

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Some of you may remember that one of the dishes that caused me to fall in love with La Cava del Tequila in Epcot’s Mexico Pavilion was their “dessert” – manchego cheese with guava paste and agave syrup with poppyseeds.

Well, Cava no longer serves food, yet I am still haunted by the memory of this delicious combination of cheese and fruit. So tonight, while watching The Bachelor, I decided to whip up a snack to go with my regular glass of Malbec. (Monday night Bachelor and Malbec is a tradition that goes way back…at least three seasons.)

So here’s my attempt:

First, open up a can of guava paste. I found it in my local Indian grocery, made by Goya.

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Next, slice the manchego cheese and guava, and alternate slices on a plate. Drizzle with Agave nectar.

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Sprinkle with poppyseeds if you’ve got ’em. (I didn’t.)

Et voila! Snackage, perfect with wine. Cava del Tequila used to serve it with Carr’s Table Water Crackers.

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Maybe with such good snacks I can entice my husband to watch The Bachelor with me. Ya think?