Prepare your taste buds as the 2017 Epcot Food and Wine Festival is only a month and a half away. This year, the annual Walt Disney World event will be expanding its festivities to seventy-five days, giving more time and opportunity for guests to travel to and experience the festival. Not only is the length of days the festival is running for expanding, but also the amount of offerings has grown as well. The festival will now have 35 offerings to commemorate the festival’s thirty-fifth anniversary.
In celebration of the upcoming event, I recently previewed some of the delectable dishes that are to come to the 75-day celebration.
Chandeliers hung from the ceiling as members of the media and myself made our way inside the preview. Beams of light shined from above onto neatly arranged dishes on tables that lined the walls of the room. Upon entering the event, everyone was treated to a refreshing drink, the Frozen Wine Cocktail that features Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blane (featured in the image above).
Next came a small speech to introduce some of the new comings to the event, which included 5 new food and beverage places. Then we were released to go off and enjoy the stunning new dishes that were offered.
VIDEO – PREVIEW OF EPCOT’S 2017 FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL:
To start off the sampling, I headed over to Coastal Eats, one of the 5 new food places that will be offering a selection of seafood dishes. This was where I sampled the Seared Scallops paired with roasted corn, butterbean succotash and a chili-chipotle butter sauce.
I might be a little biased as I really enjoy a good seared scallop, but this was a delicious dish. The scallops were cooked perfectly, seared to a fine golden brown. They melted in your mouth with each bite. The pairing of the roasted corn and butterbean succotash really complemented the dish well and enhanced the flavors of the already delightful shellfish.
At the new Flavors of Fire, where guests can expect spicy foods to heat up their taste buds was the Smoked Corned Beef. This dish is put together with crispy potatoes, pickled onions and blonde ale beer fondue, featuring Belgioioso Romano and American Grans cheeses.
The corned beef was cooked really well and the pairing of the crispy potatoes really brought this dish to life. Although, the cheese fondue was a little overwhelming and seemed a little heavy on the dish.
An offering from Thailand was the Red Hot Spicy Thai Curry Beef with Steamed Rice.
If you are someone who does not like spicy foods, then this may not be the dish for you as it does contain a kick. I must say, the rice was seasoned very well and all of the savory flavor in this piece of meat definitely will have you looking for seconds. Although, you may want to keep a tall glass of water close by.
This next dish from Hawai’i featured an ingredient that might be a little surprising to some guests… as it actually contained SPAM. The Teriyaki-glazed SPAM Hash with Potatoes, finished with peppers, onions, and spicy mayonnaise.
This dish did not disappoint as it was actually a popular sampling at the event. I myself was a little weary of the dish due to the fact that it was centered around canned meat, but after tasting it, I was not disappointed. All of this dish’s flavor and ingredients came together nicely for a really solid offering.
Spain featured a Charcuterie in a Cone, which was filled with a selection of imported Spanish meats, cheeses and olives with an herb vinaigrette.
If you’re on the go at the Festival, this is definitely a great quick-bite to take with you as you journey along the countries in the World Showcase. Although, I found that the herb vinaigrette was a little strong for my taste.
India introduced the Madras Red Curry with roasted cauliflower, baby carrots, chickpeas, and basmati rice.
This was actually a favorite of mine at the event. The curry by itself was delicious, but when paired with the baby carrots, chickpeas and rice, it really had me salivating for more.
The preview also contained a sampling of some of the festival’s new deserts to be introduced at the festival.
The Sweet Avocado Crema, a new offering that will be found in Active Eats. Active Eats is a new food place that will offer food that is said to fuel the body and fill you with energy. This delicious sweet was put together with strawberries, avocado, yellow cake and tortilla streusel (pictured below).
This was a fairly light but tasty desert. This small treat was quite enjoyable as it wasn’t super rich, the yellow cake was nice and light in your mouth. Then with the combination of the avocado and strawberries came a sweetness that made the dessert really enjoyable and almost refreshing as it contained more natural ingredients
A desert offering from Spain was The Sweet Olive Oil Cake with powdered sugar and lemon curd.
Lastly, The Cheese Trio, which includes Profiterole topped with Boursin Garlic, Fine Herbs, Cheese and Orange Apricot Jam, a Smoked Salmon Pinwheel with Boursin Shallot, Chive Cheese and Everything Seasoning, and a Strawberry Macaroon with Boursin Pepper Cheese.
The preview also showed off a sneak peek at some of the merchandise that will be offered at the festival. This includes a series of Figment themed Dooney and Bourke purses.
And a figment themed oven mitt, mug, ear hat and MagicBand.
Some other merchandise previewed at the event included hats, water bottles, T-shirts, napkins, salt and pepper shakers, hoodies and wine glasses.
The 35th Food & Wine Festival begins August 31, continuing daily around the World Showcase through November 13. The festival will feature all of the offerings you saw in this article, in addition to others from countries around the world.