The Epcot International Food And Wine Festival has been going on for just over a week, and I’ve spent a good amount of time there already. There are two new countries in the International Marketplace this year – Scotland and Brazil.
I spent the majority of my time tasting the new items – not only from the two new countries, but also new food from returning countries. A good number of the new items pack a spicy punch. Here are my top 5 picks among these new offerings:
1) Kimchi Dog, South Korea. The hot dog is specially made for Disney filled with Asian flavors. The hot dog is topped with a kimchi style slaw and a spicy mustard. This is what gives the dish its heat.
2) Crispy Pork Belly, Brazil. From one of the new marketplace booths, this was one of the best pieces of pork belly I’ve had. Ever. The accompanying black beans and smashed avocado salad help round out the hunk of meat.
3) Mango and habañero margarita, Mexico. Despite the chile in the drink, this is not spicy. The habañero adds more flavor than heat. The drink is refreshing without being too sweet, which is just how I like them.
4) Berbere style beef with okra, tomato, and pap (grits), Africa. Another spicy dish, this time thanks to the jalapeño. The vegetables and grits make this dish feel complete, and it is probably the largest portion for the least amount of money. The Africa booth also consistently has the shortest line, which is a good tip when the park is full.
5) Potato Leek Waffle with Braised Beef, Belgium. I waited all afternoon for this dish, because it kept selling out. Let me tell you, it is worth the wait. The dish tastes like the best beef stew, in a waffle form. This is not the best picture of the dish, but trust me that this is a must-try. I’ll also be sharing the recipe for it soon!
6) Okay, one more. Silky Spun Ice, China. If you need to cool off from all the spicy food, I recommend this ice cream. The flavor rotates by week during the festival, and I had the luck to taste the coconut. It is so light, it feels like tasting coconut spun air. It’s perfect for a hot afternoon.
Other favorites of the new items include: seared scallop (Brazil), cherry pistachio mousse (Desserts & Champagne), scotch flight (Scotland), and the rainbow trout (Canada).
Intrigued yet? Are you going to the Food & Wine festival this year? Which items sound good to you? Many of my favorite dishes from last year’s festival have returned and are as good as ever, like the Mongolian beef in a steamed bun, filet with truffle sauce, grapefruit beer, and the lamb chop. Check out my flickr set of the festival to see pictures of all the food that’s offered.