It’s quite unbelievable to think that one moment you could be sipping on Cabernet Sauvignon from Chateu Bonnet while looking at the Eiffel Tower then chugging sake bombs while listening to traditional Japanese drums the next. But this is exactly what you could expect from Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. Usually known as the “boring park,” Epcot’s world showcase is open year-round to exhibit brief glimpses of faraway lands. During this annual festival, each country and a few extras set up tents of exotic culinary treats. Anyone is welcome in the park during the festival and participation is voluntary, but do know that ID’s are checked when purchasing alcohol.
While this trip won’t cost you nearly as much as the real deal, don’t think it will be cheap either – this is Disney after all. We recommend buying a gift card that can be worn around your wrist at one of the gift shops to avoid grabbing your credit card or cash at each destination. How much money you put on the card depends on how hungry you are and how adventurous you want to be. Start off with $50 and then add as necessary.
Once you enter the festival, actively remind to pace yourself. There are thirty destinations in total, each with several food and drink options. Grab a Destination Passport and start checking off items from the list.
Each person’s taste varies but here are a few items definitely worth trying:
Taste of Greece – Greece
This dish comes with an assortment of chicken, htipiti and eggplant dips, kalamata olives and pita bread. This is a great way to try a bunch of different foods at once. Fans of feta cheese will be very pleased.
Beer Flight – Germany
We went with beer flight #2, which came with four smaller servings of Radeberger Pilsner, BraufactM Palor, BraufactuM Roog Smoked Wheat Beer and BraufactuM Darkon. Do not be fooled by the smaller servings, this is plenty of beer. Classic Germany.
Lobster and Seafood Fisherman’s Pie – Ireland
This small dish is packed with mashed potatoes and lobster. Only get this if you like your mashed potatoes really whipped, not on the chunky side.
Warm Chocolate Pudding with Bailey’s Custard – Ireland
This tiny bundt cake spills with molten chocolate once you take your first bite. The Bailey’s custard is the perfect Irish complement.
Chilled Irish Coffee featuring Bunratty Pothceen – Ireland
This Irish Coffee is sure to wake you up. We recommend sharing this one as it gets pretty strong near the end.
Escargots Persillade en Brioche – France
This is perhaps the best dish of the festival; you won’t even think about the fact that you are eating snails. The warm brioche with garlic and parsley sauce envelop the snails for a delectable French snack.
Eiffel Sour Cosmo Slush – France
Cool down and wash down the escargots with this drunken slushie, well worth the $10.
Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney – New Zealand
Perhaps this is New Zealand’s take on the meatball sub. This dish is a giant lamb meatball placed inside a hallowed piece of bread and topped with a spicy tomato sauce. So. Damn. Good.
Mimosa Royale – Morocco
Because everyone loves champagne and orange juice.
Teriyaki Chicken Hand Roll – Japan
This is the sushi roll for people who don’t like sushi. Cooked chicken rolled in seaweed and rice then drizzled in teriyaki sauce – simply delicious.
Sapporo Draft Beer and Sake – Japan
DIY Sake Bombs Yeah! Grab a drinking buddy and buy one of each then split in half and… you know the rest.
Kimchi Dog with Spicy Mustard Sauce – South Korea
This is not the hot dog you buy at the ballpark. Instead, it is spicy and warm and really delicious.
Margarita – Mexico
Because everyone loves a margarita.
Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree
To say I fully remember eating this would not be totally the truth. But for journalistic reasons, I tried my best. If my memory serves me right, it was good but Argentinean food is too common in Miami for me to be overly pleased.
The festival runs until November 11 so get your tickets fast!
words and photos_nicole vila