Food & Wine – Quick Bites #6

March 21, 2010

As we continue to move counter-clockwise around the World Showcase lagoon, we leave the fair fare of Italy, and look forward to some (hopefully) fine fare in Germany and then Australia (no, not Austria, Australia… whoever said the World Showcase food kiosks followed any logical geography?).

Munich is our next stop… Stacey would perhaps settle for Pretzels und Beer while in Germany… but we’re going to try something else… well maybe there will be beer, or Riesling, or both…

Spaetzle Gratin with Ham and Cheese is first on the menu, replacing the Spaetzle with mushroom sauce that had been there for a while. Spaetzle is a small noodle, so what you have here is sort of a Germany version of Mac & Cheese with ham. Good, but not a “must have” dish.

Spaetzle Gratin with Ham and Cheese

The Nuernberger Sausage on a Pretzel roll was nothing fancy, but the flavor of the sausage was great and the texture of the roll was nice. Served simply with mustard, this could have perhaps used a bit of kraut, but the great taste of the sausage itself was good enough.

Nuernberger Sausage on Pretzel Roll

Dessert was a flaky Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce. Apples, raisins and a phyllo-style dough sitting atop the vanilla flavored sauce was a nice selection. I’d force myself to eat this again…

Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce

Time to head down under again – we go all the way from Europe to Australia in just a few steps…

Melbourne featured a couple of proteins associated with Australia – Lamb and the native fish Barramundi.

Let’s start with the wet one… Even though I’m not usually too fond of most grilled, sauteed, etc. fish items, I was actually looking forward to trying the barramundi as I’d heard a lot about it. It’s touted as one of the next “big” food fishes – mild with a nice texture, and being sustainably farmed in several places rather than being harvested from the wild. A small business card sized handout was at the booth from the farmers of the fish being served, Australis Aquaculture – you can check out their website at http://www.thebetterfish.com.

It was interesting to note that a fish native to Australia, was being farmed in, of all places, Massachusetts and Vietnam…

Being a “Fish Farm Guy” in Real Life (the “Fishy” part of the FishyRocketboy moniker), I naturally found this site of interest.. I wish there had been more “nuts and bolts” of the production aspect, but I can see how that probably wouldn’t be of as much interest to most visitors to the site… okay, on to the eating…

Seared Barramundi

The fish was seared and served with a side of arugula, blistered cherry tomatoes and lemon oil. I first tried the fish all on it’s own, and to my taste buds, I wasn’t crazy about it… it wasn’t fishy tasting, or too oily, it was just kinda there. Next I tried it all together – when combined with the peppery arugula and the sweet tomatoes, it really turned into a good tasting dish. Again, not something I mayself would rush back to try again, but I think a fish lover could really go for this… On my first visit to this booth, Kim Possible accompanied me, and had pretty much the same opinion on the barramundi…

Now on to the lamb… oh the lamb…

Grilled Lamb Chops with Red Wine Sauce... just damn Lambtastic!

Grilled Lamb Chops with Red Wine Sauce… damn… this would have made a vegetarian cry with joy… the lamb was perfectly grilled, not at all overdone, tender and juicy. The chop was trimmed to have a long and handy handle of bone at the end. The small amount of the wine sauce was just right to accentuate the flavor of the meat without being overpowering.

On one trip, I forced myself to sample this a second (or was it by then a third?) time while be accompanied by Mistress Sandra and The Surly Teenager… both of the lovely, normally demure, ladies briefly turned into ravenous bone-gnawing machines to strip every bit of the meat from the bones… yes, this was one of my top items from the festival…

The sweet item here was something called Lamington – it was a butter cake covered with chocolate icing and topped with coconut – I could have lived without this one. It was mostly tasteless and a bit dry… Kim Possible agreed with me on this one as well…

Lamington

Lamington

Several types of Australian wines rounded out the menu.

So how was the trip to Australia? The lamb was awesome, enough reason to give a thumbs up…

Next up is Thailand, then South Africa and India around the bend… see you back in the World soon…

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