Hey all! I know we are all buzzing with the news over the few days, especially all the big announcements from D23, but I wanted to take a few minutes today to go back to another big announcement in the last week- the Food and Wine 2017 menus!
Okay so I’m breaking this down into 3 (and a half) categories today.
- Returning GF foods I’m excited to get to eat again
- New GF foods I’m excited to try
- Foods to ask about… aka “sounds GF but isn’t marked as such so I want to know more” haha!
- Bonus: dishes marked GF that I don’t particularly want to try but you might!
Once of the biggest things I’ve learned about being Gluten Free at Epcot Festivals is how much it pays off to ask questions and talk to the chefs, so often they can modify something to make it gluten friendly or something will even be gluten safe just not marked properly in the festival materials. I strongly suggest asking if there’s ever something you want to try but aren’t sure about, I know I will be!
I laid this out in bullet point form so you know where to get each item and put my thoughts & comments in blue italics!
- Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri (GF) I actually don’t remember trying this last year but it’s a returning dish and sounds great!
- Berbere-style Beef Tenderloin Tips with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato and Pap (GF) This one was 50/50 last year, we got it twice and the first time it was incredibly good, the second time it was incredibly chewy. We’ll see if it’s more consistent this year!
Y’all Brazil is my festival hero! I just have to start here saying it had both of my two favorite dishes last year and I 100% plan on going to this festival JUST to go to Brazil sometimes.
- Crispy Pork Belly with Black Beans, Tomato and Onions (GF) This was one of my absolute favorites last year, it was just the right amount of salty and tender and ugh, total perfection.
- Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread (GF) Cheese. Bread. Let me repeat, CHEESE BREAD. It’s served warm and melty and so good. The outside is crisp while the inside is more soft, the cheese is worked into the whole dough and it’s all together just incredible. I also love that this is a naturally gluten free bread made with tapioca flour so no modifications, this is how it’s always done!
- “Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce (GF) This is SO GOOD but it does depend a bit on both how you like your steak and how it’s cooked that day. Usually this is cooked maybe a little more done than I like (more of a medium than a medium rare) but it really depends. It’s absolutely delicious and I’ll also say one of the best possible uses of a snack credit/ food credit if you buy one of the F&W festival packs.
- Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey-Caramel (GF) This was such a fun dessert last year! I really loved the presentation and it was so refreshingly frozen on a hot September day!
ISLANDS OF THE CARIBBEAN
- Mojo Pork with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Pickled Red Onions (GF) I did not get to try this one last year but it sounds worth a shot!
- Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Purée (GF) I remember liking this last year, especially that chimichurri sauce!
NEW & EXCITING
- Roasted Beet Salad with Green Beans, Feta Cheese, Minus 8 Vinaigrette and Toasted Walnuts (GF) It’s a subtle change but last year this dish was a “pickled” beet dish and this year it’s “roasted” beet dish and I gotta say I am SO MUCH MORE EXCITED for this version of it!
- Moelleux au Fromage de Chèvre et Épinards: Warm Goat Cheese Pudding with Spinach (GF) Y’all I am so excited for this! I’m very curious to see what it will actually look like since I usually imagine this type of dish with bread for dipping or something but I’m sure I’ll love it!
- Crème Brûlée à la Confiture de Framboises: Crème Brûlée with Housemade Rasberry Jam (GF) Last year they had a chocolate creme brûlée which was good but not really my cup of tea, this one sounds much more up my ally though and I can’t wait to try it!
- Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas and Basmati Rice (GF) Excited doesn’t even start here! I LOVE Indian food and this sounds absolutely delicious! I also prefer to eat vegetarian (I do eat meat now but prefer not to) and this sounds vegetarian too so bonus points in my book!
I’m not sure if this is a new or returning booth since it wasn’t around last year but I am definitely excited to try both of these!
- Traditional Spanish Paella with Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken and Crispy Chorizo (GF)
- Seafood Salad with Shrimp, Bay Scallops and Mussels, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar and Smoked Paprika (GF)
Note: I only put items on this list that I am interested in trying. There are a BUNCH more that sound potentially gluten free but I wasn’t sure about. I strongly suggest asking if you’re ever interested in an item!
- Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Butterbean Succotash and Chili-Chipotle Butter Sauce I’ll be asking what isn’t GF here, if I had to guess it might just be a cross contamination kitchen issue because nothing in this dish sounds like it would have gluten but we’ll see!
- L’Orange Cotton Candy: A mixture of Lime and Orange Cotton Candy Really have no idea why this wouldn’t be gluten free, I honestly don’t remember if they had it last year or not because I don’t think I bothered to check out this booth but this sounds good enough I’ll be asking for sure!
Both of these dishes sound gluten free, there’s a third item at this booth that isn’t so maybe it’s cross contamination? My guess leans closer to inaccuracy in the menus in this case though.
- Grilled Beef Skewer with Romaine, Apricots, and Feta Cheese
- Peanut Butter and White Chocolate Mousse with a Caramel Drizzle
- Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard Last year this item was marked as Gluten Free so either they changed the dish or it is incorrectly not labeled as GF this year. I’ll be asking!
Both of these dishes sound gluten free especially since they specifically use a Corn Tortilla. I’ll be investigating!
- Rib Eye Taco: Marinated Rib Eye, Roasted Chipotle Sauce and Grilled Scallions on a Corn Tortilla
- Tequila Chipotle Shrimp: Served on a Black Bean Huarache garnished with Red and Green Cabbage, Queso Fresco and Crema Mexicana
- Pineapple Dole Whip Soft-Serve Ice Cream
- EVERY festival they consistently fail to mark Dole Whip as gluten free and it consistently is. I don’t know if they don’t mark certain non-country booths or some other technicality but Dole Whip is GF and will be (in the words of Maui) “in ma belly” this Fall haha!
- Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice This sounds like it should be safe but it’s the only safe item at the booth so maybe it’s a cross contamination thing? I’ll find out!
NOT FOR ME BUT STILL GF
- Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion and Snap Peas (GF)
- Grilled Lamb T-Bone with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies (GF)
- scondidinho de Carne – “Little Hidden One”: Layered Meat Pie with Mashed Yucca (GF) This one just wasn’t really for me, I wasn’t a fan of the way the meat combo tasted last year. You might love it though!
That’s my thoughts so far! As of right now it looks like this year of the over 105 food items at the festival, only 17 are marked Gluten Free. Last year I had counted about 90 food items with 18 marked GF which means this year the number of items went up and the number of Gluten Free items actually went down. Asking about potential mis-markings will probably help that number but I wish the festival creators would put more energy into at the very least making sure the book is marked correctly and overall considering gluten intolerant guests. (For example, on the marked GF list there’s ONLY 2 DESSERTS even though almost every booth around the world has dessert along with some stations being dedicated dessert stations). I have been going to this festival since I was a little little girl, I was there for the very first one back in 1995 and this year will be my 17th festival. My gluten intolerance came on as an adult and while I still love and will always love this festival, it’s not the same now as it was as a kid. There is so much I am excited for but I think there is also room for Disney to make this a better experience for their allergy guests. Just my two cents haha.
ALSO EXCITING! Since I’ll be a local for this year’s festival (pause for a moment of celebration haha), I have some big plans this year! I’m dedicating a whole week on the blog to the festival the first week it’s open (so the first week of September) showing you everything along with tips and more. We’ll also be creating a youtube vlog about it and going on Insta Stories the very first day to show you everything! I can’t wait for you to see and be a part of all this, if there’s anything you especially want a closer look at or tips for let me know and I’ll work it in!