We recently had the opportunity to sample many of the snacks at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival at Walt Disney World, and in so doing, determined some of our favorites. Our ‘top picks’ list is based upon taste, value, and portion size. Here are our picks, in no particular order:
Australia: Grilled Lamb Chop with Potato-Goat Cheese Salad and Shiraz Reduction
I might be a little biased here. I absolutely love lamb, potatoes, and goat cheese. So it should really be no surprise that I loved this snack. To be fair, I didn’t just like it because it mixed three things I like; I liked it because it mixed them in a logical way where none overpowered the rest, and the resulting dish was flavorful. My one complaint was that my cut of lamb was a little fatty, but overall, it was not a big deal. It’s on the more expensive end of the snack spectrum, but it offers decent value given the large portion size.
Belgium: Steamed Mussels with Roasted Garlic Cream & Baguette
Okay, I am no connoisseur of mussels. I think I’ve only had them once or twice before trying this snack at the Belgium pavilion. However, I am an expert on garlic cream sauces. My non-expert and expert opinion on this dish is that it was one of the best snacks, both from a taste and value perspective, that I had at the Food & Wine Festival. The mussels were tender and tasted great, and the cream sauce was utterly amazing. Much to Sarah’s chagrin, I discretely headed to a hidden nook and licked the rest of the garlic cream sauce off my plate when I was done with this one. Uncouth? Sure. Totally worth it? Double-sure.
Desserts & Champagne: Dessert Trio (Lemon Chiffon, White Chocolate Macadamia Mousse with Dark Chocolate Pearls, and Tres Leches Verrine)
If you followed Sarah’s travels on Instagram, you might have noticed that we purchased this snack on three different days. At only $3.75 (the kiosk also sold each of the snacks in the trio individually for $1.50) for three snacks that tasted this good, it should be no surprise. I could string together a list of superlatives to describe each of the snacks in the trio, but that shouldn’t be necessary. Buy this, you won’t be sorry.
Hawaii: Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise
This was the first snack we tried at the Food & Wine Festival, and it really set the bar high. The bun was a wonderful and buttery (unsurprisingly) Hawaiian roll, the sauce was rich and not too spicy, and the meat was moist and perfectly flavored. We really had to restrain ourselves from ordering more of these bad boys! Even though, as best I can tell, Hawaii is not a country, it was a great addition to the Food & Wine Festival!
Canada: Chicken Chipotle Sausage with Sweet Corn Polenta
I refuse to eat soup in hot weather, so I once again passed over the Cheddar Cheese Soup (still haven’t tried it!), but all was not lost, as we instead sampled this delicious snack, which offered good value and even better taste. The sausage itself had a bit of bite to it, but nothing that most palates can’t handle. The polenta provided the perfect compliment.
Japan: California Sushi Roll
This sushi tasted pretty good (albeit not as good as California Grill’s or other sushi served at Table Service restaurants on property), but it mostly gets the nod for its value. It was also quite well-priced. Plus, for sushi-lovers like myself, it’s tough to pass up sushi at a food festival, and I think this was the best sushi offered at this year’s Food & Wine Festival.
Morocco: Kefta Pocket (Beef in a Pita Pocket)
I love the lamb kefta at Sanaa, so I figured this kefta pocket from Morocco would be worth trying. As far as value goes, I would say it did poorly. However, the taste makes up for that, as it was a meaty and very flavorful dish. The portion size was fairly large, too. On second thought, maybe the value wasn’t that bad, after all!
Hops & Barley (aka Beer+America!!!): Pumpkin Mousse with Ocean Spray Craisins and Orange Sauce
I saved the best for last with this one. Now, it’s true that I love all things pumpkin. Heck, we do a yearly pumpkin beer sampling because we love pumpkins so much. Sarah makes pumpkin smoothies. A pumpkin candle (which we do NOT eat) sits on our coffee table right now. That said, we are both pretty discerning when it comes to pumpkin-cuisine. We don’t just love everything with the word pumpkin slapped on it that just happens to have a hint of pumpkin and an over-abundance of cinnamon (a common error in pumpkin-food preparation). I think we ended up having about 5 of these over the course of our trip. The perfectly balanced mousse was definitely the highlight, but the Craisins (this new Ocean Spray sponsorship is really proving to be a huge win for Walt Disney World Guests!) were a surprisingly good compliment to the dish. This is easily the best mix of value and taste at this year’s Food & Wine Festival. Order this (or a few of this!) for sure.
Overall, we had a great time sampling the different snacks at Food & Wine Festival. Be warned, if you’re not on the Disney Dining Plan with Snack Credits to spare, you can spend a lot of money rather quickly in an afternoon wandering around the World Showcase. Portion sizes are typically small, and prices can be somewhat high. That said, there are some snacks that represent good bang-for-buck options, and most of the snacks are quite tasty. If you choose to order something not pictured here, we highly recommend that you ask to see it first at the kiosk, they will show you the items, or head over to the Disney Food Blog’s excellent kiosk pages for visual references of all the snacks. We made the mistake of not doing this a couple of times, and were either underwhelmed by the portion size, or were disappointed to receive a pre-packaged snack. Most of the time this will not be an issue, and you’re sure to like 75% (or more) of the snacks offered!
Finally, here are photos of a few of the other photos the snacks we tried, to whet your appetite!
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