I was excited to see this year the expanded menu at the Brazil kiosk for the Food & Wine Festival. Returning was the Crispy Pork Belly, which Matt and I both enjoyed last year.
New items include the Moqueca de Pescado, Pao de Queijo, and Cocada.
Matt was looking forward to ordering the Crispy Pork Belly again, and I think the dish was prepared much better this year. While the elements were essentially the same, featuring Black Beans, Tomato and Cilantro, the pork belly’s execution seemed better. Avocado was also in the mix with the tomatoes last year, but they didn’t make the cut this year.
I know Matt didn’t miss the avocado since it’s not exactly one of his favorite things, and if I was ordering the Crispy Pork Belly for the first time, I wouldn’t either. However, I do think it was a nice additional element. I also thought the beans were cooked a bit better this year, but as we all know, different batches yield different results across the board.
The pork belly’s fat was rendered nicely, and there was a nice smokiness to the dish. There was a light crispiness to the exterior that gave way to the tender pork. We both enjoyed this dish.
Because I love bread and cheese, I was excited for the Pao de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread. While the recipe for this dish isn’t in the cookbook, there are scores of them a Google search away!
Two bread puffs, each a a little bit larger than a golf ball, come with the order.
These puffs are light with big air pockets, and the cheese, while incorporated into the dough, remains a prominent flavor and keeps the interior moist and chewy. I know I have a couple recipes on deck to make Pao de Queijo at home!
My aunt ordered the Moqueca de Pescado, which features Regal Springs Premium Tilapia with Coconut Lime Sauce and Steamed Rice. I got to try a bite, and the edges of the fish were a bit overcooked, the the rest was flaky, mild and tender. While my aunt doesn’t like coconut, she didn’t really taste any in the sauce. I think that may be due to the other flavors happening that helped balance everything out. I thought the dish was good, but for me personally, it’s not one I’d be inclined to order again.
Matt and I also sampled the Xingu Black Beer. Despite its dark color, it’s relatively light and a bit sweet. It’s nothing I’m going to be running out to buy to have at home, but it was worth the try, especially since we haven’t been partaking in too many of the drinks offered at the festival.
My friend ordered a glass of the Carnaval Moscato Sparkling White Wine. No complaints. 🙂
In all, I think the Brazil kiosk was a successful one this year. I liked the additional offerings, and I do want to return to sample the Cocada. There’s also a good chance we’ll be seeing the Crispy Pork Belly and the Pao de Queijo again as well before the Festival ends and I find myself spending more time in the kitchen. 😉
I made my way back for the Cocada! This coconut dessert is an interesting one, but very simple. The exterior is hard, making it a bit difficult to cut into with just a fork, and you’ll definitely need some sort of surface if you don’t just pick it up and bit into it (though be careful in doing so, as you don’t want to crack a tooth!).
Once you get past the exterior, the interior is soft – similar to that of a Mounds or Almond Joy – though the coconut shavings are bigger. It is VERY sweet, and eating it solo on my visit was a bit of a battle. It was a bit on the cloying side for me, but I love coconut so much I still ate the entire thing! Of course, I needed a full bottle of water after that. 🙂
We’ll keep you posted on updated reviews from Brazil as the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues. What have you tried from the kiosk, and what did you think? What are you looking forward to trying?