Photo Credit: Photo by Charlene Guilliams
Inside Disney's Annual Epcot International Food And Wine Festival
Calling all foodies and wine connoisseurs. If you didn’t know, Disney’s Epcot hosts an international food and wine festival every fall. This year, because of COVID, the festival brought in its 25th anniversary with a new name.
The Taste of Epcot International Food and Wine Fest started in July, and as of now it will continue indefinitely. Visitors can sample authentic dishes, cocktails, wine and beer from more than 20 destinations across 6 continents.
“This year we wanted to pay homage to it being our 25th year and still celebrate having this great festival, just a little bit differently,” Chelsea Florig, EPCOT food and beverage project manager told Travel Noire.
The Disney culinary team spends time researching culturally relevant dishes from countries all around the world. Often times, the team will actually travel to and spend time in the destination, to ensure they get it right.
From there— through a series of collaborative meetings and brainstorming sessions— the dishes are recreated and thoughtfully paired with wines, beers, and spirits also from the country.
Most of the dishes are less than $10 (cocktails, beer and wine vary), and you’ll definitely want to pace yourself.
“We also like to ask guests what they enjoy seeing each year, and we try to bring back fan favorites as often as we can.”
In addition to the food and drink pairings, you can also shop for unique souvenirs and collectibles. Many of the items sold during the fest are things that you would likely have to travel to that country to get.
Start in the Motherland with Piri Piri skewered shrimp with citrus-scented couscous, and pair it with the Jam Sweet Jar Shiraz from the Western Cape of South Africa. As you enjoy your meal, watch native craftsmen hand-carve unique wood pieces as well as hand-bead African-inspired jewelry.
Next, head to Japan for an Instagrammable frothy cold ramen and Chirashi sushi flowerpot. Wash them down with a strawberry nigori sake. Oh, and don’t forget to flick it up in front of the reconstructed Japanese palace.
For your latin-inspired cravings, check out the Brazil offerings. The crispy pork belly and the Brazilian cheese bread, will definitely give you your fix until the borders reopen. They even have frozen caipirinhas.
For the cocktail lovers, we hear there are some amazing spicy margaritas in the Mexico marketplace, some refreshing alcohol slushies in Paris, and great Prosecco cocktails in Italy.
No matter your international taste, there is literally something for you at this annual event. If you can’t make it this year, definitely consider adding it to your plans next year. It can even be a fun girls trip, baecation, or solo adventure.