So, yeah, okay, you’ve got a point: the 2023 Epcot Food & Wine Festival is, in fact, over. And yet here I come, armed with a whole bunch of reviews for food and drink you cannot currently purchase in WDW.
As per usual, my thought process is as follows: a) a lot of these items stand a good chance of coming back next year and b) I wanna. ¡Vamonos!
WHAT I ATE AT THE 2023 EPCOT FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
BRAZIL I Pão de Queijo: Brazilian Cheese Bread
This year’s iteration of this magnificent fluffy cheese bread was very enjoyable; whoever’s working the oven back there knows what they’re doing. Brazilian Erika always reminds me these are definitely from frozen and her dad makes them better. I say PROVE IT. Prove it straight into my mouth, sister!
CHAR & CHOP | Grilled IMPOSSIBLE Spicy Sausage with herbed polenta, puttanesca sauce, and ricotta
The Impossible sausage lacked a snappy casing, and I wouldn’t describe it was particularly spicy. Still, the flavor was good, and the texture was unobjectionable if not satisfying. I wish the ricotta was colder for contrast, but that’s tough to pull off in Florida. The polenta was kinda… there.
GERMANY | Bratwurst on a Pretzel Roll with Mustard
This was… fine. A slightly greasy sausage on a soft pretzel roll. At least the roll was pretty fresh this year, which is something. Like a bad boyfriend you can’t quite shake: it’s never what you remembered it to be, but you (and by you I of course mean me) keep coming back to it every year. Don’t sleep on the mustard.
HAWAII | SPAM® Sushi with Sushi Rice, Teriyaki-Glazed SPAM, Spicy Mayonnaise, Eel Sauce and Nori
If I recall correctly, the guy asked if I wanted the spicy mayo. I said sure, but I shouldn’t have; it was waaaay too much. Kinda drowned out the rest of the flavors. Admittedly it helps cut through the salt from the spam if that’s something you’re concerned about.
INDIA | Mango Lassi with Sōmrus Chai Cream Liqueur
This was thinner than I remember it from last year, but to be fair I was drinking this around the same time I was dealing with my lost Disney Rewards card, so I was a bit distracted. Maybe a little too much liqueur? Although far be it for me to complain about a heavy pour. The mango chunks are a nice touch.
IRELAND | Roasted Irish Sausage with colcannon potatoes and onion gravy
This tasted like standard issue breakfast sausage. Is that Irish? I want to know.
MEXICO | Pastel Imposible: Layers of Traditional Mexican Flan and Tres Leches with Guava and Cajeta
I like a good flan, and this was pretty much as good a flan as you’re gonna get served in a plastic cup, I think. The only guava was in the jam on top; mostly everything came up Mildly Caramel-ish. Not much textural variation but that doesn’t bother me personally.
MEXICO | Trouble in Paradise Margarita: Ilegal Mezcal, Watermelon Liqueur, Rosé Wine, Lime Juice and Agave with a Chili-Lime Powder Rim
To be honest, I didn’t love this. I like mezcal in some drinks, but I thought the taste was way too aggressive for the delicate flavors of the watermelon and rosé. Assuming they were there; all I could taste was mezcal.
THE NOODLE EXCHANGE | Parish Brewing Strawberry Mochi Berliner Weisse, Broussard, LA
Gentle, inoffensive, slightly sweet, easy to drink. I wasn’t blown away by the punch of flavor I was hoping for, but it was the sort of slightly-more-than-nothing beer I would get again if I just wanted a drink.
SHIMMERING SIPS | Beer Mimosa: Boulevard Brewing Co. Berry Noir Sour Ale and sparkling wine
Too sweet! Way too sweet. I would’ve been curious to try the Berry Noir sour alone; I’m not sure if it was part of the problem or the champagne ratios were off.
TANGIERINE CAFE | Stone-baked Moroccan Bread with Hummus, Chermoula, and Zhoug Dips
I’ve gotten this so many times at so many festivals. It’s always the same and I regret nothing. The bread is fresh-baked and the herbaceous chermoula dip in particular KILLS. The hummus tasted funny this year, but who cares when you have chermoula? Do you think they’d just give me three cups of chermoula next time?
WINE & WEDGE | Southern Pimento Cheese with bread-and-butter pickled vegetables and grilled bread
After grabbing this dish, I stopped by another booth to pick up the mochi beer. “Is that the pimento cheese?!” gasped the Cast Member at the till. “That’s my favorite thing at the festival!” And reader, it was MY favorite thing at the festival as well. Pimento cheese? Tasty! Grilled bread? A flawless accompaniment! Pickled vegetables? I LOVE PICKLED VEGETABLES! And these were just the right amount of acidic without feeling bogged down with vinegar. A dish made just for me, I can only assume. I hope it returns every festival forever.
Gosh, I’m not sure when my next Epcot festival will be – I’m missing out on the Festival of the Arts again this January, as my marathon trip just isn’t long enough. And I don’t plan on doing Springtime Surprise or Wine & Dine next year (probably…?), so that’s the death knell for Flower & Garden and Food & Wine 2024.
So I must savor this last festival in the only way I know how: with a way-too-long blog post. Done and done!
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