The EPCOT® International Food and Wine Festival is underway! A handful of returning favorites and some exciting new additions have made our early tastes of the festival as exciting as any we've had yet.
The hot topic of last year's festival makes a return. It's without any significant change for last year, and for good reason. It's sizable, made to be shared and is friendly for picky eaters while still being exciting enough for those who want something different from standard theme park faire.
In short, it's delicious.
Containing sea salt and malt vinegar fries, barbecued bacon fries with smoked aïoli and sweet potato casserole fries with candied pecans, toasted marshmallow cream and caramel whisky, this dish offers some different fry options than what is available on the al la carte Fry Basket menu. The first two selections are exceptionally salty and a bit more similar in construction and flavor than expected, but the novelty made them each enjoyable.
The sweet potato casserole fries were the real star of the show. Rich and bursting with sweetness, the decadent marshmallow cream elevated these fries to a must-have.
Smoked Corned Beef with House-Made Potato Chips
Flavors from Fire brings back one of the best EPCOT festival dishes ever, and we couldn't be happier about it. Thinly cut, house-made chips serve as the bed for decadent corned beef and rich cheese. It is shareable, but its so darned good—smoky and indulgent—that you might not want to give a bite to anyone else.
Potato and Pea Samosa
Last year, we said it was going to be difficult to find a dish we loved more than this one.
And we were right.
This dish isn't afraid to play with spices—a trend Disney has continued at this year's festival—but the coriander-lime cream drizzled atop helps to balance. A crispy, flaky crust serves as the perfect shell for the warm, flavorful interior. This large, heart dish makes a phenomenal statement on how Disney has been elevating its plant-based dishes.
What already looks to be one of the most-discussed items on the menu this year, the pickle milkshake isn't quite as intimidating as the idea may lead you to believe. The sweetness of the green, milky drink balances out the dill quite nicely. It tastes more like pure dill with a bit of sweetness than it does the sourness of a traditional pickle, which is why we think it works. We don't think those who dislike pickles will find a new favorite here, but we enjoyed it to the point that we're going to get it again before the festival ends.
A fruity, frozen drink for those who want to cool off while passing through Brew-wing but DON'T want the pickle milkshake, this Twinings pomegranate raspberry herbal tea and orange ice cream molecule fusion is the perfect offering.
Unnecessarily Spicy Scotch-Bonnet Pepper Wings
The Muppets-themed Brew-wing brings more than just silly and creative drinks to the table, with its titular wings taking center stage. Last year, we tried nearly each of the various wing flavors and enjoyed them all to various degrees. This year, Disney is turning up the already satisfactory heat with the new scotch-bonnet pepper wings. Curry-style flavor takes center stage, backing one of Disney's spiciest dishes with a taste that justifies the heat. The growing spice will land nicely for those who have decent spice tolerance and like spicy food, but may be intense for those who do not.
Complete with sweet sausage ragout and crispy applewood-smoked bacon, this pasta over in Italy is a friendlier option for picky eaters. We'd like to see more of its toppings, but its cheese sauce takes the forefront in what might be a suitable effort for those who miss the mac and cheese booth.