The France booths at Epcot’s various festivals often suffer the same neglect by me as Italy’s – it’s usually just too darn hot down here for me to crave anything so heavy or rich.
But like Italy, France gets my love during the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays because the weather is often cool enough for these foods to be just what the doctor ordered. We’ve already talked about my love for all things cavatappi and fritter at Italy’s Tuscany booth – so now it’s time to sit down together and talk French cuisine.
The beautifully named Le Marché de Noël (which means “Christmas market”) Holiday Kitchen offers up 3 food items – two savory, one sweet – and 4 drinks (all alcoholic) this year.
- Napoléon de Saumon Fumé, Brioche à l’aneth: Smoked Salmon Napolean in a Dill Brioche ($5.75)
I love the idea of a savory Napolean since we so often associate this style of food with desserts. Here we get a generous portion of good smoked salmon layered with cream cream and packed prettily into a soft dill brioche. I wanted the roll to be chewier simply because I’m used to eating my smoked salmon and cream cheese on a bagel, but that doesn’t make this any less objectively delicious. At $5.75 it’s not exactly the cheapest thing at the Festival of the Holidays – but for this price I was impressed with the portion of lox.
- Bouchée à la Reine Traditionnelle: Turkey and Mushrooms in a Veloute Cream Sauce served in a Light Puff Pastry ($6.75)
This thing is massive and piled high with chunks of white (and maybe a bit of dark) meat turkey. The layered puff pastry is perfection – light and crisp but hearty enough to hold its own against the meat and cream. I will say, though – the mushrooms and cream are very salty. If that turns you off (and it does for me, a bit) this might not be the best choice for you – or at least share the large portion with someone else, as the salty cream is very rich. Otherwise, though, this is excellent and a good value for the portion size.
- Bûche de Noël au Chocolat “Christmas Log”: Chocolate Cake with Dark Chocolate Caramel Ganache (Kid Friendly) ($4.75)
Without question the prettiest dessert I’ve had so far at the Festival. Layers of rolled chocolate cake filled with dark chocolate and caramel, iced, and topped with crisp meringue, pretty decorative balls, and a sliver of white chocolate. I wanted the caramel to be more potent to hold its own against how rich this thing otherwise is, but it’s otherwise a wonderful sweet option.
- Spiced Rum Punch Slush: Spiced Rum, Rhum Clement V.S.O.P., Orange and Pineapple Juice with Cinnamon ($10.75)
I’ll say it here: This is the drink of the season at the Festival of the Holidays this year. It’s sweet and spicy and brain freeze inducing in the best possible way. For the price tag, it’s at least as much highway robbery as any alcoholic beverage at the Festival of the Holidays – but at least you get a full-sized, delicious drink for your money. If you’re going to get yourself one drink while you’re sampling the Festival goods, you might just want it to be this one.
And while you’re over at the France pavilion during this season, absolutely don’t miss the stories of Père Noël. He’s wonderful.
I’ll be back for another Spiced Rum Punch Slush another day, but for now? Le Marché de Noël? Check!