The Africa Marketplace returns Lagoon-side on the walkway in between the Refreshment Outpost/China and the Germany Pavilion.
Both food items return this year, in addition to the Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz. I would also offer the advice, should you find yourself running a brewery, winery, etc., that you might try to tie in some of the names of your offerings to Disney-related products. Granted, Groot Constantia dates back to 1645 and may have nothing to do with the character from Guardians of the Galaxy, but still. Imagine how many more cases Banshee Wines is moving now that Satu’li Canteen over at Animal Kingdom serves their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Berbere-style Beef Tenderloin Tips with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato and Pap – $5.50
The heat from the peppers has been toned down from a couple of years ago, which makes it easier to enjoy the flavor of the beef without the blinding spice of the pepper. The creamy pap underneath also helps cut some of the fire, in addition to being a sponge for all of the juice from the meat. The beef isn’t the highest quality, but the portion is larger than some of the other steak dishes so there’s some give and take here. Overall, the flavor profile is mostly a generic jalapeno spiciness.
Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Vegan Yogurt and Quinoa – $4.50
This was a winner and another of the very good vegetarian dishes that anybody visiting for the Festival should consider. The yogurt adds a cool creaminess to the berbere spice, which is backed up with garlic, cilantro, and onions and there’s a lot to chew with the amount of lentils and quinoa involved. It’s a really flavorful stew that will only taste better as the temperature decreases heading into October and November.
Unfortunately, the Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket with Mint Raita does not make a return this year. I thought it was a really strong offering, but perhaps it was too similar to the Spanikopita offered in Greece to coexist.
Cederberg Chenin Blanc — $6
In case you were wondering, Cederberg is South Africa’s highest vineyard at more than 3,200 feet above sea level. Their chenin blanc is creamier than most with the typical fruity flavors of grapefruit, pear, and melon with a crisp, acidic finish. It pairs nicely with the spicier dishes in the area, but probably isn’t necessarily worth seeking out individually.
Jam Jar Sweet Shiraz, Western Cape – $5
“jam jar sweet shiraz” is…as you might be able to guess…on the sweet side with dark berry flavors giving way to some chocolate on the back end. It’s more refreshing than your typical wine and would probably make a better sangria than it would a glass to go with your filet mignon. In this environment, I think it works though and it’s a good choice if you’re in the mood for something red but don’t like the lingering acidity of your typical cabernet or pinot noir. Very fruity and light.
Groot Constantia Pinotage — $7
This is one of the better wines available at the Festival with a deep purple color with dark cherry and ripe plum notes followed by vanilla and cedar. It looks like wine and would pair nicely with either dish offered here.
You might also consider the Wine Flight.
With just two food choices and a small handful of wines on the menu, Africa “feels” like its offerings are a little more abridged than most Marketplaces, but it’s still worth a stop. Let the spicy smell of peppers guide you towards what should be a short line.
The Brewer’s Collection is up next with a review here.