The 2022 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is in full swing and we’ve been enough to have sampled most of the new goodies that had really piqued our interest. (Other than those at booths not opening until August 15th – Hawai’i, The Noodle Exchange, Coastal Eats, and Mac & Eats.) And, as always, there are a few major standouts that should not be missed. In my humble opinion, here’s that short list:
The Fry Flight at the new Fry Basket Booth near Test Track
Fry Flight – Sea Salt and Malt Vinegar Fries (plant based), Barbecued Bacon Fries with Smoked Aioli, and Sweet Potato Casserole Fries with Candied Pecans, Toasted Marshmallow Cream, and Caramel Whisky ($7.50) (The Fry Basket Near Test Track presented by Chevrolet)
Every year there’s one item that everyone is talking about and this year it’s this fry flight. Each of the trio is perfect and as a set they’ll take you from a beach boardwalk to Thanksgiving dinner. This is only going to get better as we get into the fall, too. That sweet potato casserole finish is going to taste even better in November.
Adobo Yuca Fries with Garlic Cilantro Aïoli (gluten/wheat-friendly and plant-based) ($5.50)
While you’re at The Fry Basket, don’t miss these yuca fries either. They’re so hearty and the aïoli is the perfect accompaniment. This is also plant-friendly, so a great option there if you’re looking for it.
Also worth mentioning, the fries here usually sell so fast that it’s not an issue – but Disney knows that fries need to be served right away. There are strict standards at this booth to make sure that nothing ever sits for long.
The Bao at the (always amazing!!) Flavors From Fire Booth near Test Track
Bahn Mi Bao with Char-grilled Asian Skirt Steak, Chicken Liver Aioli, Pickled Vegetables, and Cilantro ($5.75) (Flavors from Fire, Near Test Track presented by Chevrolet)
This is usually my favorite booth and it didn’t disappoint this year either. They have always done skirt steak on a corn cake and it’s typically my favorite thing at the whole festival. This year they did this bao version instead and it’s awesome. The flavors are so well balanced and the pickled vegetables give it a little crunch and kick. Also worth mentioning that if you’re put off by the idea of chicken liver aioli, I didn’t even know it was in there until I reread the item description. It’s not, at least in my opinion, a dominant taste at all.
The Warm Raclette with Pears and Figs at the Alps Booth near Germany
Warm Raclette Swiss Cheese with Riesling-poached Pears, Red Wine-braised Figs, Candied Pecans, Honey, and Cranberry Toast ($5.50) (The Alps, near Germany)
I didn’t love the raclette before this year – cheese and bread is never bad but meh – but this one is so good!! The cheese is still swiss but seems to pack a little more of a punch than before – and who could say no to pears, figs, candied pecans, and honey? It’s such a nice balance of textures and of sweet and salty.
The PB&J Sticky Wings and Dry-rubbed Jerk-spiced Wings at Brew-Wing at the Odyssey
Sticky Wings with Peanut Sauce and Grape Gel with Celery and Ranch ($7.50) and Dry-rubbed Jerk-spiced Wings with Papaya Chili Sauce with Celery and Ranch ($7.50) (Brew-Wing at the Odyssey between Mexico and Test Track presented by Chevrolet)
There are lots of great wing options at Brew-Wing (such a cute name) at the Odyssey. It’s also a great place to sit and enjoy a little A/C. They’ve (sadly) removed the EPCOT Experience display that had been in this building and now it’s all seating space again, so you’ll often have luck finding a spot to take a load off and cool down for a bit here. Our favorite options are the peanut sauce and grape gel wings and the dry-rubbed jerk wings, but the garlic-parmesan (also pictured above) are good too. We also loved the variety of brews and ciders available here. The Woodchuck Guava ‘Nother Hard Cider might have been my favorite. It almost tastes like a drier rosé wine to me.
There are a lot of other wonderful things to try at the Food & Wine Festival this year, but in my opinion this is the best of the best, not to missed, short list of the new items that I’d make sure to sample during my visit. Have you been yet? What would be on your list?
* * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * * * *
If you’re missing home (or love someone who is) and are looking for a way to bring the magic home, I’d love for you to check out my Core Memory collection right HERE. And as always, stay safe and be kind, my friends.