Once again foodie pallets are in full swing at Epcot for the International Food and Wine Festival. Beginning in 1995 this event originated to showcase some of the various worldwide cuisines and due to the overwhelming popularity it has expanded every year to include more booths, shops and memorabilia.
Beginning on September 27th the event will continue until November 11th with an epic celebration on Nov. 8-9th for the Disney Wine and Dine Half Marathon. Participates are able to run through the world including 3 of the theme parks and then celebrate their accomplishments into the early morning while Epcot stays open late. To celebrate the run, why not try a Cosmo Slush?
This year I had the opportunity to experience the festival over a two day period and was amazed by the quality of food that I was introduced to. With thirty marketplaces representing more than 21 countries it is a great opportunity to try new foods and flavor combinations.
Debuting at the festival this year is Scotland and they showed up with a bang! Their entrée of Seared Scottish Salmon with a Cauliflower puree was cooked perfectly and is certainly the star dish for this new marketplace.
Returning this year after a short hiatus is Brazil. Upon first taste the ragout of tomatoes, peppers and hearts of palm seemed overpowering however when matched with the rest of the dish, rice and a seared scallop it all combined beautifully into a delicious bite.
If you looking for a sweet dessert then I recommend swinging by Morocco for their generous sized and scrumptious Baklava.
When entering the World Showcase I quickly discovered the Cranberry Bog that has been set up for guests to see, ask questions and sample the cranberry. Around the bog there are several information notices however the farmers are very friendly and more than willing to answer my questions.
An additional benefit to guests visiting Epcot during the festival is the “Eat to the Beat” concert series. Throughout the 6 weeks there are 19 acts that are brought in to perform for the crowds as they taste their way around the world. Depending on the week that you are there you could hear Hanson’s “Mmmbop” all the way to energetic music of the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s helping you jive the night away.
If you are looking for a more in depth experience then I would recommend trying either of the Premier Festival Offerings such as the “3D” Disney Dessert Discovery or the Party for the Senses. Having one of the largest sweet tooth’s imaginable the “3D” Disney Dessert Discovery is certainly on my list to try next time.
Over the course of our 2 days at the Festival here are a few hints that I learned and want to share;
- Try not to wear white. You’re going to sample numerous foods and the occasional beverage all while standing or walking; so the likelihood of spilling on yourself is high.
- Don’t judge a food by its description. If you aren’t sure on a dish give it a try; often you will be pleasantly surprised.
- Ask a Cast Member from the marketplace for their recommendation. Often they are eager to share their preferences with you.
- Don’t worry about your waistline. When at the festival stay focused on the taste and the experience. You can always do an extra workout once you get back home.
If I had to sum up the event in one word it is “Yum!” The food is delicious. I recommend making your way to Epcot and enjoying this festival before it’s devoured for another year.
~ Kelly Mullett, Team Member