It’s finally here! We are reporting to you LIVE from the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
We’ve been busy for the last couple of days gathering information and pricing for you for every one of the Marketplace Booths at this year’s festival.
We’ve also had the pleasure of Eating and Drinking Our Way Around the World! For pictures of every dish at this year’s festival, be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth Page. Click through the links to see all of the pictures of your favorite dishes, plus plenty of new items to try!
It’s shaping up to be one of the most delicious Epcot Food and Wine Festivals ever! But after a day of tasting (and tasting, and tasting), we’ve definitely come up with some favorites. Let’s take a look at our top dishes from around the World Showcase this year…
Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and Pickled Jalapeño At Farm Fresh
As soon as you get anywhere near the Farm Fresh booth, you can smell it. Nueske’s® Pepper Bacon Hash with Sweet Corn, Potatoes, Hollandaise and Pickled Jalapeño – a strong, smokey smell of bacon laced with the sweet-spicy onions and jalapeños.
We’ve been hearing about this fun take on “breakfast for dinner” for a while now, but we were blown away by the execution of it. The dish has everything — super flavorful Bacon, Potatoes cooked perfectly (soft and fluffy in the middle and crispy on the edges), and velvety Hollandaise that stands in for the Egg in the dish, not to mention the sweet corn and spicy peppers.
Just so you know, I have to eat so much during the festival that I never fully finish any of the dishes. This one? This one I finished completely and wished it made sense for me to order MORE!
If you only try one dish this year, I think this should be the one.
Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing at Hops & Barley
We hadn’t been wowed by the Fresh Baked Carrot Cake with Craisins® and Cream Cheese Icing when we’ve tried it at recent preview events. It was good and all, but nothing to write home about.
But the version of the dish that we tried today at the Hops & Barley Booth was a show-stopper. And no, I’m not even exaggerating a teeny bit.
The Cake itself is incredibly dense and moist, full of Carrot, Pineapple, and Craisins. It’s served very warm, with a topping of decadent Cream Cheese Icing that’s ladled over it — also warm.
Just when I didn’t think I could love Carrot Cake more than I already do — they pull this trick out of their hat! The pictures just don’t do it justice.
Tostones: Fried Green Plantains with Mayo Ketchup at the Puerto Rico Marketplace
The new area that’s devoted to Puerto Rico is very cool. But even more, the food here is great across the board! While we enjoyed all of the dishes, the simple Tostones, or Fried Green Plantains with Mayo Ketchup, was one of my favorites.
This is a great example of simple, traditional food being done well. And Mayo Ketchup — why hasn’t anyone told me about this stuff before?! While the tostones were good on their own, the dipping sauce brought them to “I’d definitely buy them again and again” status.
Seared Sea Scallop with Spinach-Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon at the Scotland Marketplace
So, you guys aren’t new here. One thing you know about me: I am not much of a seafood lover.
Unless you serve that seafood with Bacon and a Spinach Cheddar Gratin. And then I’m all in.
I wasn’t super excited about the Sea Scallop with Spinach Cheddar Gratin and Crispy Bacon, one of the Scotland Booth’s three new dishes. But my first bite made me a believer (and then, of course, I had to take a few more bites just to be sure).
The seared scallop was fine, but the real key to this dish is that crispy bacon on top and the give-me-the-recipe-please spinach gratin. Holy wow.
Cocadas: Brazilian Coconut Candy at the Brazil Marketplace
The Brazil Booth offers some awesome options this year, but one we’d really been looking forward to was the Cocadas — or Brazilian Coconut Candy.
Having never tried it (or even seen it) I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. But the dense richness of the treat made up for the boring appearance.
Remember haystacks from when you were a kid? The super-sweet coconut candy mountains that are AWESOME? Yeah — it’s like that that. Only 100 times better.
And it’s HUGE! It makes sharing totally plausible.
Tartelette aux Escargots: Escargot Tart with Garlic, Spinach, Bacon, and Parmesan at the France Marketplace
I gotta tell you…I was a little concerned when I heard that the France Marketplace was changing up one of its signature dishes. This year, Escargots are featured in a tart, rather than in little mini-brioche.
But fans of the previous iteration have nothing to fear, because the new Tartelette aux Escargots — or Escargot Tart with Garlic, Spinach, Bacon and Parmesan — is pretty fantastic.
A neutral tart crust is filled with parmesan-spiked spinach and snails, then topped with BACON (are we seeing a theme here?). A fun twist on an old classic.
Shrimp Taco at the Mexico Marketplace
The Mexico Marketplace rarely disappoints, and this year they’ve re-vamped a guest favorite to make it even better. The Fried shrimp, pickled habanero pepper, and onions on a flour tortilla is simple, but delicious. What really made this a winner was the light-as-air breading on the shrimp and the absolute freshness of the whole dish.
Paired with the generously-sized Sangria at the booth it makes a great snack to be sure.
Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash at the Poland Marketplace
We weren’t prepared to like the Sauerkraut Pierogi with Pork Goulash at the Poland Marketplace nearly as much as we did, but it’s like a sleeper hit!
The Pierogis get an interesting twist from what we’re used to seeing — a filling of potato. Here, they’re stuffed with a mild Sauerkraut instead.
The dumpling is then covered with a thick, rich Goulash, full of tender chunks of stewed Pork.
The contrast of flavors makes this comfort food dish a great addition to the Festival lineup.
But there’s so much more…
After thinking that last year’s Food and Wine Festival offerings were seriously lacking, I was bowled over by the size, freshness, and flavor of this year’s new dishes. When I was done touring the booths yesterday, I had — no joke — 17 new favorites that I wanted to recommend to you! And don’t forget about all of the OLD favorites that are back this year — Mushroom Filet in Canada, Griddled Cheese in Greece, Dole Whip at the Refreshment Port, and more.
The bottom line? You must — MUST — plan for at least a few days at the festival this year to eat everything that’s truly worth eating. This is probably my favorite collection of dishes ever at a Food and Wine Festival.
To see the full list — and pictures of EVERYTHING — be sure to click over to our Marketplace Booth page, and then on the links to take you to each booth’s individual page. You can view pictures of every single dish!
Want More Details About the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival?
We are always working to bring you all of the latest and most important news and updates on the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival right here, so stay tuned for details and check out all of the info below!
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News! The DFB Guide to the 2014 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book is now available!
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Use code Chefs at check-out for a $3 discount!
What’s dish are you excited to try at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival? Leave a comment and tell us your favorite!