While Matt and I were reviewing the menus for this years Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, his ears perked up when I said the words “Venison Sausage.” As fans of game meats, we were happy to see an “exotic” feature on the menu at Epcot. We both liked the Lamb Meatball last year, but it wasn’t a must-try for this festival. We were definitely looking forward to the new options.
The Venison Sausage is served with Pickled Mushrooms, Baby Arugula and a Black Currant Reduction.
The pickled mushrooms didn’t come off as tasting pickled to me, and had the texture of mushrooms packed in water. I found nothing particularly exciting about them, but there was nothing wrong with them. Matt, on the other hand, wouldn’t touch them.
The sausage itself is worth going back for. It was a good sized link for the price, and the meat wasn’t very gamey (I’m wondering if or what it was cut with). The currant reduction added a slight sweetness to the dish, but it complemented the flavors.
While the arugula added a much needed pop of color to the dish, a bit more of the reduction would have done them some good. Otherwise, they didn’t really add to the dish. But I will say that I did like the reduction on them.
I was surprised by not just the size (both meat and portion) of the mussels I received when I ordered the Steamed Green Lip Mussels, but their gorgeous color as well. I’d never had them before, so imagine my surprise when I received such a brilliant turquoise color on my dish! The mussels are served with Garlic Butter and Toasted Bread Crumbs.
The mussels were cleaned well and I didn’t get any grit in them. The garlic butter was a nice complement as were the bread crumbs, which added a nice crunch. Matt even gave them a try, which isn’t something he’s ever too quick to do with mussels. I just had to make sure he had plenty of bread crumbs and garlic butter.
Here’s a look at last year’s Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney. It’s pretty good, but quite pricey when compared to the venison and mussel dishes. Since I’ve yet to order it this year, I can’t comment on whether it’s improved or not. If venison or mussels are off-putting to you, then by all means, order it! I just think you’ll get more value out of your dollar if you order otherwise.
In all, another impressive show by an Epcot kiosk. It’s definitely one I’ll be revisiting, and while I wouldn’t mind giving the meatball a try this year, I’ll likely take my own advice and put my dollars into the Venison Sausage or Steamed Green Lip Mussels. What will you be ordering from New Zealand?