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We can’t wait to head to Food and Wine Festival again this year. It is one of our favorite festivals and one of our favorite times of year to head to Epcot and Walt Disney World. Whether you have a more adventurous palate or prefer to play it safe, there is something for everyone at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.
The festival runs from August 29 to November 23, 2019. It is the longest running festival at Epcot and this year it will include over 30 kitchens from around the world.
There are quite a few new items coming to this year’s festival but there are some returning favorites and that is what we are going to focus on today. We try as many booths as possible each year to find the best of the fest and we are pretty excited to see some of these tasty vittles returning for another delicious year.
Over at Active Eats, the Loaded Macaroni & Cheese with Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon, Cheddar and Leeks is returning. We can’t turn down a mac and cheese and this is certainly no exception. The only way this could be better is if they brought it back in a cone circa 2017. Pair it with a refreshing and bubbly M.I.A. Beer Company Key Lime Hard Sparkling Water, fresh from Florida.
Brazil is bringing the flavor again this year with two of our absolute favorite dishes from 2018 coming back again. The Moqueca: Brazilian Seafood Stew featuring Scallops, Shrimp and White Fish with Coconut-lime Sauce and Steamed Rice and the Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread is back again and we are thrilled. This amazing mix of spice and bright flavor will leave your taste buds dancing and of course, you have to wash it down with a Frozen Caipirinha also from Brazil.
Canada is known for their heavy and filling comfort dishes don’t cha know. This year two dishes are back that are definite must try’s but be warned, they are heavy and hot so you might want to wait for the temps to drop a few degrees and avoid these during the middle of the day. The Canadian Cheddar Cheese and Bacon Soup served with a Pretzel Roll and is straight out of Le Cellier, the signature restaurant in Canada as is the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle-Butter Sauce. Bursting with flavor and warm vibes, these had to make the list.
China is always a popular kitchen and this year they are bringing back the Black Pepper Shrimp with Garlic Noodles. The flavors are great but if I remember correctly, this dish was packed with spice.
Coastal Eats is bringing the seafood game and bringing two festival faves back with the Lump Crab Cake with Napa Cabbage Slaw and Avocado-Lemongrass Cream and the Baked Shrimp and Scallop Scampi Dip with Sourdough Baguette. The crab cake was a best of the fest for many guests for the last few years and we are sure it will be again. While the scampi dip packs a buttery, rich taste and that classic fresh and zesty scampi flavor.
Flavors From Fire was an incredibly popular kitchen last year and they are back again with two great dishes we remember well. The Steakhouse Blended Burger: Blended Beef and Mushroom Slider with Brie Cheese Fondue, Arugula, and a Truffle and Blue Cheese Potato Chip on a Brioche Bun is packed with lots of flavors and a moist, succulent burger with a little extra earthy richness from the mushroom.
Two years in a row, one of the crowd favorites has been the Smoked Corned Beef with Crispy Potatoes, Cheese Curds, Pickled Onions and Beer-Cheese Fondue. I found it a bit salty last year but Bryson liked it even better last year than he did the year before, so as always, it’s a matter of preference and taste buds. Be sure to stop at this kitchen to tempt your taste buds.
Ooh la la France always bring the rich and sophisticated flavors to the festival and this year is no exception. A controversial favorite is the Croissant aux Escargots. Yes, we said escargots or snails if you will. But trust us on this one. There is so much flaky, buttery, garlicky goodness in this croissant, the escargots are truly an afterthought. Our favorite drink from the fest is here too! Back for a third (at least) year is the La Passion Martini Slushy: Vodka, Grey Goose Le Citron, Cranberry and Passion Fruit Juice. Perfect for a hot day or night, this millennial pink frozen drink pairs citrus vodka with the perfect mixture of tart cranberry and tropical passion fruit.
My absolute, hands down, #1 dish from Food and Wine festival is at the Hawaii kitchen and is the Passion Fruit Cheesecake with Toasted Macadamia Nuts. As many of you know, I am a true sucker from all things tropical and especially passion fruit. This light, flavorful packed cheesecake is the perfect mix of sweet, tart and buttery rich from the macadamia nuts. A must have.
Hops and Barley in the American pavilion is home to the New England Lobster Roll: Warm Lobster with Fresh Herb Mayonnaise and Griddled Roll. Truth be told, this dish seems to get smaller and smaller each year it makes an appearance but the taste is still there. A griddled roll slathered in butter and topped with decadent lobster in a lemony, herby mayo. Absolutely delicious and an all American classic.
Ireland was divine last year and we are excited to see several morsels returning for another star studded lineup. The Warm Irish Cheddar Cheese and Stout Dip with Irish Brown Bread is intense, deep, cheese flavor. You have to love hearty, strong cheeses for this one but we do so it works and we can’t wait to get several again this year. Also over in Ireland, the Warm Chocolate Pudding with Irish Cream Liqueur Custard. This pudding/cake was smooth and creamy and oozing in chocolate goodness. Then they go ahead and top it with that Irish Cream custard to give it a bit of an edge and it sends it over the top. The Guinness Baileys Shake is also returning and it topped our list last year. We had several and plan on doing the same this year.
Last but not least over in Wine and Dine Studio, you are not going to want to miss these returning favorites. Seared Scallops, Truffled Celery Root Purée, Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms are returning and these far outweigh scallop offerings from Flower and Garden Festival. The delicate, sweet flavor of the scallops, paired with the delicious truffle flavor in the puree and the vegetables make this one of our favorites. Also back is the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter Vinaigrette, Parmesan Cheese and Pumpkin Seeds. Yes please!
Those are our returning favorites to the 2019 Food and Wine Festival. Stay Tuned right here at For the Love of the Mouse as we continue to cover the Food and Wine Festival and all things Disney and beyond. And don’t forget to check out our blog post covering the entire menu for this year’s fest.
One favorite of note that we are not seeing on the menu’s was a fan favorite from a lot of people last year and that is the roasted chicken and spinach dip from Almond Orchard. We are sad to not see this creamy dip return.
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