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Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Pictures and Review: Italy and New Zealand

Yay! We’re headed back to Epcot for another great World Showcase booth review at the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Our stops today include guest favorites Italy and New Zealand.

If you’re looking for your other favorite booths, be sure to check out ALL the info and brand new photos on our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Booth Pages.

Click on any booth or country name, to see detailed information, menus, and prices, and you’ll also see our all-new photos from each booth!

Italy

Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival Italy Booth has been a mainstay of the Food and Wine Festival since the very beginning, way back in 1996.

Italy Marketplace Booth

This year, we said goodbye to a few dishes, but enthusiastically welcomed some awesome additions to the menu!

2012 Italy Marketplace Booth Menu -- Click to Enlarge

New to the Italy Booth this year is the Salsiccia e “Papacelli” Napoletani — a sweet sausage with peppers, served with ciabatta bread.

I really enjoyed this miniature take on an Italian classic, sweet sausage and peppers. And I love that there’s a new sausage kid on the block to join Germany’s Bratwurst and Canada’s Chicken Chipotle Sausage!

Salsiccia e “Papacelli” Napoletani (Sweet Sausage, Red Pepper, Ciabatta Bread)

A fan favorite — the Ravioli di Formaggio all-Emiliana — returns, and is just as delicious as ever! The large cheese ravioli is smothered in a meaty, creamy, tomato-laced sauce, and is then topped with cheese before it’s broiled to a golden brown finish.

Ravioli di Formaggio all’Emiliana (Baked Cheese Ravioli, Creamy Beef Bolognese, Parmesan, Mozzarella)

This one will inspire fork fights, so get two. ;-) The portion size is hearty, and so are the flavors. It’s really like a mini-meal!

Ravioli di Formaggio All’emiliana -- Cross Section

Cannoli always makes me happy — and Cannolo Al Cioccolato is even better. They’ve taken traditional cannoli, but added a chocolate-covered shell. It’s just different enough to keep it interesting. This is a welcome return from the past couple of festivals.

Chocolate Cannoli

But — drumroll please — the absolute highlight of the Italian booth for me is the addition of the Italian Margarita!

One of my favorite drinks featured on the menu at Via Napoli within the Italy Pavilion, I love that I can get it to-go during the Festival! Flavored with limoncello and a punch from grappa, this is a must-try addition to your Drinking Around the World quest.

Italian Margarita

New Zealand

Festival guests have been enjoying wines and great food from the Epcot Food and Wine Festival New Zealand booth since 1997. Here, you’ll find options with a Pan-Asian influence that celebrate the flavors of this island nation.

New Zealand Marketplace Booth

There are a few slight changes to the menu in 2012, but the biggest changes are to presentation.

2012 New Zealand Marketplace Booth Menu -- Click to Enlarge

We started by trying the Seared Sea Scallop with Kumara Red Curry Puree and Apple Radish Salad. Did you know that kumara is the name used in New Zealand for sweet potatoes? I didn’t!

The puree, laced with the mildly spicy red curry, was a terrific foil to the richness of the sea scallop. The apple radish salad lends both textural and flavor punch as well.

Seared Sea Scallop with Kumara Red Curry Puree and Apple Radish Salad

Gone is the lamb slider from last year, but it’s been replaced by the Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney (not altogether that different, eh?). The flavors are good, but I kind of miss that little bun, which made for more portable eating!

Lamb Meatball with Spicy Tomato Chutney

So once again, Italy and New Zealand prove why they continue to draw big crowds year after year!

What looks good to you so far at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

Don’t see your favorite booths here? Check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival Menus for more pictures of all your favorite dishes.

And if this is the week you’re headed to the Festival for all the fun, be sure to pick up your very own copy of our DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book for a full schedule of events, touring strategies, tips and tricks, and a full section on the World Showcase booths this year. Get a discount TODAY with our Festival mid-point sale!

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12 Comments

  1. Gorjus says:

    I’ll start with the positive. The wine at this booth is fabulous. Kim Crawford is a fabulous vineyard and I don’t even want to pair the Sauvignon Blanc with anything. It is much too good by itself. I don’t like Chardonnay, but the un-oaked Chardonnay is wonderful. All Pinot Noirs are drier this year, but this one was the best and went very well with the dishes we paired it with. The Pinot Grigio was bland with out flavor, in our opinion. As for the food, I must say I didn’t even waste my time. Honestly?! One scallop and I can’t even see the meatball?! At some point Disney will out price itself. Get your food elsewhere. Drink the yummy wine.

  2. Barry Moss says:

    I enjoyed both of the offerings at the New Zealand booth this year. While the lamb slider from last year is still one of my favorites, the lamb meatball with spicy tomato chutney was quite flavourful. I wouldn’t really describe it as a chutney–it was more like spicy stewed tomatoes, but very tasty and a good combination. The scallop was also very tasty.

  3. Katie says:

    I agree with Gorjus, it is way cheaper to get alot more of the same tasting food elsewhere for the same price. I skipped Italy when I went and New Zealand was just too expensive

  4. Sandy B says:

    AJ I am a bit of a light weight with alcohol & can most likely only enjoy one drink per night at the F&W Festival – which cocktails would you most recommend?

  5. Dana says:

    Oh my gosh, the sausage and peppers from Italy were fantastic! I was so glad I tried that one. The scallop from New Zealand was also very tasty – I’m not a big scallop person, but I ate every last bite.

  6. Becca says:

    We were going to skip the Italy booth because we have four pretty good Italian restaurants in our very small town, but piggy behaviour got the better of us. I wasn’t sorry – the ravioli was incredible!

    LOL, Sandy B, I’m exactly the same! I ended up insisting that we share beers so I wouldn’t be written off!

  7. AJ says:

    Gorjus — Ha ha! Thanks for your review; very enlightening! :-)

    Barry Moss — Thanks for your feedback on the New Zealand Booth! I thought the dishes were presented well, but I agree that the slider is missed.

    Katie — Thank you for sharing your opinion!

    Sandy B — I’m working on a post about my favorite cocktails at the Festival right now! Are you a big wine/beer drinker, or do you prefer mixed drinks and cocktails?

    Dana — Agreed — I loved the sausage and peppers. :-)

    Becca — Ha ha! That ravioli IS good!

  8. Sandy B says:

    AJ – definitely looking for a cocktail in the warm weather – something different

    And Becca – good idea to split drinks – I am bringing my foodie 8 yr old daughter so I can try more food items by sharing but I can’t split drinks w her :) well, not for another 13yrs anyway…

  9. Matt says:

    I had the lamb meatball today from new Zealand and I loved it. Very tasty. The tomato chutney added just the right flavor.

  10. Galloping Gourmand says:

    The scallop was one of my favorites of the year. The stand had no line when I was there, but we still had to wait while the cook meticulously seared the scallop. A manager was expediting – “I need five all day.. six all day… seven all day…” and seemed a little irritated, but you don’t rush shellfish. As I said, the scallop was meticulously done. I liked the curry a lot even though it tasted almost exactly like the curry at another booth. The apple radish slaw didn’t add much to it for me, but it didn’t take anything away either. I think it was a good garnish simply used to add some color.

    Gosh, I have to start keeping up better. Just got back from Food and Wine and so behind on this and everything else now!

  11. Alexa says:

    The Italian Margarita has always been a favorite of mine!! Do they not sell it at the gelato booth anymore? Unless it has changed in the past few months, it used to be available throughout the year.

  12. Logan says:

    Hiya – I’m an American living in New Zealand. First, it’s really cool to see that the booths are much more themed this year (they were quite plain last year).

    Second…while wikipedia claims that the kumara is just our term for the sweet potato, the kumara is quite different from what most Americans know as the sweet potato. There are several different varieties, depending on how sweet you want the veggie. It’s often served cut up into chunks or in soups or hummus. It is amazing, and I totally love it (and I was never a fan of sweet potatoes)!

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