Epcot’s 2018 Food and Wine Festival
Epcot’s 2018 International Food & Wine Festival is underway now through November 12, 2018. This annual event is a great way to enjoy food and drinks from all over the world. The portions are perfect for trying multiple dishes in a day, and you’ll leave feeling satisfied and well-traveled. What’s more, each marketplace has the perfect pairing from their menu if you’re feeling overwhelmed with the multitude of options. After some difficult hands-on research, I found these items to be well worth the trip to Epcot.
Charcuterie Plate: Chefs Selection of Artisanal Meats and Accompaniments (Spain)
This is one of my all-time favorites and I get it every year. It is the perfect pairing of bite-sized cured meats, cheeses and olives drizzled in an olive oil ‘dressing,’ served in a handheld parchment cone sturdy enough to not collapse or get soggy from the dressing. Just be careful that the oil doesn’t drip through the bottom of the cone onto your clothes.
Guinness Baileys Shake (Ireland)
I had to go back and get a second one of these shakes—yes, they’re that good. I need to find out the ratio of everything in this drink, as it’s perfectly mixed without one ingredient overpowering any other, so I can start making them at home. Plus it’s served in a cute little glass you can take home as a souvenir!
Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon With Truffle-Butter Sauce (Canada)
The line is normally pretty long with people wanting to try this dish—and with good reason. Great for fall weather, this dish is any meat lover’s dream. You’re given a healthy size of flawlessly cooked filet mignon, but it’s the mushrooms and sauce that really sends this dish over the edge. Make sure to get a spoon so you can scoop up every ounce.
Butternut Squash Ravioli With Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Parmesan Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds (Wine & Dine Studio)
You might want to go ahead and order two of these butternut squash ravioli. Although each order is served with three large ravioli, you’ll want enough to make this a meal. The filling is expertly paired with the sauce and everything comes together in a wonderful explosion of flavor in your mouth. Plus the setup for the Wine & Dine Studio will make you feel like you’re at a winery.
Lump Crab Cake With Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado-Lemongrass Cream (Coastal Eats)
Epcot is in Florida after all, so seafood is a must. This lump crab cake is generously sized and topped with a delicious creamy sauce. This dish will leave you feeling refreshed and satisfied, plus the aromas coming from Coastal Eats will be hard to pass by.
The IMPOSSIBLE�?� Burger Slider With Wasabi Cream and Spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun (Earth Eats)
This burger is completely meatless, but you wouldn’t know that unless someone told you. Personally, I’m not really a fan of veggie burgers, but I preferred this burger over the meat burger also offered at Earth Eats (the Steakhouse Blended Burger) which is also a great choice. This is a new item for the International Food and Wine Festival, but with such rave reviews, I am hoping it will stick around for years to come.
Croissant aux Escargots: Escargot Croissant With Garlic and Parsley (France)
If you have never tried escargot, this is a great dish to introduce yourself. You’ll mainly taste the croissant and baked garlic topping, but you’ll also get a few bites of escargot. Since the escargot is baked within the croissant, you don’t have to worry about the meat tasting slimy.
Frozen Margarita With Limoncello and Tequila (Italy)
A frozen margarita with limoncello? Yes, please! This is a perfect drink for those hot Florida days. The consistency is that of a frozen margarita, but the taste is a little more tart—not too sweet nor too overpowering.
New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster With Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled Roll (Hops & Barley)
Yum—where do I even start? The serving is a generous half of a perfectly buttered and toasted New England bun, with the lobster piled high in the middle—they’re definitely not stingy with the meat here. The lobster itself had great flavor without too much mayonnaise and the richness of the buttery roll and lobster salad made this a great dish to share.
Crème Brûlée à la Confiture de Framboises: Crème Brûlée With House-made Raspberry Jam (France)
This creamy dessert has a fun top layer you’ll need to break through, made by taking a torch to caramelize the sugar on top. The jam is at the bottom of the custard and adds some bright flavor to this rich dessert.
Charred Chimichurri Skirt Steak on a Smoked Corn Cake With Pickled Vegetable Slaw and Cilantro Aïoli (Flavors From Fire)
Each element of this food tower is delicious. The corn cake on the bottom was more flavorful than I was expecting and when paired with the marinated skirt steak and sauce, it was even tastier. Just standing by the Flavors from Fire Marketplace will start to make your mouth water.
Mango Lassi (India)
The whole point of this festival is to introduce your palette to international foods you may not have tried before or to savor those well-loved food items from your travels that may be hard to find stateside. This mango lassi was a delicious treat that was also a new experience for me. It was like a fruity milkshake—very refreshing without being too sugary.
Loaded Greek �??Nachos�??: Pita Chips, Meatless Sausage Crumbles and Vegan Tzatziki (Greece)
One of the things I love most about Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival are all the items available for those with dietary restrictions. Not only do they offer these options, but they do such a great job of preparing them that they’re even appealing to those without dietary restrictions. The loaded Greek “nachos” is one of those dishes. Pita chips are piled high with meatless sausage crumbles and drizzled with vegan tzatziki, making it a great snack with lots of flavors and the perfect shareable item.
The Steakhouse Blended Burger: Blended Beef and Wild Mushroom Slider With Brie Cheese Fondue, Arugula, Truffle and Blue Cheese Potato Chip on a Brioche Bun (Earth Eats)
The chefs at Earth Eats said there is a constant battle between this burger and The IMPOSSIBLE Burger mentioned earlier. This burger definitely gave The IMPOSSIBLE Burger a run for its money. With so many elements to this burger you may not taste each one, but I particularly liked the blue cheese potato chip on top.
Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup Served With a Pretzel Roll (Canada)
It was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit when I visited Epcot, and I couldn’t understand why so many people were walking around with soup. Then I tried this cheddar cheese soup and understood why, even on a hot day, this was a best seller. The soup itself is cheesy goodness and the pretzel is great for dunking. The pretzel is baked well, although some may think it a little chewy, and it’s a great vessel for scraping up every last bit of the soup.
Hummus Fries With Cucumber, Tomato, Onions and Tzatziki Sauce (Morocco)
These hummus fries are a tasty surprise. The ‘fries’ are more like steak fries than actual fries—crispy on the outside and have a mashed potato-like consistency on the inside—and paired perfectly with the slaw on top. The cucumber, tomato, onions, and tzatziki sauce was like a Moroccan Pico de Gallo. Overall, these were a great snack.
Beer Flight�??North Coast Brewing Co. Blue Star Wheat, 3 Daughters Brewing A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale and Heavy Seas AmeriCannon APA (Hops & Barley)
I love the idea of beer flights and this was a generous serving of each brew. Only I wish the Hops & Barley Marketplace offered the 3 Daughters Brewing A Wake Coffee Blonde Ale by the pint—it’s that good. My husband really enjoyed the Heavy Seas AmeriCannon APA and we both liked the North Coast Brewing Co. Blue Star Wheat.
Beer-Braised Beef Served With Smoked Gouda Mashed Potatoes (Belgium)
This is a quintessential fall dish and I’m hoping to re-create this at home soon. Full of flavor, the beer-braised beef has more of a stew-like consistency over creamy mashed potatoes. The meat is so tender you don’t even need a knife.
Teriyaki Chicken Bun: Steamed Bun Filled With Chicken, Vegetables and a Sweet Teriyaki Sauce (Japan)
Why can’t everything be served in a portable steamed bun? The teriyaki chicken filling is very tasty with the perfect ratio of sauce to meat to vegetables. If you get two of these, they would make a great lunch-sized portion.
Kung Fu Punch (China)
If beer or wine isn’t your style, then be sure to try one of these! Made with vodka and triple sec, this is a great mixed drink that is not too overpowering. Just be sure to stir it as it tastes like the vodka is added as a floater on top.
Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread (Brazil)
Even on a hot day, these cheese bread munchkins are a good comfort food and you don’t even need a dipping sauce! The bread is almost as buttery as a pastry. The cheese doesn’t fill the inside, but it doesn’t need to. This also helps to keep the dish feeling lighter, making it a really good snack overall.
Teriyaki-glazed SPAM® Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions and Spicy Mayonnaise (Hawaii)
I didn’t think I would be going to an International Food and Wine Festival to eat something made out of SPAM, but you shouldn’t pass this dish because of any preconceived thoughts you may have on the meat. Served with potatoes, peppers and onions, this dish will take you by surprise and will leave you very content.
Frozen Wine Cocktail Featuring Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
This frozen wine cocktail has a slushy-like consistency with the flavors being well balanced and not too sweet. Just be careful not to get a brain freeze!
Berbere-Style Beef Tenderloin Tips with Onions, Jalapeños, Tomato and Pap (Africa)
This dish seems to have become a staple for the African Marketplace at the International Food and Wine Festival. It is like a very flavorful beef roast served on top of what seems like grits. This is a great dish to help you step out of your comfort zone and try flavors you may not be used to.
Warm Chocolate Pudding With Irish Cream Liqueur Custard (Ireland)
With so many comfort dishes mentioned previously, it only makes sense to end on a warm comforting dessert. The warm chocolate pudding has a liquid chocolate surprise on the inside and the custard on top is like a warm Baileys custard.
Source: Read Full Article