As we continue to tap into the early days of Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival, we take a turn to the other end of World Showcase – where we’ll find the infamous Brazil booth.
You’ll find the Brazil booth just over the bridge from International Gateway, near the France and Morocco pavilions. This year, they are offering three food items, all savory, and a number of alcoholic drink options.
Excuse the post-rainstorm soaked table…
- Moqueca: Brazilian seafood stew featuring scallops, shrimp and white fish with coconut-lime sauce and steamed rice ($5.25)
This is new and replaced last year’s layered meat pie, which I won’t much miss. This, on the other hand, is wonderful. My googling suggests that moqueca, a Brazilian fish stew, is usually in a tomato-based sauce. This is a little different. The sauce is light and creamy and flavored with coconut milk and lime. The white fish is mild and the shrimp and scallops are cooked perfectly. And the rice is a good vehicle for getting the rest of that yum sauce into your mouth after the fish is gone. Really just a mild and lovely little dish that I’m sure I’ll have more than once during the festival.
- Crispy Pork Belly with black beans, tomato, and onions (gluten free) ($5.75)
Like last year, I want to like this more than I do. The black beans are good enough and the fresh tomato and onion give a nice little pop. And it’s likely more my personal taste than anything – but, like last year, the pork belly itself is just not a pretty piece of meat. It’s cooked well and has good flavor to it, but it’s a little too fatty and textured for my palate. All in all, it’s just a waste of calories when you can have this instead…
- Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread (vegetarian, gluten free, kid-approved) ($4.25)
So I’m just going to cut to the chase here and say that Brazilian cheese bread is basically synonymous with Food & Wine in my mind. Like, it’s the thing that I look forward to most and absolutely without question the thing that I grab to eat the most often when I’m in Epcot at this time of year. And it doesn’t hurt that my picky kids love it too. It’s soft and warm and doughy and chewy. And not messy at all, as the cheese is the sort that holds its form when it gets warm and melty. Also, added perk, it’s even gluten free, as the dough is made of tapioca flour – which also accounts for its chewy texture. In short, it’s the stuff that dreams are made of and if you’re ever in town with me at F&W the BCB is on me.
- Frozen Caipirinha featuring LeBlon Cachaça ($10)
Full disclosure – I didn’t have the caipirinha at this “sitting” because it was like 11 a.m. and I’d already had a mai tai. That said, this was my go to drink at Food & Wine last year (which is when the above picture is from) so I feel pretty confident recommending it this time around. If you haven’t had a caipirinha before, think of it as a frozen margarita without the bite of tequila. It’s citrusy and sweet (but not overly at all) and incredibly refreshing in the Florida heat. And at $10, it’s also $1 less than it was last year – so it will be interesting to see how the serving size measures up this year.
In short, go eat some fish stew and cheese bread and have a drink.
Speaking of which… Brazil: Check.