Bauernmarkt: Farmer’s Market – 2013 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Bauernmarkt Boot at the 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (located next to Germany)

Bauernmarkt Boot at the 2013 Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (located next to Germany)

The Bauernmarkt Farmer’s Market area is located at the Germany Pavilion… We were fortunate to try all of the offerings on a cool and slightly rainy day. The food at this booth seemed to be heavy to us when we perused the menu and the thought of eating these items on a really hot, muggy Florida day was not enticing.

There wasn’t a lot of theming involved in this booth area… unless you count the farmer’s wagon and the vegetables planted between the seating area and the general Epcot walkway. Notice the nice seating area, wish that more booths were able to offer seating during the Flower and Garden Festival and during the Food and Wine Festival.

Plantings in front of the seating area

Plantings in front of the seating area (there was cauliflower, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage)

Each food booth has a “poster” educating you about some aspect of some food being served… The booth in Germany is about “the potato”… ┬áthere’s no mention of the potato famine that drove so many Irish to the east coast of the United States.

"The Potato"

“The Potato”

In addition to the vegetables and plants shown earlier, the featured plantings were Mustard, Potato, and Elderberry.

The featured plantings

The featured plantings …

Bauernmarkt Booth at 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - 04

an elderberry bush… sans elderberries

Elderberry Bush (a featured planting)

an apple tree… without apples (not a featured planting, but interesting nonetheless)

Bauernmarkt Booth at 2013 Epcot Flower and Garden Festival - 06

Mustard (the same species of plants can be used for mustard greens and for mustard seeds)

Potato (a featured planting)

Potato Vine… can you see the green lumps immediately behind the sign? that’s the potatoes

Now, on to the food! We had expected to like the food here…

Bauernmarkt Booth's Menu

Bauernmarkt Booth’s Menu

We like bread pudding and thought that a savory presentation would be interesting, nora really likes mushrooms and peas… so the first item seemed like it would be a hit. We like meatloaf (especially nora’s meatloaf with cheese, oh yummy!)… so the second item also seemed promising. We’ve had potato pancakes (actually latkes) in the spring time back when we lived in the midwest and they were great (OMG with applesauce and sour cream). The only item we were going out on a limb to try was the Hugo (basically a champagne cocktail, which we’ve had and which we’ve enjoyed… it’s the only way that nick likes champagne).

Humrumph… We wouldn’t order any of these items if they were on an a la carte menu at a restaurant (we aren’t talking about buffets).

Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout

Savory Bread Pudding with Spring Peas and Wild Mushroom Ragout

First, the story of getting this savory bread pudding. After we ordered, I (nora) went ahead to get us a table where we could sit down and where nick had good light for taking photos while nick waited for the food. While he was waiting for the food, a Cast Member took out the PRECUT savory bread pudding and said they were too big, she told the Chef to cut them in half. He responded that then they’d be too small, she said do it anyway. Thus a small portion of bread pudding. Sigh.

That was such bad show Disney, who in the World is overseeing training of Food & Beverage people? (okay, that’s a completely different rant that we’ll share sometime later)

Close-up of savory bread pudding with mushrooms

Close-up of savory bread pudding with mushrooms

I thought that the mushrooms were nice and meaty, the gravy was needed for the bread pudding (because it was dense and dry) but was rather bland, and the poor peas were definitely frozen peas (yuck). Nick thought that the mushrooms were crunchy, like carrots… he even chewed them loudly hoping I would hear them crunching in his mouth (didn’t work). We didn’t eat all of this dish and if it was offered on a menu, we’d decline.

German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots

German Meatloaf Sandwich with Sweet Mustard and Fried Shallots

The meatloaf sandwich was met with more enthusiasm. At first I was rather dubious, a lot of things conspired to make this difficult to eat and even more difficult to share: the roll was a hard roll (not soft, difficult to cut), the fried shallots (onions folks, onions) wanted to just fall off because there wasn’t any glue holding them in place, and the meatloaf was pretty thick and dense. This sandwich is served cold.

Close-up of german meatloaf sandwich

Close-up of german meatloaf sandwich

The meatloaf looks more like ham loaf. I thought it tasted a lot like bologna (good bologna but still bologna) and nick thought it tasted like spam. Nick was right, this was a pressed loaf of spiced ham. Understand, we like spam and treet and all of that stuff you get raised on in the South (vienna sausages, potted meat, and other things that you don’t want to know the salt content or the fat content or what goes into making them).

We liked this. The pressed meat (while it wasn’t American meatloaf) had a good flavor and consistent texture, AND it wasn’t overly salty. The roll held up nicely. The fried shallots, well, I just picked them off my portion and dipped them in the mustard. The real standout of this dish was the sweet brown mustard. Nick thought it was so sweet and syrupy that he could easily put it on a pancake! Question: Do Germans usually have sweet mustard as a condiment?

If this dish was on the buffet at Oktoberfest inside the Germany pavilion, we’d get it again. Don’t think we’d order it off of an a la carte menu, but it was pretty tasty.

Hugo - Charles de Fere "Organic" Brut with Elderflower and Mint

Hugo – Charles de Fere “Organic” Brut with Elderflower and Mint

The alcoholic beverage was Hugo (we’d already tried the beer flight, it was nothing special and we didn’t see any reason to get it again), it was very similar to a champagne cocktail. They poured the sparkling wine into the glass, added a pump of Monin Elderberry syrup, and floated a mint leaf in it. It got worse the more you drank, because all that syrup was in the stem of the glass (nick removed the mint leaf before we started drinking it). This wasn’t good, those who know us will appreciate this… we didn’t drink all of it, about 1/2 went into the trash can… enough said.

Potato Pancake with House-Made Applesauce

Potato Pancake with House-Made Applesauce

When we first arrived at Bauernmarkt, the chef was making the potato pancakes on the griddle. By the time we’d finished with the bread pudding and the meatloaf, he’d gone and the potato pancakes looked like they’d been taken off the griddle too soon and placed under a heat lamp. Nick was concerned that these wouldn’t be cooked properly, as it turned out it was rather dry.

original presentation of the potato pancake

original presentation of the potato pancake

In a strange twist, I didn’t like the texture of this at all, and the flavor didn’t really do anything to endear me to it… there was some herb or seasoning that just wouldn’t give up. I couldn’t taste the potato and the back of the tongue flavor was ONION… maybe the green flecks are garlic chives (but I’d think that I like garlic chives). Nick couldn’t detect any onion flavor or any potato flavors.

Close-up of the potato pancake

Close-up of the potato pancake

Exact quote from nick, “the applesauce covers up the nasty”… This potato pancake was suited to be carrier for the applesauce. Nick thought that they tasted fine together, but the pancake wasn’t good on it’s own. I thought that the potato pancake was so icky that it was sad to put the applesauce on it.

Okay, so what did we think of the applesauce? It was very, very good. If that were presented alongside some nice warm, flaky biscuits or buttery sourdough toast… OMG that would be lovely.

Summary

There wasn’t anything at this booth that we’d go out of our way to eat again. If we were at the buffet in Germany and saw the spiced ham loaf, the sweet mustard, and the applesauce… they’d definitely go on our plates.

The tables off the main walkway were much appreciated!

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