Yes, Virginia, National Dessert Day is a thing, — and really, aren’t we all glad to live in a world with dessert days, national or otherwise? I mean, I don’t really have to have an excuse to enjoy dessert — but an extra dose of permission is never a bad thing, amIrigh’?
So where is the best place to get your dessert on?
Why Epcot, of course — Epcot Food and Wine Festival, that is.
My husband and I have tried a few of this year’s culinary offerings, and I’m here to tell you all about ’em — sweet things, savory things, and sweet ‘n savory things. But like any good devotee of National Dessert Day, let’s start with dessert, shall we?
First up, this Deconstructed Pavlova, from the Australia kiosk (below). Now, this was one of my husband’s selections; I don’t typically spend my dessert calories on anything that doesn’t contain chocolate (more on that later), but when he offered to share a bite or two of this sublime concoction, I didn’t wanna be rude. With a chilled vanilla bean pastry cream, citrus-macerated berries, and adorable little lemon myrtle meringues, this one surprised me. Not wanting to be rude again, I asked for another bite (or three). We both agreed this one was absolutely worth the $4 — and just look how pretty!
Speaking of chocolate, please let me introduce you to two of the best chocolate offerings at this year’s Food & Wine Festival: Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle and Capirotada de Chocolate.
The Liquid Nitro Chocolate Almond Truffle is a strange and delicious concoction of light and creamy chocolate mousse, frozen then cracked, and drizzled with a warm whiskey caramel (which is basically the most delicious thing on planet earth, the end); it can be found at The Chocolate Studio for $5.25.
Not to be outdone, the Capirotada de Chocolate is a warm, moist bread pudding, served with a rich, chocolate Abuelita creme Anglaise. The pudding is perfect. The Anglaise is perfect. The light dusting of powdered sugar and cinnamon are perfect. This can (and should) be found at the Mexico kiosk, for $4.75.
Perhaps you fancy something a little more classically American. Well, look no further than the Baked Carrot Cake. I know it sounds very basic — and it is — but sometimes basic is good.
I mean really, really guuuuuud.
This generous cupcake-sized portion is delicious, served warm with a melted cream cheese icing. Get your forks out and head over to Hops & Barley in the American Adventure, and feel no regret spending $4.25 on this yummy l’il sugar bomb (below).
This is the perfect time to tell you all about something NEW offered at this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival: Emile’s Fromage Montage (what I like to call “the cheese crawl”). This is a brilliant way to snack your way around the world, sampling a variety of different cheese dishes.
What? People eat cheese for dessert. Besides, if you embark on this delicious, cheesy excursion, you’ll find yourself the lucky winner of FREE cheesecake, exclusive to this festival and this “challenge”. *
And cheesecake is most definitely dessert.
(*challenge … as if consuming cheese has ever been a challenge for me — gimme all the cheeses.)
So just how does one earn the right to this complimentary cheesecake? I’m so glad you asked.
All one need do is eat five of the cheese dishes, get your festival passport stamped, and voila! You don’t even have to try all five of the dishes. You can eat five of the same thing if you want to. Eat them all on the same day, or spread it out over the course of several days.
So what are these five cheese dishes? You are full of the good questions today!
First up, is this vegan (yes, vegan cheese is cheese too) Impossible Cottage Pie from Earth Eats. For just $5, you’ll receive a generous portion of the most amazing casserole, chock full of ground Impossible “meat”, carrots, peas, and mushrooms in a rich, tomato sauce (seasoned perfectly with onions and sage), topped off with a cauliflower-white bean mash and mozzarella. I’ve eaten two of these, and I will gladly eat two (or seven) more.
Next are the Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese ($5 at The Alps kiosk) and the Pão de Queijo ($4.50 at the Brazil kiosk).
Listen, I’m gonna be real with you: I am not a fan of the Pão de Queijo; no offense to our friends from Brazil, but I don’t understand this …. biscuit? Snack? Nibble? It’s described as a “cheese bread”, and while it is (kinda) cheesy, it’s not very bread-like. It’s gummy, rubbery and …. weird. My husband and I actually didn’t finish this; we tasted one of the “breads” and handed the other one off to the nearest trash bin.
The Raclette, on the other hand, is divine! I wasn’t a huge fan of the bread they served with it (it’s just very basic white bread, nothing special), but between the sharp, creamy melted Swiss cheese, the tiny roasted potatoes, and the itty bitty cornichons (pickles), I was in heaven. I’ve eaten two of this particular dish, and I hope I get another before the festival is over.
Tip: eat your Raclette warm; even sixty seconds of cooling down, and the cheese won’t be melty enough for maximum deliciousness.
The final two items of the Fromage Montage are the Black Pepper Boursin Soufflé ($5) at The Cheese Studio, and the Schinkennudeln ($4.25) at the Germany kiosk.
I was sadly unable to try the Schinkennudeln as it has ham in it (which I don’t eat), but it looked delicious, and my husband was a fan. It’s a sort of noodle gratin in a cream sauce and (you guessed it) cheese.
The Black Pepper Boursin Soufflé, however …. oh boy did I try it. And then I tried it three more times. This dish is hands down my most favorite thing ever served at the Food & Wine Festival. It’s the most heavenly thing, lightly crisp on the outside, rich and creamy on the inside, both savory and peppery while also being salty and sweet (that fig jam, y’all). I have eaten FOUR of these bad boys since the festival started — and I plan to eat more. Oh yes.
And then, as if by magic, once you enjoy five of these cheesy wonders, you’ll be awarded the cutest l’il cheesecake you ever did see. All you have to do is head by the Shimmering Sips kiosk and claim your prize: a creamy cheesecake in a light, buttery shell, topped with a decorative white chocolate disk.
It’s not too late to enjoy this year’s Epcot Food & Wine Festival (and get your FREE cheesecake). With the longest running festival to date, scheduled to last through November 23, 2019, there’s plenty of time to book your Walt Disney World getaway; it’s a wonderful weekend well-spent!
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