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Fun at the Epcot Food & Wine Festival

Every year I dream of going to the Epcot® International Food & Wine Festival presented by Chase.  And every year, like a good friend, I “like” all the photos on social media posted by my friends during their visit.  While I’m truly happy for them, I’m also secretly a little bit jealous.  I mean, really, I love food more than anyone I know (well, maybe except our editor, Merly.)

Amy & George

So, this year my husband and I made a decision to embark on a well-deserved and much anticipated mini get-away to the Happiest Place on Earth, Walt Disney World® Resort, for the opening weekend of the Epcot Food & Wine Festival (September 19 – November 10, 2014). That’s right, a romantic weekend with just my hubby, no children, and lots and lots and lots of food.  Ahhhhh!

Kiosk CollageWalking around the World Showcase and visiting all the kiosks was such a treat.  We made it a point to visit every one of them and try at least one food item.  And, in case you’re wondering, there are 36 kiosks.  Yes, I brought my stretchy pants.  The hardest part was deciding where we wanted to go first.  Also, even though we’re not big drinkers, we found ourselves trying wines and beers … and enjoying them.  After all, I guess it’s all about new experiences for your taste buds, right? (I’m now on a mission to find someplace locally that sells Peach Sake Gell.)

Of course, after eating our way around the world, we had to rank everything we tried.  For sheer embarrassment over the amount of food I consumed, I won’t tell you all of it, but here’s the best of the best according to Amy & George:

South Korea - Pork Lettuce WrapBest Asian Food: Pork Lettuce Wraps with Kimchi Sauce in South Korea I know you’re supposed to eat this using the lettuce as a wrap, but trust me, get a fork. The folks running the booth told me that the pork is slow cooked for hours, and I was so impressed with this dish that I asked our Test Kitchen to come up with our own version that I could make at home.  They got it right on and you can click here to get the recipe for yourself.

Brazil - Tilapia & Cheese BreadBest Latin American Food: Well, it’s hard to choose because there was such a variety: Brazil, Patagonia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico, and I have to say that these kiosks were the most fun.  Flamenco dancers, bongo players, guitarists and employees shouting, “EMPANADAS!” all transport you to another place and really give it an authentic feel.  OK – on to the food.  The Shrimp Tacos in Mexico were very good (or maybe it was because of the Sangria), but I think the Brazilian Cheese Bread stands out the most because I wanted ten more of them.  I know it doesn’t sound like much, but these little balls of cheesy goodness surprised me so much with their big flavor that I had to give them the title.

Greece - MoussakaBest Vegetarian Dish: Vegetarian Moussaka in Greece – served piping hot in adorable little ramekins. How do they make this taste so much like the real thing with no actual meat in it? I have no idea.

 

Germany - Sitting Area 2Best Memory Food: Apricot Filled Doughnuts from Germany.  I think the atmosphere of the grassy picnic area with wooden tables brought me back to my grandparent’s house in Pennsylvania where we would sit outside by the garden and eat Dutch-style pastries fresh out of the oven.

 

New Zealand - Venison SausageBest Unique Food:  We have a split decision on this one.  I love me some venison, which I don’t get to have often, so I say the Venison Sausage in New Zealand wins this award.  My husband, however, has an affinity for lamb and the Lamb Meatball from the same kiosk is his choice, which worked out fine since I didn’t have to share.  🙂

 

Farm Fresh - Pepper Bacon HashBest Surprise Food: At the Farm Fresh stand we found an unexpected taste sensation with the Pepper Bacon Hash.  The combination of jalapenos and hollandaise sauce will amaze you!

 

 

Belgium - WafflesBest Dessert: Belgium Waffles with Berry Cream Sauce – in Belgium of course!  I know you’re saying, what’s so special about a Belgium waffle, but you won’t believe how good these are.  Hold on to your hats, because our Test Kitchen actually recreated these, so you can enjoy them in your own home.  Click here for our version.

 

Canada - Filet MignonOverall Best Food: By unanimous decision … Filet Mignon Medallions with Mushrooms and Truffle Butter in Canada. Seriously, get one for every person; do not attempt to share or there will be a fight.

 

 

Of course there are plenty of beverages to try at the Festival, too.  Here are our favorites:

China - Bubble TeaBest Non-Alcoholic Beverage: Hands down the winner here is the Mango Green Tea with Poppin’ Bubbles from China.  I had three of these over the course of the weekend; they were so good!  Something about those little pearls bursting with mango juice made me feel like a kid again, which is okay because I was in Disney!

 

Japan - Spice Hand Roll & Sake GellBest Alcoholic Beverage: We enjoy sweeter wines so the Reisling flight in Germany was delightful, but if you like sweet and want to try something different, stop by Japan and try the Peach Sake Gell.  This chilled, fizzy drink has slurps of jiggling, peachy gems enticing you to have one more sip and it’s soooo refreshing in the hot Florida sun.

Sadly, our magical vacation had to come to an end, but I have great memories, photos, a passport book and cool souvenir plates to keep me going until next year.   Oh, you bet I’ll be going back…I might even bring the kids next time…or not.

Passport

These passports were available at every kiosk. It was a great way to keep track of our tasting adventure!

Pick up one of these souvenir plates up before you begin your eating spree – you’ll be glad you did!

Are you thinking about visiting the Epcot Food & Wine Festival this year, or have you been before? Share your favorite foods from the festival or what you’re looking forward to the most.

Our friends at Walt Disney World have graciously donated five $50 gift cards to give away on MrFood.com!  You can enter to win one by leaving a comment below.  We’ll be randomly picking winners on October 15th.  These gift cards are good at the parks and Disney stores too.  Thanks Mickey!

 

Giveaway Rules: Giveaway is open and offered only to legal residents of the forty-eight (48continental United States and the District of Columbia. Only one entry per person. Readers must comment on the blog for a chance to be entered. Open from October 7, 2014 at 8am EST to October 14, 2014 at 4:59pm EST. Five (5) winners will be selected at random using a Random Generator. Winners will be notified on the blog, as well as by email.

GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED – CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS!

Disney Giveaway Winners

Denise S.  | Ashley Morrissey | Jon Heil | Cynthia Painter | Sheryl

Please be sure to check your email, so we can send you your prize!