Is this a good representation of international cuisine, or is it “Americanized?”
In the previous article, we took a brief look into the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival. Now, let’s consider whether or not this event is actually a good representation of international cuisine and global culture.
Based on information from the 2016 event, 21 different countries and cultures were represented, along with eight tables serving items like craft beer, desserts, and champagnes. Each country served two or more dishes, and each table featured paired wines and/or beers with their menu items.
Here a few statistics from the 2016 event (from this site):
- More than 300 national and international wines served
- More than 76 kinds of international foods
- 300,000 wine servings
- 360,000 servings of beer
- 100,000 desserts
For the most part, the foods featured in the global marketplaces seem to be fair representations of traditional foods from the featured countries. However, there are a few menu items that seem to be geared toward U.S. tastes. For example, Greece features “Loaded Greek ‘Nachos’” which is made with pita chips, meatless sausage crumbles, and a vegan tzatziki sauce (also, this seems to be one of the few vegetarian menu items in the entire festival).
The festival also presents more formal dining experiences with their food & beverage pairings. These include a five-course meal of foods made from regional Italian ingredients, a six-course hibachi-style meal with Teppan Edo chefs, and authentic Moroccan dishes paired with wines, to name a few of these dining experiences.
So, is this a good representation of international culture and cuisine? For the most part, I’d have to say yes. A few dishes seem to be twisted to please the U.S. palate, but all in all, the dishes and experiences guests have access to when attending the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival seem to be authentic.