Every New Item at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Reviewed

by on September 26, 2017 9 Comments

Filed under: Dining, Epcot, Walt Disney World (FL)

With so many items available at the 2017 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, it can be overwhelming to know what new dishes to skip or sample. That’s where I come in – as TouringPlans’ resident food reviewer, I’m continuing my tradition of sampling every new dish at the festival this year so you don’t have to! Below, you’ll find reviews and photos of all of the new food, and at the bottom of this review, you’ll find rankings of how I’d categorize each dish (skip, try, must-try, or Best of the Fest). Be sure to use the quick links below to navigate through this guide!

The Food
Epcot Legacy Showplace
Flavors From Fire
Light Lab
Active Eats
Coastal Eats
Cheese Studio
Almond Orchard
Hawai’i
Farm Fresh
Greece
Thailand
Mexico
China
India
Africa
Spain
Italy
Japan
France
Ireland
The Rankings
Best of the Fest – Top Ten New Dishes
Definite Must-Try Dishes
Try If You Have Time
Skip And Save Your Appetite

 

The Food

 

 

Epcot Legacy Showplace

  • Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich

Epcot Legacy Showplace's Zesty Macaroni HandwichI wanted to love the handwich so much. The nostalgia. The pure cheese of it all (literal and figurative). But alas, it was not truly cheeseburger macaroni as I expected upon reading the menu. This had only about one or two kernels of beef in here, and was mostly just mushy, far overdone macaroni with a touch of red pepper shoved into a Cozy Cone cone. Unfortunate execution of a fun idea.

  • Chilled Scotch Egg Wrapped in Sausage with Mustard Sauce

If you’ve ever had a true scotch egg (even from Rose & Crown), this cold offering won’t particularly impress you, but it’s a decent stab at bar food in a location focused primarily on selling craft beers. I wish it hadn’t been cold – it would’ve been far better warm, as the sausage around the egg became a bit mealy as a result of the chill.

  • L’Orange Cotton Candy: A Mixture of Lime and Orange Cotton Candy (V)

Epcot Legacy Showplace's Scotch Egg, L'Orange Cotton Candy, and Bright HorizonsHard pass here – this is just a giant bag of lime and orange cotton candy pieces. There’s no reason to buy this unless you have kids genuinely in search of cotton candy.

  • Bright Horizons: Sprite with Multi-Flavored Boba Pearls (non-alcoholic)

The redeeming quality of this drink is that it comes in a very nice light-up cup that makes a decent souvenir. The boba pearls are multi-colored and pretty, but consider how much you’re paying for a cup of (likely flat, like mine was) Sprite – there’s truth in advertising here.

 

Flavors From Fire

 

  • Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions, and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue Featuring BelGioioso Romano and American Grana Cheeses

Flavors From Fire's Smoked Corn Beef with Crispy Potatoes, Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chicken Sausage, and Dark Chocolate Cayenne MousseDon’t let the fancy description fool you – these are basically potato chip nachos. The fondue was a bit grainy, but very beer forward, if that’s your thing, to the point that it nearly overwhelmed the salty, rich corned beef. The pickled onions were an afterthought – I don’t think I had more than two or three on my entire serving.

  • Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage, Onion Jam, and Maple Butter Syrup

Now this, this was great – a sweet corn pancake (whole kernels hiding in it!), topped with a bitey, savory sausage, and very sweet onion jam, plus, unadvertised but a nice treat, a few pieces of bacon. This hit all the major tastebud groups for me, and made for a pretty enjoyable dish. It’s pretty heavy, and can tend to be a little sweet, but I’d order this again on a second visit.

  • Chocolate Picante: Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, and Raspberry Dust

My favorite of the Fire booth’s offerings, this dessert plays with the modern classical hot chocolate flavors well. The cayenne is definitely present, but doesn’t kill you with heat; it wasn’t as spicy as the chicken sausage on the pancake, to be certain. I wouldn’t have known there was any other flavor besides chocolate and spice here, though, so if you’re sold on it based on the description, be aware, the raspberry is barely an afterthought.

 

Light Lab

 

  • T=C2: Tonic Water and Cotton Candy (non-alcoholic)

Light Lab's drink offeringsSurprisingly, this was not as sweet as I feared. The tonic water, packed with quinine, definitely glowed under the lights of the lab, but even the cotton candy couldn’t drown out its distinct flavor – if tonic is not your thing, definitely avoid.

  • RGB: Citrus Apple Freeze (non-alcoholic)

This drink was overly sweet, with almost no apple or citrus flavor at all. Benefit to ordering it, though, was the cool EPCOT Center logo swizzle stick!

  • Bleu Spectrum: Blanc de Bleu Cuvée Mousseux with Boba Pearls

The boba in here, while beautiful, are super difficult to actually enjoy until you’re nearly done with the sparkling wine. This is a shame, since the wine is quite dry, too dry for most palates to really enjoy, and the sweet and sour flavors of the popping boba would’ve really worked with it. It’s a very Instagram-able drink, so expect to see it everywhere, but it’s not the best bang for your buck.

 

Active Eats

 

  • Sweet Avocado Crema with Strawberries, Yellow Cake, and Tortilla Streusel (V)

Active Eats' Sweet Avocado CremaI was surprisingly taken with this dessert. The avocado sounds pretty awful, I’ll admit – who wants avocado in a dessert?! But it was actually quite tasty, rich, and contrasted well with the bright strawberries and sweet yellow cake. The tortilla streusel has little flavor, but does offer a bit of textural contrast in an otherwise texturally homogenous parfait-style dessert.

  • I.A. Beer Company HRD WTR Cucumber & Lemon Lime Hard Sparkling Water, Doral, FL

I’m not one for the trend of making every normal drink alcoholic, but there’s no denying it’s a popular thing nowadays, so I felt compelled to give this one a shot. It tasted a bit less medicinal than most other options I’ve tried, and was certainly “refreshing”, but not necessarily worth the splurge considering the plentiful beer and wine options at neighboring booths.

 

Coastal Eats

 

  • Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Lemongrass Cream

Coastal Eats' Lump Crab Cake, Seared Scallops, and Baked Shrimp ScampiA surprise favorite of mine for all new items, and in fact, all items at this year’s festival, this crab cake features a lot of crab, little filler, and an incredibly bright avocado lemongrass sauce. While the slaw on the side is a bit soggy and not worth the effort, I really loved this crab cake’s flaky, not mealy, texture, with fresh crab flavor (no tin can residue here). I will definitely be back to try this one again before the festival ends.

  • Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette

I was really looking forward to tasting this after the crab cake had such success, but it wasn’t quite as good as I wanted it to be. The shrimp were a tad tough and fishy here, and the texture of the baked scampi sauce was a little off-putting, almost custard-like, but certainly packed with garlic, butter, and parsley flavor. Your mileage may vary here, but I would save my money for another crab cake instead.

  • Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Butterbean Succotash and Chili-Chipotle Butter Sauce

These scallops were surprisingly tender, well-seared, and flavorful in all the right ways. A shame, then, that the butterbean and corn succotash accompanying the dish totally lacked in flavor – it most definitely needed a splash of lemon juice to make it all pop. Even the slightly spicy chipotle butter sauce couldn’t remedy the bland flavor.

 

Cheese Studio Hosted By Boursin

 

  • Braised Beef “Stroganoff” with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom, and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce

Cheese Studios' Beef Stroganoff, Caramelized Onion and Boursin Cheese Tart, and Cheese TrioAnother definite all-time festival favorite, this dish really gets it right in so many ways (not so much with the accompanying pickles on the top of the plate as garnish, but I’ll give it a pass since they’re easy to remove). Super-packed with braised mushrooms and spaetzle (I guess they call them tiny egg noodles to not scare people away), this is a pretty traditional brown cream stroganoff sauce with chunks of tender braised beef. Most kids will really enjoy this if they love mom’s traditional recipe, and adults will value it as the true comfort food it is.

  • Savory Caramelized Onion Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Tart with Cold Arugula Salad and Aged Balsamic (V)

A pretty classic take on a French favorite, this onion and cheese tart really hits the savory-sweet spot for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. I was pretty pleased here by the portion size – overall, the tart was about the size of one of Boulangerie Patisserie’s quiches – a quality size for a small meal or a hearty snack, and the flavor really highlighted use of quality, well-prepared ingredients.

  • Cheese Trio: Profiterole Topped with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese and Orange Apricot Jam; Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with Boursin Shallot and Chive Cheese and Everything Seasoning; Strawberry Macaron with Boursin Pepper Cheese

I really wanted to be excited about this – so different from a normal cheese plate! The profiterole was my first bite, and immediately I was a little confused. I usually think of profiterole as filled, but this was just empty pastry with a dollop of garlicky cheese and sweet jam on top. Next, I tried the smoked salmon pinwheel, which mostly tasted like smoked salmon on a bagel with cream cheese – not a bad thing, but also not mind-blowing in originality. I was not a fan of the strawberry macaron with boursin pepper cheese – the macaron had wilted in the August/September humidity, and was entirely too sweet to contrast with the pepper cheese, which was overwhelmed by the cloying sugar bomb. All in all, I wanted more from this plate in execution, but really appreciate the direction it aimed towards!

 

Almond Orchard

 

  • Cauliflower Risotto with Pulled Chicken, Artichokes, Spinach, and Parmesan Cheese with Aged Balsamic

Almond Orchard's Fire-Roasted Tomato Hummus, Cauliflower Risotto with Pulled Chicken, and Banana Almon Soft-Serve Sundae with BerriesYou’d honestly never know this was a veggie-packed dish if someone didn’t tell you cauliflower was the central ingredient in it. I really enjoyed the super savory artichoke-dip-like flavors of this, presented in a slightly healthier and lighter way than you’d expect from such a heavy dish. Even in the heat, I would’ve gladly finished this whole dish, and can’t wait to go back for more.

  • Fire-Roasted Tomato Hummus Topped with Blue Diamond Salt & Vinegar Almonds Served with Blue Diamond Nut Thins

This is just hummus. It’s a big portion. I wish I could be more positive here – I barely noticed the almonds on top of the hummus, and while it’s large enough for a hearty snack to share with friends or family, it is really just hummus, and you can do far better at this booth and anywhere else.

  • Banana Almond Soft-Serve Sundae with Fresh Berries and Crunchy Chocolate Oats

I’ve tried a lot of weird things at Food and Wine and other foodcentric festivals. This was not weird on the surface – the description sounds great, right? It’s a sundae! What could go wrong? Who knew I was so wrong – this was just really not my favorite. One bite and done, I found the banana soft serve to be off-putting in both flavor and texture. Very artificial banana (think banana candy) flavor did not mix well with macerated cherries (well, cherry: singular – there was just one on my sundae as far as I could find), and the chocolate oats didn’t taste like much, but did offer a bit of crunch. Though I was never really a fan of all of the Dessert and Champagne booth’s desserts (which this booth replaced), this sundae made me miss that booth the most.

 

Hawai’i

 

  • Grilled Tuna Tataki with Seaweed Salad, Pickled Cucumbers, and Wasabi Cream

Hawai'i's Tuna Tataki, SPAM Hash, and Passionfruit cheesecakeReplacing what was one of the most popular festival items from any booth (the tuna poke), this dish may be a bit of a disappointment for returning guests. Though the portion and quality of the tuna is solid, I wasn’t sold on the wasabi cream (with little wasabi kick to it), and the seaweed salad was too strong in sesame flavor in my portion to really work with anything.

  • Teriyaki-Glazed SPAM Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions, and Spicy Mayonnaise

I wanted to love this dish, because of the SPAM, but it was a little underwhelming. There were far more potatoes and veggies in my portion than SPAM (cut so tiny that it was hard to tell when you were eating a piece of it versus a crunchy potato bite). Overall, even without the spicy mayo, this dish had a bit of a kick to it, which helped counterbalance the salt inherent in the SPAM, but I’m still not sure I’ll run back to order this again on my next visit.

  • Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts

Though not one of the best desserts of the festival, this cheesecake is probably your best option at the Hawai’i booth for a dish everyone will enjoy. The passion fruit flavor in the cheesecake is definitely not overwhelming or too tart, as can sometimes be the case, and the crunchy toasted macadamia nuts give a nice buttery, sweet finish to every bite.

 

Farm Fresh

 

  • Crispy Chicken with Griddled Cornbread and Red Eye Gravy

Farm Fresh's Crispy Chicken with Griddled Cornbread and Roasted Beet Salad with Green Beans and FetaThe gravy here is decidedly not true red-eye gravy (typically much darker in color and richer in bitter coffee flavor). I just had to get that out of the way first. Now: the good stuff – this dish is a quality stab at quick fried chicken with gravy, and for that, I commend the Farm Fresh booth. My portion had been sitting out for a bit, so the griddled cornbread was on the verge of tough, but all in all, this is a hearty portion with solid flavors and contrasting textures that I will gladly order again on a return visit.

  • Roasted Beet Salad with Green Beans, Feta Cheese, Minus 8 Vinaigrette, and Toasted Walnuts (V, GF)

This salad is a returning dish from last year, but with a fair amount of modifications – the green beans are new, super fresh and crunchy, and the beets are now roasted instead of pickled. I love beet salads of all forms, so this is a keeper for me, if only because it’s one of the few veggie-centric, but still filling options at the festival.

 

Greece

 

  • Taste of Greece: Stuffed Grape Leaves with Lemon Dill Sauce, Grilled Octopus, and Feta Cheese Dip with Warm Pita

Greece's Taste of Greece and BougatsaI didn’t expect the Taste of Greece to be as satisfying and great as it was, honestly. The portion size here is considerable, and it’s a great way to taste a lot of typical Greek flavors in a few small bites. The grape leaves are packed with rice, but are slightly overwhelmed by the very bright, bordering on puckery-tart lemon dill sauce; the grilled octopus was surprisingly tender and perfectly charred. I was less of a fan of the feta cheese dip, as the texture was a little off-putting to me, but the flavor was tangy and exactly what I’d expect out of a feta dish.

  • Bougatsa: Warm Phyllo Dough Strudel with Sweet Vanilla Custard, Lemon Honey Syrup, and Cinnamon (V)

I probably could’ve eaten ten portions of this if no one had been around to stop me. Crunchy pastry soaked in a slightly sweet, slightly tangy lemon honey syrup and stuffed with rich custard – simple but effective as a great dessert. A warning – this is a messy plate of food (think beignet-level of messy, given the amount of powdered sugar and cinnamon), but it’s definitely worth the mess.

 

Thailand

 

  • Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Stir-Fried Vegetables

Thailand's Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce, Seared Shrimp and Scallop Cake with Cold Noodle Salad, and Red Hot Curry BeefFor those in search of something that won’t scare away the kids, this is probably your only option at the Thailand booth. Innocuous in description and flavor, this chicken dish is really as simple as it sounds, and tastes about like what you could make at home with a basic peanut sauce recipe. For those who’ve never sampled Thai food before, it may be a new flavor experience, but otherwise, I’d pass.

  • Seared Shrimp and Scallop Cake with Cold Noodle Salad

This dish had a fair amount of potential but I felt the cake, while large in size and nicely seared, was a bit too fishy for my taste. The cold noodle salad didn’t have a ton of flavor, mostly just from the green onion garnish, and certainly not enough to offset any of the cake’s flavor.

  • Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice

Disney often shies away from genuinely spicy dishes, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a good amount of solid heat from this dish after my first few bites. I really enjoyed the savory spice from this dish – tender beef cuts with a few veggies in a rich sauce made for a hearty dish with a lot of heat. I’d probably avoid this dish in the summer heat of the early festival, but it will make for a great treat at the end of the festival as the weather cools down a bit.

 

Mexico

 

  • Tequila Chipotle Shrimp

Mexico's Tequila Chipotle Shrimp, Cajeta Mousse, and Spicy Apple MargaritaServed on a Black Bean Huarache garnished with Red and Green Cabbage, Queso Fresco, and Crema Mexicana – A slightly upgraded take on the traditional shrimp taco dish Mexico’s booth usually has on offer during the festival, this dish is a bit more interesting, though more difficult to eat. The huarache (a fried tortilla-like base) is a little tough if you don’t get a fresh dish, but all the flavors between the shrimp, crunchy cabbage, creamy queso fresco, and the slightly spicy crema sauce are all really complementary and solid.

  • Cajeta Mousse Served with Cajeta Sauce and White Chocolate Flakes

Though light in texture, considering the mousse base of this dessert, be warned, this is still fairly heavy as a dish given how sweet it is. The caramel flavor of the mousse is not particularly strong, but between the sauce and accompanying white chocolate chips on top, I was sold.

  • Spicy Apple Margarita

The best compliment I can pay this drink is that it was pretty to look at – unfortunately, other than that, there were few redeeming qualities. I was not a fan of the spicy (true spice, not just a subtle heat) combined with the fruity (not very apple-like, more just sweet) flavor. I’d stick with the Mexican Mule or sangria here instead.

 

China

 

  • Spicy Chicken Bao Bun

China's Spicy Chicken Bao Bun and BaiJoe PunchA definite upgrade from last year’s spicy chicken chunks (sold as part of the standard menu at Lotus Blossom Café in recent months)! Rather than featuring crunchy nuggets with spicy-sweet-savory sauce on the outside, this dish uses a larger, single chicken breast piece in the same sauce, served on a steamed bun. I still like this chicken’s flavor – a little punchy, but not too spicy for most people; I did crave a bit of sauce or something extra on the steamed bun, though.

  • BaiJoe Punch: Chinese Bai Jiu Spirit, Lychee, Coconut, and Pineapple Juice

As is typical with every drink served at China’s Food & Wine booth, this drink is both smooth and potent. The lychee and coconut flavors make this very sweet, but the bai jiu is bright alongside the pineapple, and overall, it made for a refreshing walk-around drink while strolling World Showcase.

 

India

 

  • Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa, and Coriander Pesto Dips (V)

India's offerings, including the Warm Indian Bread Service and Mango LassiIf you’re a fan of Sanaa’s famous bread service, this is a good pick for you. As a dish, it’s not too outside the box, but it is a good way to ease into a few common Indian flavors and it is easy to share with the whole family.

  • Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas, and Basmati Rice (V, GF)

Don’t let the word “curry” scare you away here – the rich flavors of this vegetarian dish are really worth a shot. I didn’t find this spicy, though your mileage may vary if you are particularly sensitive – it was just warming and super savory. I probably would not order this on my next trip because I preferred other dishes at the booth, however it was solid for what it was and a great vegetarian option that isn’t a dessert.

  • Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews, and Warm Naan Bread

India's Madras Red Curry with Cauliflower, Chicken Korma, and Pistachio Bundt CakeJust like with the bread service above, if you like Sanaa’s butter chicken dish, this chicken korma will taste familiar and hit the spot (though yes, they are admittedly different dishes with slightly varied ingredients). I didn’t find the side salad necessary on this dish, but it may help round it out from such a heavy option to a small meal if you are looking for one at the festival. The rich tomato and cream sauce and tender chicken are also perfect for little ones who may be curious enough to try it.

  • Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake with Chocolate Coconut Mousse (V)

This dessert was on my pre-festival “what to watch” list as a possible favorite, but I’m sad to report that I was pretty disappointed after trying it. The floral cardamom flavor (and even the nuttiness of the pistachios) was totally lost in the sweet, rather bland cake, and the dollop of mousse on top tasted neither of chocolate nor coconut to me, unfortunately.

  • Mango Lassi (non-alcoholic)

A bit more cloyingly sweet than I’d anticipated, this is still a refreshing (and kid-friendly) drink to go alongside all of the India booth’s dishes on a warm afternoon.

 

Africa

 

  • Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Vegan Yogurt and Quinoa (V)

Africa's Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew and Spinach and Paneer Cheese PocketsOne of my surprise festival favorites for the new items, I found this stew to be hearty and packed with flavor. Its menu label indicates it is spicy, but I’d say it’s a slow-burn rather than a sharply spicy dish, and that warmth is definitely cooled off a bit by the yogurt sauce (which you’d never know was vegan). A definite winner for many types of eaters, this dish is a must-try on your festival visit.

  • Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket with Mint Raita (V)

Another strong entry from a traditionally weaker booth, this spinach and cheese pocket is a huge portion, very filling, and well-executed. Kids will find this fun – it looks and kind of tastes like a veggie hot pocket.

 

Spain

 

  • Charcuterie in a Cone with a Selection of Imported Spanish Meats, Cheeses, and Olives with an Herb Vinaigrette

Spain's Charcuterie in a Cone, Olive Oil Cake, Seafood Salad, and PaellaI well and truly love this dish as much as I hate the way it is served. This charcuterie selection is really more accurately described as a Spanish pasta salad without the pasta – tons of creamy cheese cubes, olives, and diced sausages in a tangy, light sauce. Somehow, we’re expected to eat this out of a cone, where the vinaigrette all drips out of the bottom. Just use a plate next time, Food and Wine Festival – it would make enjoying this great dish even easier.

  • Traditional Spanish Paella with Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken, and Crispy Chorizo (GF)

The descriptors “traditional” and “paella” unfortunately don’t have any business being near this rather bland dish. Yellow rice (not true crispy yet fluffy paella rice) with no discernible flavor was mixed with one fishy shrimp, a few tiny bits of chorizo and chicken, and a mussel or two on this plate that I felt had so much potential. I know practically speaking, cooking a traditional paella in bulk was never going to happen, but I was hoping for a bit stronger flavor here from anything.

  • Seafood Salad with Shrimp, Bay Scallops, and Mussels, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar, and Smoked Paprika (GF)

Seafood lovers may be tempted to order this dish, but it was not my favorite out of the Spain booth. The very strongly acidic vinaigrette dressing the salad drains any flavor out of the shrimp, scallops, and mussels, which were all a bit tough in texture, sadly.

  • Sweet Olive Oil Cake with Powdered Sugar and Lemon Curd

Another winner for this booth, I really loved this fluffy, slightly sweet, not-to-heavy dessert. It’s a perfectly light complement to a glass of wine from the nearby Italy booth – a tad sweet, with a tangy lemon curd served on the side that wakes up your palate.

 

Italy

 

  • Crispy Calamari with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce

Italy's Crispy Calamari and Beef StewI was afraid, prior to ordering, that this dish was destined to be a disaster. I was very happily proven wrong, though, after my first few bites. Addictive in their salt-and-pepper batter flavor, these calamari rings were light, crispy, and not chewy at all. The tangy and bright marinara served alongside them for dipping was a little thin for my taste, but all in all, this was a highly successful dish from a traditionally underwhelming booth.

  • Spezzatino con Polenta: Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta

The braised beef here is fork tender without being mushy, and the polenta had a nice consistency, even for being served out of a bulk container and sitting around for a bit. I found this plate of food to be very heavy, but warming and comforting – perfect for a cool evening towards the end of the festival season. My only complaint is that it tends a bit towards the salty end of the taste spectrum, but overall, this was a quality portion and bite.

 

Japan

 

  • Wasabi Shumai Steamed Pork Dumpling

Japan's Wasabi Shumai Steamed Pork Dumplings, Salmon BLT Roll, and Teriyaki Ginger PorkA slight kick of wasabi elevates a traditional steamed pork shumai (with a decent portion, all in all, for the price). After sitting in the steam for a bit too long, my portion of shumai were almost falling apart, which was a tad disappointing, but the umami and slightly spicy flavor was still present and still great.

  • Salmon BLT Sushi Roll

I was not as big a fan of this dish as the others at the Japan booth; every year I find their sushi served here to be unwieldy as a walk-around snack, and this is no exception, with the sushi roll pieces being entirely too big to eat in one bite.

  • Teriyaki Ginger Pork

Flavorful, plastic fork-tender, and a reasonable portion, this is a true winner from Japan this year. Served on the bone, this dish is more ambitious than many booths attempt, and though I felt it could’ve used a bit more dressing up to feel like a complete dish, it was definitely tasty enough with the soy, sweet, ginger-packed marinade that I will be ordering this again before festival’s end.

 

France

 

  • Moelleux au Fromage de Chèvre et Épinards: Warm Goat Cheese Pudding with Spinach (V, GF)

France's Warm Goat Cheese Pudding and Creme Brulee with Raspberry JamThe closest parallel to this dish is that it’s a lot like the quiche florentine served in Boulangerie Patisserie, just without the egg base. Rich goat cheese and earthy wilted spinach combine in tart form to make a super snack. I’d gladly grab one of these dishes for a meal during the festival, if you can stand the typically long lines at the France booth. It’s worth the wait.

  • Crème Brûlée à la Confiture de Framboises: Crème Brûlée with House-Made Raspberry Jam (V, GF)

Crème brulee from the France booth is pretty much guaranteed to be a winner, and here, with the tart raspberry jam offsetting the creamy, sweet custard, it’s once again a must-try for the festival. Because of the heat in early days of the festival, the custard can sometimes be a little melty, but aside from that minor issue, this dish is a winner.

 

Ireland

 

  • Roasted Irish Sausage with Colcannon Potatoes and Onion Gravy

Ireland's Sausages with Colcannon Potatoes and Onion Gravy and Irish Cheddar and Stout DipOne of my top favorites of the year, this plate is a perfect way to get your fix of Rose and Crown’s bangers and mash entrée without having to actually splurge for a meal there. A hearty portion, I recommend sharing this meat and potatoes classic alongside the other new dish at the Ireland booth…

  • Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread (V)

Canada’s beer cheese soup better take notice – this cheddar and stout dip is gaining ground fast as one of the best cheesy dishes at Walt Disney World. Rich, sharp cheddar combines with malty and hearty stout beer in an incredibly smooth, perfect-for-dipping portion here. You’ll be fighting over the last few drops of this amongst friends and family, guaranteed.

 

The Rankings

 

 

Best of the Fest – Top Ten New Dishes (In No Particular Order)

 

  • Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado Lemongrass Cream (Coastal Eats)
  • Braised Beef “Stroganoff” with Tiny Egg Noodles, Wild Mushroom, and Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Sauce (Cheese Studio)
  • Cauliflower Risotto with Pulled Chicken, Artichokes, Spinach, and Parmesan Cheese with Aged Balsamic (Almond Orchard)
  • Bougatsa: Warm Phyllo Dough Strudel with Sweet Vanilla Custard, Lemon Honey Syrup, and Cinnamon (Greece)
  • Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew with Vegan Yogurt and Quinoa (Africa)
  • Charcuterie in a Cone with a selection of imported Spanish Meats, Cheeses, and Olives with an Herb Vinaigrette (Spain)
  • Sweet Olive Oil Cake with Powdered Sugar and Lemon Curd (Spain)
  • Roasted Irish Sausage with Colcannon Potatoes and Onion Gravy (Ireland)
  • Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread (Ireland)
  • Chocolate Picante: Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, and Raspberry Dust (Flavors From Fire)

 

Definite Must-Try Dishes

 

  • Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage, Onion Jam, and Maple Butter Syrup (Flavors From Fire)
  • Sweet Avocado Crema with Strawberries, Yellow Cake, and Tortilla Streusel (Active Eats)
  • Crispy Chicken with Griddled Cornbread and Red Eye Gravy (Farm Fresh)
  • Taste of Greece: Stuffed Grape Leaves with Lemon Dill Sauce, Grilled Octopus, and Feta Cheese Dip with Warm Pita (Greece)
  • Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice (Thailand)
  • Cajeta Mousse served with Cajeta Sauce and White Chocolate Flakes (Mexico)
  • Spicy Chicken Bao Bun (China)
  • Korma Chicken with Cucumber Tomato Salad, Almonds, Cashews, and Warm Naan Bread (India)
  • Spinach and Paneer Cheese Pocket with Mint Raita (Africa)
  • Moelleux au Fromage de Chèvre et Épinards: Warm Goat Cheese Pudding with Spinach (France)
  • Crispy Calamari with Spicy Pomodoro Sauce (Italy)
  • Spezzatino con Polenta: Beef Stew with Parmesan Creamy Polenta (Italy)
  • Teriyaki Ginger Pork (Japan)

 

Try If You Have Time

 

  • Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions, and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue (Flavors From Fire)
  • Seared Scallops with Roasted Corn and Butterbean Succotash and Chili-Chipotle Butter Sauce (Coastal Eats)
  • Savory Caramelized Onion Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese Tart with Cold Arugula Salad and Aged Balsamic (Cheese Studio)
  • Teriyaki-Glazed SPAM Hash with Potatoes, Peppers, Onions, and Spicy Mayonnaise (Hawai’i)
  • Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts (Hawai’i)
  • Roasted Beet Salad with Green Beans, Feta Cheese, Minus 8 Vinaigrette, and Toasted Walnuts (Farm Fresh)
  • Tequila Chipotle Shrimp: Served on a Black Bean Huarache Garnished with Red and Green Cabbage, Queso Fresco, and Crema Mexicana (Mexico)
  • Warm Indian Bread with Pickled Garlic, Mango Salsa, and Coriander Pesto Dips (India)
  • Madras Red Curry with Roasted Cauliflower, Baby Carrots, Chickpeas, and Basmati Rice (India)
  • Crème Brûlée à la Confiture de Framboises: Crème Brûlée with House-Made Raspberry Jam (France)
  • Wasabi Shumai Steamed Pork Dumpling (Japan)

 

Skip and Save Your Appetite

 

  • Chilled Scotch Egg Wrapped in Sausage with Mustard Sauce (Epcot Legacy Showplace)
  • Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich (Epcot Legacy Showplace)
  • L’Orange Cotton Candy (Epcot Legacy Showplace)
  • Baked Shrimp Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette (Coastal Eats)
  • Cheese Trio: Profiterole Topped with Boursin Garlic and Fine Herbs Cheese and Orange Apricot Jam; Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with Boursin Shallot and Chive Cheese and Everything Seasoning; Strawberry Macaron with Boursin Pepper Cheese (Cheese Studio)
  • Fire-Roasted Tomato Hummus Topped with Blue Diamond Salt & Vinegar Almonds Served with Blue Diamond Nut Thins (Almond Orchard)
  • Banana Almond Soft-Serve Sundae with Fresh Berries and Crunchy Chocolate Oats (Almond Orchard)
  • Grilled Tuna Tataki with Seaweed Salad, Pickled Cucumbers, and Wasabi Cream (Hawai’i)
  • Marinated Chicken with Peanut Sauce and Stir-Fried Vegetables (Thailand)
  • Seared Shrimp and Scallop Cake with Cold Noodle Salad (Thailand)
  • Pistachio Cardamom Bundt Cake with Chocolate Coconut Mousse (India)
  • Traditional Spanish Paella with Shrimp, Mussels, Chicken, and Crispy Chorizo (Spain)
  • Seafood Salad with Shrimp, Bay Scallops and Mussels, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, White Balsamic Vinegar, and Smoked Paprika (Spain)
  • Salmon BLT Sushi Roll (Japan)
Posted on September 26, 2017

9 Responses to “Every New Item at the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival Reviewed”

  • Obviously I will have to go back and try those items you mention that I did not purchase. I would appreciate backup in explaining to my wife why I have to return this year. My only disagreement would be with the Seafood Salad from Spain, but I am a shellfish addict so it probably doesn’t count.

  • Did you like anything in its entirety?
    Quite the depressing review.

  • What a HUGE disappointment!!! The Tuna Poke was my favorite dish from Food and Wine the last time I was there. I was SO looking forward to having it again.

  • Thanks for the thorough review of all the new stuff. I definitely had to write a few down for my second trip now after seeing some of your thoughts. Teriyaki Ginger Pork and Taste of Greece are things I wouldn’t think to try but they sound pretty good now that you mention it. Thanks again.

  • I know what you mean about avocado being a weird dessert ingredient, which is a shock at first. I saw it used as such in Indonesia, and it was actually a common flavor there. Here’s Avocado Matcha Bubble Tea:
    https://flic.kr/p/rpczk7

  • I won’t have time to try everything, so your lists will be very helpful in prioritizing my visit! That Greek dessert sounds amazing.

  • Thanks so much for this!
    Will some of these still be available
    during the holiday festival?

  • Yay! I’m so excited! I am going to my first ever Food & Wine in late October. We’ll only have one day at Epcot so I appreciate the rankings — it’s pretty obvious that it’s impossible to eat everything (although that may not stop me from trying). I’ll have to go back and look at some of the old favorites, too — I never met a carrot cake I didn’t like and I hear the one at the festival is awesome. And I’ll definitely be all about the Irish cheese dip and brown bread. Bring it on!

  • Interestingly, I noticed that two of my choices from the Spain booth came served differently than you received them. My charcuterie did not come in a cone, but in a large plastic wine glass. Also, I received my olive oil cake with the curd drizzled over the top (which was a huge help as somehow, my slice was very dry – I’m thinking it may have been cut a couple hours earlier).