We continue from Citrus Blossom.
Yukon takes up position to the right of the path down to Le Cellier, the garden, and the theater for the “Canada Far and Wide” show. Make sure to stop and wave hello to Canada Cart for me on your way over.
This year, we have a slightly different take on the usual Scallops, a brand-new beef dish, a similar cake, a different cookie, a new beer, some vague wines, and a Frozen Coffee available with or without the Tap 357 Whisky
Seared Scallops with Parsnip Silk, Apple Chutney, and Hazelnut Croquant – $6
I’ve reviewed Festival Scallops about 97 different times over the last ~35 Festivals. I won’t take you through the history, but Disney typically does a nice job with them because they’re seared fresh in the booth and served piping hot, unlike a lot of other dishes that are prepared in bulk elsewhere and wheeled over to sit until someone orders them. This year is no different with two soft, plump, buttery scallops with just a little bit of crispiness around the edges from the sear on top of the creamy, very buttery parsnip silk. Like the whipped celery root that we’ve seen here in the past, the Parsnip Silk is quite a bit more similar to mashed potatoes than you might expect. Unfortunately, the Apple Chutney was a little heavy-handed on our dish – the flavor from the scallops is naturally delicate, and there was just too much sugar and spice going on with the topping. It’s possible that more of the Chutney was meant to blend with the Parsnip Silk, but that wasn’t the case in our experience. The Hazelnut Croquant, which is basically the nuts mixed with more sugar and butter, didn’t seem to play a major role. But the Scallops are the main ingredient and with some of the Chutney pushed to the side, the dish still worked well. You may also prefer the sweeter flavor profile, but it’s a departure from the dishes they’ve served before. And we’re obviously still upset about Horizons, so I doubt we’ll get over the loss of celery root scallops any time soon should Disney continue down a more sugary path. I would certainly try them again.
Beef Bourguignon with Crushed Potatoes – $5.75
This replaced a very good salmon dish, which I was disappointed to see wouldn’t be returning. This would be a great choice on cooler evenings as we’re basically in fancy beef stew, blankets, and log cabin territory. The sauce is very red-wine-forward, even more so than when France serves a similar dish at other Festivals, so you’ll want to be aware of that.
But the bowl is packed with vegetables that retained their flavor and texture well, hearty potatoes, and tender beef. The portion is probably larger than it looks in the bowl. Everything about it is as comforting as you would expect. I typically prefer dishes that are a little more out there, but Disney has executed this one nicely. I’d just wait for a breeze to pass through before grabbing one.
Maple Bûche de Noël: Maple Mousse rolled in Gingerbread Chiffon Cake – $4.50
The Cake has apparently changed on me since this picture was taken. The previous version was excellent and I would expect no less from this year’s iteration. The price point doesn’t break the bank either.
It certainly looks both precious and similar to our own picture. If anything, it’s almost topped with sugary art. I’ll give this one a whirl the next time I’m at Epcot and probably forget to update the review. I’d be willing to bet that it’s very good.
Taste: ? but probably 9/10
Value: ? but probably 9/10
Peppermint Pinwheel Cookie – $2.50
With a thumb for scale. While the cookie looks like it would bring an overwhelming peppermint flavor, it’s actually nice and subtle for the season. Combined with a soft bite and some sugary sprinkles, it’s one of the better options on the Cookie Stroll. Still, unless you’re collecting stickers and cookies, I’d put the money towards a different dessert. For $2 more, you could get that cake, and it’s going to be a lot more food that tastes a lot better.
81Bay Brewing Co. Maple Cinnamon Coffee Beer – $4.50 or $8.50
That’s a very long picture of a very short beer. The flavor is about as bold as the beer is dark, with a spicy, cinnamon presence up front, followed by some bitterness on the back end that’s tempered by the sugar from the maple. Anyone who enjoys a nice stout or porter will enjoy this. I didn’t know 81Bay Brewing had it in them. But I’m honestly just glad someone found a beer company that isn’t Playalinda.
For the Snobs? Absolutely.
Regional Ice Wine
Apparently, Disney doesn’t want to offer free advertisement to Inniskillin, which they’re still serving in very small portions for $14. A 375ml (half the size of a standard bottle) of the stuff will set you back $50+ at the store and it’s among the sweetest liquids you’ll probably ever taste. So Canada only serves about an ounce for the money. It’s a potentially nice opportunity to try the intense, apple-cider-like wine that will coat your mouth for some time to come, but it’s awfully expensive for an ounce served outside in Florida and may be a little harder to adequately savor than you’d like. On the plus side, this is the right time of year for it, unlike September, when Disney typically offers it during (A Taste of) Food and Wine. If you’ve never tried ice wine, you’ll be surprised by how sweet and viscous it is.
Regional Red Wine – $8
It tasted like regional red wine, almost certainly at a price point higher than anyone ought to pay.
Frozen Coffee with Tap 357 Whisky – $11 or Non-Alcoholic for $4.50
This is a nice frozen coffee with some hints of maple from a reasonably heavy pour of the Tap 357. There aren’t as many spiked coffee drinks this year, making this a worthy selection if you’re looking to both cool down and warm up. The non-alcoholic version is cold and refreshing, but your money will take you farther at the Joffrey’s stand up ahead. I would say the same thing about the boozy selection, but the Tap 357 Maple Whiskey is unique enough to try. It’s been a few years, so I wonder when they’ll make it to Tap 358.
Yukon is a strong booth again this year. I’m a little annoyed that the reviews have been so positive so far, but it was a good year. Of course, Italy always looms on the horizon.