Food & Wine – Quick Bites #8

August 22, 2010

With the 2010 Epcot Food & Wine Festival just around the corner (thank the deity of you choice!), we better get to wrapping up our trip around the kiosks of last year’s event before we get caught with our pants down (and trust me, no one wants that!).

Last time we left off in India, so next around the bend is Shanghai, China.

Now one of the booths I had low expectations for was China… so I guess anything above so-so would be a winner…

The savory choices were Grilled Chicken with Cumin and Traditional Northwestern Chicken Spices; Rice Pancake with Beef or Shrimp; and Pork Pot Stickers.

The chicken was in small pieces and cooked with an interesting array of spices. It was nothing spectacular, especially on the first bite, but actually the more I ate of it, the more I liked it.

Grilled Chicken with Cumin and Traditional Northwestern Chicken Spices along with a Tsing Tao (you're shocked by that, I'm sure...)

The pancake was a dense slab (of apparently rice-based batter) with your choice of protein embedded. I actually quite liked this – again the taste wasn’t exactly spectacular, but it was certainly something different and an unusual choice… I had a bit of hot sauce on the side…

Rice Pancake with Shrimp (not exactly a visual treat, huh?)

The pot stockers were, again nothing to write home about, but still pretty good…

Pork Pot Stickers

All in all I was satisfied with the choices here, the flavors were fine and they certainly could have been more mundane items than they were…

The sweet choice here was a Caramel Ginger Ice Cream… didn’t try it…but it sounds tasty, and considering how hot it was for most of the 2009 festival, I’m sure it would have been a refreshing selection.

Next we come to Poland.

Krakow must not be a big place, as they could only manage to come up with two dishes here…

First was a Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream. Potato-filled pastry with sausage, onions and sour cream… not bad at all…

Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream

Also here for the small party was a Braised Pork Shank with Cabbage and Fresh Herbs… a piece of pig that is slowly cooked into a tender submission is not a bad thing…

Okay, I can't find a good picture of the Pork Shank... so I'll distract you with a couple of cute chicks at Pop Century...

Both items here pretty good… would have been nice to have a third item (sweet or savory) though…

We stay in Europe to next visit Barcelona…

In Spain we’re presented with, shockingly, something called A Taste of Spain – a cold plate with Serrano Ham, Chorizo (sausage), Manchego (cheese), Olives and Tomato Bread. This was a nice selection of flavorful items, and having a savory cold plate was a nice change on the hot days of the festival (did I mention it was damn hot for most of the event?).

A Taste of Spain

Also on the menu was  Red Snapper Escabeche – the fish is cooked and then marinated in an acid, usually vinegar-based, along with veggies. Pretty good…

Red Snapper Escabeche (left) and Taste of Spain (right)... and of course, beverages...

A sweet item, Crema Catalana, the Spanish version of Crème Brulée, was here as well. Eggy with a bit of a crust of sugar… if you’re fond of crème brulée, you would have enjoyed this (as I did…).

Crema Catalana

Not surprisingly a nice selection of Spanish vino rounded out the offerings…

From Spain, we make our way across the Atlantic (thankfully the long trip will allow us to absorb some of the Spanish wine…) to the warm climes of Mexico…

Like China, I had fairly low expectations when I arrived in Mexico City… fortified by a cold Dos Equis, I tried what was some of the most surprising food at all of the kiosks…but we’ll save that for next time… soon… I promise… trust me…

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