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Best of the Fest: NEW Items at the 2012 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Booths

The time has finally arrived! Today is Opening Day for the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in Walt Disney World!

Dessert Trio at Desserts and Champagne Booth

But, as many of you know, yesterday was a “soft opening” for the tasting booths in Epcot’s World Showcase…which means I GOT TO EAT STUFF!

Yep — I sampled just about every single item on the menus yesterday (yes, I’m very, very full), and I’d love to share some of my favorite NEW eats for 2012!

2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival NEW Favorites

Remember, if you want to see ALL of the photos I took yesterday and ALL of the food items available at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival this year, you’ll want to head over to our individual booth pages here.

Just click on the country you’d like to see and we’ll share both the menu and all of the food photos!

OK, let’s get started!

Spinach and Paneer Pocket at South Africa Booth

This is a brand new item at the festival this year, and I’ve definitely been looking forward to trying it.

Spinach and Paneer Pocket at South Africa Booth

A savory (and actually quite large!) pocket filled with ample amounts of spinach and paneer cheese, this vegetarian snack definitely makes the list. Get it in South Africa.

“Le Cellier” Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce

Well, I was definitely excited when I found out the Canada Booth was going to bring the fabulous Le Cellier filet with truffle butter sauce to the festival. But I was ecstatic when it turned out to be delicious!

Mushroom Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce

I mean, come on — what if they overcooked it? What if there wasn’t enough truffle butter sauce? There was so much that could go wrong.

But it didn’t. The meat was tender and flavorful (and not overcooked — hooray!). And there was…dare I say it?…ENOUGH truffle butter sauce for me. ME! (That’s saying something, since I’m the person who orders an extra side of truffle butter sauce when I’m at the restaurant.)

Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote at Desserts and Champagne Booth

You guys know how I feel about lemon curd…and how I feel about lemon curd paired with blueberries…so you can imagine how I feel about the Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote at this year’s Desserts and Champagne Booth!

Desserts and Champagne Booth Dessert Trio

Don’t let the lemon “custard” fool you. This tastes like straight up lemon curd. It’s sour — probably too sour for some — but that blueberry compote definitely sweetens things up.

Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote...minus one bite

I will be headed back. I will buy more. Oh yes.

Salsiccia e “Papacelli” Napoletani at Italy Booth

Another brand new item at the festival this year is this sweet sausage with red pepper and Ciabatta bread found at the Italy booth.

Salsiccia e “Papacelli” Napoletani

Both sweet and spicy, the savory dish is definitely one I’d return to buy again!

Tequila Flight at Mexico Booth

Over at the Mexico Booth, the Tequila Flight is a bit steep at $12.50, but I thought the presentation was really fun.

Tequila Flight in Mexico

Sukiyaki Beef Pan at Japan Pavilion

OK, this is clarified on the menu as: Marinated Thinly Sliced Rib Eye with Sauteed Onions and Teriyaki Sauce Served in a Bun. And. It’s. Awesome!!! (I added that last part.)

Sukiyaki Beef Pan from Japan

Japan was my 23rd booth of the day, so by the time I got there I was so full and so tired that I was really dragging my feet. And while this little item doesn’t look like much, it really caught my waning attention! It was absolutely delicious!

Think “really good cheesesteak with no cheese and some teriyaki sauce instead” and you’ll get the idea. (You totally know what it’s like, now, right? ;-) I know. I have a gift of communication.) Anyway, try it. Get the sushi, too, but don’t pass by this one.

While there are plenty more brand new items at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, these were just a few stand-outs from my first day at the festival.

I’ll be back soon with more fun details and reviews, but in the meantime, follow me at the festival!

Wanna See ALL the Food at the Festival Booths?

Don’t forget to check out all of our brand new FOOD PHOTOS from the booths on our Epcot Food and Wine Festival World Showcase Booth Pages!

We’ve updated the pages with all new pics, and there are more to come tomorrow!

Let us know your favorite items from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival in the comments below!

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20 Comments

  1. Soooo looking forward to trying your recommendations AJ! The pocket from South Africa looks yummy….and lemon curd?? Oh yes, I love it!!!

  2. Leah says:

    Wow! I checked the blog today not expecting to see photos and updated menus for all of the booths, but you exceeded my expectations! Awesome job.

  3. Pudge the Fish says:

    23 booths AJ? You’re an animal! Sounds like a Food Network special is in your future: Women vs. Food. :) Have you ever considered a video blog?

  4. Juanita says:

    I can’t believe you sampled everything! I’m very impressed and a bit jealous. I’ve just read this post so far but definitely looking forward to checking out the pages for the individual booths.

  5. Patty says:

    I’m 28 days away from enjoying the Food and Wine myself! Can’t wait.

  6. Greg M says:

    Wow, AJ….what a trooper!!! Thanks for putting yourself through all of that just for us!;)

  7. Glenn says:

    Love this!! Thank you, AJ! I won’t be able to make it to the F&W Fest this year, so I’ll be visiting your site often to drool, and maybe weep a bit :-)

  8. Claire says:

    Eat through the pain!!! Way to go, AJ!! 23 booths? You have my admiration and respect. :)

  9. Dana says:

    Wow! 23 booths in one day! You’re a machine!

    Thanks for the wonderful pics! I’ll be at the festival tomorrow, and now I know what to look for!

  10. AJ says:

    Ha ha!! You guys are hilarious! I wasn’t looking for kudos, but I’ll certainly take them! ;-) It was a long, but wonderful day to be sure! Headed back today to get one more booth and a few items that were not yet ready to be served yesterday.

  11. JoAnn says:

    AJ, you are my hero. :-)

    The spinach and paneer pocket is on my list of items to try.

  12. Jason Maxwell says:

    I’ve been meaning to ask, do you have any photos of the souvenir stein?

  13. Amy says:

    That dessert trio looks delicious! My last trip to WDW was my first visit to the Food & Wine Festival, and I loved it. We’ll miss it when we go this year, but there’s already talk of catching it on the next trip. I’ll have to see what other finds you uncover this year!

  14. AJ says:

    Jason — I do! I’ll add it to the upcoming merchandise post publishing this afternoon.

  15. Ana says:

    AJ, was the spinach paneer pocket deep fried or baked? It looks delicious, and sort of healthy…love it!

  16. Jason Maxwell says:

    Thanks AJ!

  17. Paula B. says:

    Bravo, taking one for the blog (and the readers)! What a day, you must have been stuffed and exhausted! So great to get a peek at all the goodies, someday I will be celebrating fall at this wonderful event, in the meantime, thanks for all you do here.

  18. Karen says:

    AJ, wonderful, wonderful….. Can’t wait, DH and I will be there on Oct. 24 for 6 days…..

  19. notchris says:

    Thanks for doing most of the legwork so we don’t have to.

    Can you request a level of doneness for the steak? And for us glass half empty people, will there be a “worst of” list?

  20. resident_hippie says:

    The spinach & paneer pocket was probably one of the tastiest items I tried when we were there. I’m going to try to track down a recipe. So tasty.

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