Ten Best Returning Items at Food and Wine

by on September 2, 2016 11 Comments

Filed under: Dining, Epcot, Events

Now in its 21st year, Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival is one of our favorite events as locals. On the last day of Food and Wine, I actually took plastic containers and a cooler bag to Epcot and took a dozen favorite foods “to go” for dinner the next day, because I knew there were many foods I would be missing for at least a year. Even with the recipes for many of these foods, somehow they just taste better from Epcot. Maybe it’s a bit of Disney magic and a pinch of pixie dust. (The same thing happens with popcorn at Disney, too.)

Here’s ten foods that are scheduled to come back to Food and Wine that I’ll be near the front of the line to try once again. (In no particular order.)

1. Africa: Buttered Chicken with Micro Cilantro and Naan Bread

Africa_Buttered_Chicken

There’s something about comfort food in the fall. The Indian-inspired buttered chicken has a great flavor and just a bit of spicy heat. Even though I plan to get this early in the festival, I know I’ll be back to sample it again when the weather gets cooler.

2. Brazil: Escondidinho de Carne (Layered Meat Pie with Mashed Yucca)

Brazil_Escondidinho_de_Carne

Any of the foods at the Brazil booth are worth sampling, but the reason this one stands out is because it is filling enough for a small meal. Think a flavor like Shepherd’s Pie, savory and delicious, with yucca being similar in taste and texture to mashed potatoes.

3. Canada: Cheddar Cheese Soup

Canada_Cheddar_Cheese_Soup

For many people, being able to grab a bowl of Le Cellier’s Cheddar Cheese Soup without having to snag an ADR is a fantastic benefit of Food and Wine. This year, rumor has it that this fan favorite will be served with a pretzel roll, making a great dish even better.

4. Chocolate Studio: Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle with Warm Whiskey Caramel

Chew_Lab_Liquid_Nitro_Truffle

Last year, this food debuted at the Chew Lab booth. Even though the Chew Lab booth is not returning this year, this intriguing item needed to make a return and appears at the new Chocolate Studio. Anything made with liquid nitrogen gets extra points in my book, and the rich chocolate mousse with the warm whiskey caramel makes this a decadent dessert worth trying (more than once).

5. Farm Fresh: Loaded Mac’n’Cheese with Nueske’s Pepper Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, Peppers, and Green Onions

Farm_Fresh_Loaded_MacnCheese

It is possible to go horribly wrong with mac’n’cheese, and when I first saw the description, I knew my daughter would think this dish was an utter failure. But if you are the kind of person who can handle some “mix-ins” and a little bit of spice with your mac’n’cheese, this is worth a try.

6. Hawai’i: Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise

Hawaii_Kalua_Pork_Slider

If I want a quick lunch on a go, this is one of my favorite options. The flavors blend together to make each bite as satisfying as the last. The bread it is served on is slightly sweet and tasty in its own right. (I may or may not have tracked down the bakery that I believe made the bread for Disney and bought a bag of the rolls to put in my freezer last year…)

7. Hops & Barley: Freshly Baked Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

HopsBarley_Carrot_Cake

The first year I saw this, I knew that carrot cake would never be the same. Unlike a traditional carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, for this dessert, molten cream cheese icing is spooned over the carrot cake. You know that feeling you get when you watch Krispy Kreme doughnuts going through the enrober? That’s the feeling you get when you see that icing oozing all over the plate.

8. Morocco: Kefta Pocket (Seasoned Ground Beef in a Pita Pocket)

Morocco_Kefta_Pocket

This dish is a bit of an unsung hero–it isn’t as flashy as some other dishes, but it is a solid dish with distinct flavors that aren’t overpowering. Sometimes you just want a burger–and sometimes you just want a kefta pocket.

9. Patagonia: Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichurri

Patagonia_Salmon_Quinoa

I tend not to automatically believe the hype of one brand being better than another, but this is one case where brand does matter. Verlasso salmon has a flavor that I find far superior to many other salmon served in local restaurants. The quinoa salad served with it makes a nice addition, but the salmon really is the star of this dish.

10. Patagonia: Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri Sauce and Boniato Puree

Patagonia_Beef_Chimichurri

I tried the food at the Patagonia booth late in the festival last year, and that’s probably a good thing for any diet plans I might have had. In addition to the salmon, the beef skewer was simply delicious–perfectly cooked and with a chimichurri sauce that added some extra zip to the dish.

So that’s my ten returning foods that I’m craving. Got any others on your list that you can’t wait to try again, or are any of the items on this list one of your favorites as well? Feel free to mention your favorite foods in the comments.

 

Posted on September 2, 2016

11 Responses to “Ten Best Returning Items at Food and Wine”

  • I’m so upset that the Dominican Republic booth is not returning this year….that griddled cheese with fried yucca was my favorite dish last year!

    • by Julia Mascardo on September 5, 2016, at 10:35 pm EDT

      I can sympathize — some of my favorite foods have disappeared for this year, but I’m hopeful that someday some of the foods will return.

  • Good list….I think I would only add the kimchi hotdog.

    • by Julia Mascardo on September 5, 2016, at 10:38 pm EDT

      The placement of the kimchi hotdog is certainly strange — I’m not sure that thematically it fits at the African Outpost (but I guess there just wasn’t room for it in the South Korea booth next door). Still, it’s a neat dish, far better than kraut on a hot dog.

  • I’m going there at the end of the month let’s see the same list but with drinks.

    • by Julia Mascardo on September 5, 2016, at 10:41 pm EDT

      I’d be a terrible person to write that, I’m afraid, but here’s what I’d have:
      Beer — ew. Skip ’em all.
      Wine — meh. Pineapple wine is good, ice wine is good, anything less sweet is worth skipping.
      Other alcohol — remember, rum = yum. Aside from that, forget it.

      I’m not much of a drink person… 😉

      I’ll see if I can get someone else to write something up about what they’re excited on, though, because the variety of beer, wine, and other drinks is pretty broad.

  • Thank you so much for your list! I’ve been compiling a list of my own and am happy to announce that you and I could be very good “snacking” buddies! (in a non creepy kinda way)

    Can’t wait to go to this years Food and Wine Festival – I took a year off (last year) to go to the Flower and Garden and decided that I was just going to have to go to WDW twice this year! “oh all right – you’ve twisted my arm 😉

    • by Julia Mascardo on September 5, 2016, at 10:43 pm EDT

      Some people grab buddies to drink around the world–I’m always up for dining around the world! I hope you were able to try some of the awesome foods at Flower and Garden, too. It’s almost like having two Food and Wine Festivals in a year!