Epcot International Food and Wine Festival 2020
Well, this is definitely a different type of blog then ya’ll are used to! I decided to write this blog because not only is Disney a huge part of my life, but I don’t want to be limited to fashion pieces! I want to be able to share my whole life with you- not just part. Hayden and I were lucky enough to go on a vacation to Walt Disney World and we tried numerous amounts of food and drinks while we were there.
Disney hosts an event every year called the Food and Wine Festival that usually lasts a couple of weeks. The Food and Wine Festival is an opportunity to try different foods and drinks that Disney doesn’t have year round. If you aren’t familiar with WDW, they have a park called Epcot which is where they host the festival. Epcot has a World Showcase which is basically half of the park, and it’s an entire area of different countries such as Germany, France, Japan, etc. Each one of these countries makes you feel like you are actually there; the cast members in each country actually came from that country, which makes it really feel like you’re not actually at Disney. The festival is held at this park so that the different foods and drinks you try are from all of the different countries that they have there. Now, enough boring stuff- on to the food!
FLAVORS FROM FIRE- THE S’MORES WHOOPIE PIE-LON
The first booth I tried was called Flavors from Fire. All of the menu items here were along the lines of barbeque, smoky flavors. This booth wasn’t part of particular country, but that didn’t stop me from trying it! Unfortunately, I was not a fan of this booth. I tried the S’mores Whoopie Pie-lon which was basically a giant s’mores-flavored whoopie pie. It consisted of smoked chocolate cake, graham cracker, marshmallow, chocolate ganache, and candied bacon on top. The bacon is actually what ruined it for me. I love bacon, but I can’t handle it when it’s sweet; I like my bacon savory. Each initial bite was good until I chewed more and more of the bacon taste came through. If things like chocolate-covered bacon are your cup of tea, then you would probably like this dessert! However, I’ll pass.
This pie was $4.00 and I gave it a rating of 2/5.
MEXICO- RIBEYE TACO AND MANGO SMOKY MARGARITA
The next booth we tried didn’t have a specific name other than “Mexico.” Nothing was truly calling out to me at this menu, but I knew we had to try something from everywhere, so I had Hayden pick something out. He chose the Ribeye Taco and the Mango Smoky Margarita. The taco was made with ribeye steak and ranchero salsa, and was wrapped in a corn tortilla. I had a bite of the taco and it was nothing special- good, but nothing special. It went for $6.95 and I don’t think it’s worth that much, especially for one taco. The Mango Smoky Margarita was made with mango puree, mezcal, applejack, lime juice, and agave nectar with a tajin chile-lime rim. I am not a fan of mezcal at all so I didn’t even try this one. Hayden was a big fan (he also loves mezcal) and drank the whole thing! You get a bigger cup than normal for this drink and it costs $11.50. Obviously pricey for a small beverage but hey, it’s Disney and it’s alcohol. I rate the taco a 3/5 and Hayden rates the margarita a 4/5.
CHINA- CRISPY FRIED SHRIMP AND JASMINE BEER
The crispy friend shrimp is what called out to us at this booth, and of course the jasmine beer. I am a huge fan of honey walnut shrimp so I was excited for this dish. The shrimp was served on a bed of chengdu street fries (French fries) and was $7.50. The shrimp had very good flavor but the fries underneath were very hard. Hayden and I assume that they have fries being made and are probably sitting in a metal tin under a heat lamp waiting for someone to order them, which can make them a little hard. However, we couldn’t even stick our fork prongs through the fries they were that hard. For that reason alone, I dock 1 point off the rating scale, but I would still rate the shrimp a 4/5. The jasmine beer had a slight jasmine flavor, enough for you to know it’s jasmine but not too overpowering. It was incredibly hot and humid outside while we were eating and this was a very nice, refreshing beer to down the shrimp with. The 5oz beer was $5.00 and we give the beer a rating of 5/5.
THE ALPS- BLUEBERRY AND ALMOND FRANGIPANE TART
I have a huge sweet tooth so anything with the word “tart” in it, I am most likely going to try. I was so happy that I decided to get this treat! It was served with crème fraiche on top which was basically a sweet whipped cream. This tart was so good- especially with the crème. It had great texture, wasn’t dry at all, and the blueberry paired well with the almond. I heard through the grapevine that this treat was at the Food and Wine Festival last year and looked completely different. It was also said that the almond flavor was more prominent in last year’s tart. Even though I didn’t try the tart from the previous year, I can definitely say that the blueberry taste was more overpowering than the almond flavor, but I still loved it! It costs $4.50 and I rate it a 5/5. I wish I had one to eat while writing this.
AFRICA- PIRI PIRI SKEWERED SHRIMP
These menu choices were definitely out of my comfort zone, but I heard a lot of good things about the skewered shrimp, so that is what we got and I am so glad we did. It was delicious! There were so many flavors that paired so well with each other- it was a very hearty snack. I was actually full afterwards! There were four to five shrimp and it was paired with citrus-scented couscous and a mixture of roasted veggies. I do not like couscous however I devoured it with the shrimp and veggies! I actually patted the couscous onto both sides of the shrimp before I ate it, and I recommend you do that too! This snack was $6.75 and was definitely worth it. It should honestly be a higher price on the menu! Hayden and I rate this a 5/5.
In the Italy area of Epcot, they play Italian music and is it crazy to say that the music made the food taste better? It truly feels like you’re in Italy and it’s perfect, but back to the food. We decided to grab the Margherita pizza and we’re pleasantly surprised that it came with two pieces of pizza instead of one. I was kind of shocked to see that the pizza didn’t look like margherita pizza; the pizza didn’t have tomato, basil, or mozzarella cheese on top, but it definitely tasted like margherita pizza! Both Hayden and I got to eat our own piece and for $7.95, I’d say it was a steal.
HOPS & BARLEY MARKET- FRESHLY BAKED CARROT CAKE
I had seen very good reviews about this carrot cake so I was very excited to try it. Carrot cake also happens to be one of my top three favorite flavors of cake, so I knew I would be a good person to put the taste to the test. Wow, did this exceed expectations! The carrot cake was incredibly moist and bouncy, not crumbly or stiff. They prepare the carrot cake in bulk and keep the plates under a heated lamp, which helped keep the cake and the cream cheese frosting very warm. Because it was warm, the frosting was easily spreadable so I could have some with every bite. I finished the whole thing! Hayden doesn’t like cake so is not weighing in on this rating (LOL). It cost me $4.25 and I rate it a 5/5.
JAPAN- FROTHY RAMEN AND CHIRASHI SUSHI FLOWERPOT
This is another booth that I had heard a lot of mixed reviews on, specifically the frothy ramen. I knew because of that, we had to get it! The frothy ramen is chilled noodles in a Dashi Broth topped with an egg white froth. The weirdest part about this dish was that the ramen was cold-it definitely threw off your taste buds! Once you got past the cold noodles, the flavor was decent, but it still wasn’t my favorite thing. Hayden and I each only took one bite before throwing it away. For $6.25, we didn’t think it was worth it. We rate it a 2/5. However, Hayden did say that the Chirashi Sushi Flowerpot was his favorite food item out of the whole festival. He’s a big sushi guy and this dish was made with sushi rice, along with fresh-cut salmon, salmon roe, and topped with poke sauce. He took one bite and his eyes grew wider than his head! I also took a bite and can attest that it was pretty good. The appearance of the dish made it that much better- they made it look like a flowerpot! It was $6.75 and very filling, we rate it a 5/5.
MOROCCO- CHOCOLATE BAKLAVA
Both Hayden and I are huge fans of baklava- traditional baklava, that is. This tasted nothing like traditional baklava. I took one bite of this and wanted to spit it out; it was just too much. Too many layers, too much chocolate, and very stiff. It was only $4.50 which is on the cheaper side of food items at the festival, so I was glad it wasn’t more expensive than that. I rate this a 1/5. Hayden didn’t even try it.
FRANCE- TARTE TROPEZIENNE, COULIS FRAMBOISE
Okay, this was also very high up on the top of my list of “Favorite Items from the Festival.” This dessert was a brioche cake filled with light pastry cream and served with raspberry coulis. I don’t like when things are cream filled, but this cake had just the right amount of cream inside. The brioche cake was so soft and the dessert felt so airy and light. The raspberry sauce didn’t overpower the cake but add a slight hint of fruit which was so delicious. It was a very small cake, but it only cost $3.00 which is the perfect price for it. I rate this a 5/5!
Our last booth that we tried was the Germany booth. My mom has actually lived in Germany before for a few years of her life so it is a country that I have always grown up hearing and talking about. I basically just needed to try this booth to send a picture to my mom. We tried the Schinkennudeln, which was essentially German mac n’ cheese. The official description as seen on the menu is a potato gratin with ham, onions, and cheese. It really did taste just like another version of a mac n’ cheese dish. The outer layer was a little on the harder side but the inside was hot and gooey. It had a good flavor, but we didn’t end up finishing it. It only cost $4.25, and we rate it a 3/5.
Well, that’s everything I tried from the festival! There are a few other booths that I unfortunately just didn’t get to try (due to long lines and humidity), but I think I covered most of the booths. Did anything stand out to you? Let me know! I would also love to know if there is something that you tried at the Food and Wine Festival that I didn’t get to try myself. Overall, I was happy I got to attend and try all of the different foods and drinks from the countries and the exclusive booths. I can’t wait for Disneyland to open up for theirs!