We recently spent a week vacationing with friends at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Happily, our trip occurred during the Food and Wine Festival at EPCOT. In addition to the permanent locations they have at EPCOT, they added food stands for new locations like Brazil and Hawaii for the festival. I think our favorite detail was the passports they gave out which listed all the available food, and places to track what countries you experienced with stickers. I think our food passport now has more stamps than our real passports, haha. We hope you enjoy this culinary tour of the EPCOT Food and Festival.
China: Mango Bubble Tea and Chicken Dumplings
We enjoyed the savory pot-stickers served over sweet and sticky sauce and vinegary slaw. The filling was moist and tasted of ginger and garlic. The bubble tea was creamy and sweet. The Assam black tea was earthy and bitter but was infused with mango notes and finished with sweet chewy tapioca boba. We would definitely eat this again.
Spain: Spanish-style Paella
The Spanish-style paella with botifarra and roasted chicken was an aesthetic delight that sadly left my tastebuds wanting. Dry chicken and Spanish sausage topped greasy, dry rice. The dish was well-seasoned but ultimately disappointing.
Italy: Spaghetti and Meatballs
The spaghetti was entirely overpriced and yet was still the most affordable item on the menu. It’s easy to overlook price when your meal is memorable for all the right reasons, but the dry pasta and tiny meat morsels were all too forgettable. Truly unfortunate for a comfort food classic. Who knew it was so easy to mess up?
Japan: Frothy “Beer” Ramen
We were delighted to find that what looked like beer soaked noodles proved to be a cup of deceptively delicious chilled noodle soup. A savory bone broth served over toothsome noodles and crispy shallots topped with a fishy bonito foam and finished with a sweet, sticky sauce. Honestly, we only wish it was bigger.
Belgium: Golden Malted Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache
This was so good we forgot to take a picture of the crisp fluffy waffle topped with whipped cream and warm chocolate sauce. The bite-sized Belgian waffle was truly unforgettable.
Canadian Refreshment Port: Duck Confit Poutine
Opting for a less traditional take on Canada’s national dish, this plate of chips had my head spinning. The key components of french fried potatoes, cheese curds, and savory gravy were all represented, but reinvented. In place of cheese curds was a luscious fondue sauce. Standing in for gravy was a sweet fig demi that was something I never knew I wanted. Lastly finished with shredded succulent duck meat. Overall, this was an improvement on classic comfort fare.
Hawaii: Maui Brewing Company Bikini Blonde Lager
The blonde lager was a refreshing digestive between courses. The cool citrus flavor had hoppy bitter notes. I wouldn’t buy a six pack, but I wouldn’t say no to a cold one in the summer.
Islands of the Caribbean: White Sangria
The Caribbean white sangria offered a burst of tropical flavors distilled into a blend of white wines. We tasted hints of mango, pineapple, and stone fruit with a tart finish. I only wish it came in a bigger cup!
France: Croque Glacé
This is an ice cream sandwich that ruins all other ice cream sandwiches. warm flaky buttery brioche is filled with salted caramel frozen custard. It’s one of the only desserts that we’ve seen that requires its own equipment. The bun is pressed and toasted in a sleek machination developed by a mad man, sealed almost like a letter from heaven. We can’t express how amazing this sandwich was: easily worth a return visit if we hadn’t been so full.
Australia: Deconstructed Pavlova
We enjoyed the crisp meringue accompanied by mixed berries and lush pastry cream. Macerated berries were a bright companion to the airy meringue complimented by a hint of cardamom. It was a simple, unimposing dessert that didn’t outstay it’s welcome.
The Chocolate Experience
We drank the Ghiradelli Drinking Chocolate which was a warm respite from the surprisingly frigid Orlando air. The silky rich beverage was warm and filling. It was more akin to a melted chocolate bar than what you’d normally consider to be hot chocolate. Normally Ghiradelli chocolate is pretty sweet, but the beverage wasn’t overwhelmingly saccharin. In summary, it was a delightful experience.
EPCOT Food and Wine Festival: Emile’s Fromage Montage
There was also a special challenge to eat cheese dishes from 5 locations around the world and then present the stamps at the end to get a free slice of cheesecake. Some of the cheese dishes were amazing, while others left something to be desired. However, it definitely added a fun challenge to the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival.
The Alps: Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese
During my time living in the French Alps, I had the luxury of eating raclette with my host family, and let me tell you, Mickey has some lessons to learn when it comes to melted cheese. The globs of cheese congealed quickly over the baby potatoes, cornichons, and sliced baguette. It was a pale imitation to real Swiss fare.
Germany Marketplace: Schinkennudeln
Cheesy spätzle, ham, and onions were baked together into a delectable hunk of comfort. The doughy texture of the dumplings served as the perfect vehicle for smoked ham and sweet caramelized onions. The contemporary polka band only served to enrich the German experience.
Brazil: Pão de Queijo
This Brazilian cheesy bread is a perfect bite of warm melty cheese. There are only so many words one can use to describe cheesy bread. its beauty is in its simplicity. In summary, there are fewer edible pleasures than cheese and bread.
Future World West: Black Pepper Boursin Soufflé
The most surprising hit from our tour of the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival was the black pepper soufflé. The light and airy cake texture of the savory dish was complemented by a fig marmalade. The sweet and savory notes danced across my tastebuds and left me wanting more. The aroma was so enticing, we couldn’t even wait for the photo before taking a big bite…or two.
Earth Eats: Impossible Cottage Pie
Unfortunately, the Impossible Cottage Pie was IMPOSSIBLE to enjoy. The dish was a puree of cauliflower and white beans served over their impossible imitation meat, carrots, peas, and mushrooms. It was finished with mozzarella cheese. The first red flag was the pie’s unexciting shade of beige with a sad micro-green garnish. The pie’s surface was painfully dry, as if it had been baking in the sun all day waiting for an unsuspecting diner. I was in shock at how anemic the pie tasted, lacking seasoning. This was the most disgusting thing we ate all week.
Shimmering Sips: Fromage Montage Complimentary Cheesecake
Finally, the sweet reward for braving the gallimaufry of fromage was this “complimentary” cheesecake. The coconut custard filled a graham cracker shell and garnished with a pineapple compote and crispy chocolate candies. The citrusy finish of the compote cut through the rich creamy cheesecake. Ultimately, this was a satisfying conclusion to the odyssey of edible wonders.
A special thanks to our dear friends who planned all the details of our trip, we had a wonderful time!