The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is running now through Feb. 21 at Walt Disney World. The event highlights the visual arts, performing arts, and of course the culinary arts.
I’d like to think that the culinears who devised the menu of dishes that would be featured this year were considering the literary arts, too. Perhaps they were thinking of Henry David Thoreau’s “Walden,” in which he wrote he wanted to “suck out all the marrow of life” and that that’s why at the Gourmet Landscapes kiosk you’ll find roasted bone marrow.
Whatever the reason for its inclusion, a canoe-cut bone marrow offering is a gutsy move for a festival situation like this, and a delicious one at that. The marrow was topped with a dollop of onion marmalade and included pickled mushrooms, and leaves of mache lettuce. A few crusty crostinis were included to scoop the buttery marrow on to. The plastic utensils were a bit flimsy for scraping out all of the good stuff, but sucking it didn’t seem appropriate either. Thoreau would have been disappointed in me.
Another marketplace was dedicated to serving deconstructed dishes, a fad I had thought (had hoped) we’d moved past a decade ago. But then maybe they were thinking of restoration arts. Here I had the Deconstructed BLT, which had pork belly for the B, frothy watercress espuma for the L, and tomato jam for the T. It also included a perfectly poached egg (BELT?) and herby brioche. All quite tasty but I think works of art should be fully composed.
If those dishes are too obtuse for you, you may want the arancini at L’Arte di Mangiare or pan-seared scallops at the Artist’s Table. Or for a vegetarian option, the Carrots Three Ways at Flavors of the Medina. Then again, if you’re put off by the thought of sucking all the marrow out of life you probably don’t want to think of your vegetables in a three way.
Attending the festival, of course, requires entrance to Epcot and dishes and beverages are individually priced. Speaking of beverages, try the frozen rusty nail served from the same kiosk as the bone marrow and served with a nail for a stirrer (plastic and rust free).
I attended the festival as part of a media event. Attendees were offered admission to the park and a gift card to purchase food and drink items.