2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – Final Update

The weather is finally starting to improve, so of course that means Food & Wine is nearing its end. We made our final visits this past weekend. It was our only visit of the year with nice weather. I didn’t have a single sweat stain on my shirt when I got home, can you believe it?

Today would be a mix of new items and last chance favorites. The items we enjoyed enough previously to sample again were:

Banana Almond Soft-Serve Sundae
Teriyaki-Glazed SPAM Hash
Fritto Misto
Short Rib Tostada
Piggy Wings (were horribly dry this time)
Xi’an Pancake with Beef
New England Lobster Roll
Coconut Rice Pudding
Freshly Baked Carrot Cake
Spicy Roll (Tried again because first was a bust. This one was good!)

Other than the Piggy Wings, everything lived up to its previous glory. We also tried 7 items that we had not yet tried this year. First up, New Zealand!

New Zealand is one of my least favorite booths. Every year I try something, and every year I don’t like whatever I tried. I was going to skip it altogether this year, but since I’ve gotten something from every other booth, the completionist in me forced me to order something. Josh over at EasyWDW always raves about the Lamb Meatball, so I decided to give it a second chance.

Lamb Meatball

Yeah, still not a fan. The bread is completely soggy, and the tomato chutney is sour and off-putting. The meatball isn’t terrible, but not nearly good enough to overcome the rest.

Score: 5.5 out of 10

We hit Canada next.

Canada Booth

Canada Menu

Canadian Cheddar and Bacon Soup

Perhaps the most iconic item of the Food & Wine Festival, I had been putting off ordering the soup due to the relentless heat. As it was finally starting to cool down, I finally got the soup. Despite it’s reputation, this has never been a favorite of mine. I’m glad they added the pretzel roll a couple of years ago, as you definitely need something to combat the richness of the soup. The soup was pretty good, though a bit too thick for my taste.

Score: 7.0 out of 10

Belgium beckons…

Belgium Booth

Belgium Menu

Belgium is typically a solid booth. Most years I would order the berry waffle on nearly every visit. This year I only ordered it once, mostly because of the heat. Today I tried their savory dish.

Beer-Braised Beef

This was a disappointment. The beef was very dense and dry. It was almost difficult to chew. The mashed potatoes were pretty good, but I didn’t order this for the potatoes!

Score: 6.0 out of 10

Moving on to Morocco…

Morocco Booth

Morocco Menu

We’ve ordered the Hummus Fries a couple of times this year, but with the cooler weather, the baklava sounded appealing.

Chocolate Baklava

This is very, very good, though it’s almost too sweet. There are plenty of almonds on the plate, and the nuttiness goes well with the rich chocolate. If you are a chocoholic, this one is for you!

Score: 8.0 out of 10

It’s time for Italy…

Italy Booth

Italy Menu

As I’ve mentioned multiple times previously, the Fritto Misto at Italy is one of this year’s best items… maybe THE best. Between Kim and I, we have ordered at least 8 of them this year. It’s that good. Most years prior to 2018, the only item we would ever order multiple times would be the Italian Margarita. Due to the lack of the discounted Sampler package this year, we hadn’t been ordering many alcoholic drinks, as they are pretty cost prohibitive. But I couldn’t let the festival end without getting at least one…

Margarita (previously the Italian Margarita)

This has always been light on alcohol, but was always refreshing and delicious. This year’s version was a bit more syrupy than I remembered, and as a result wasn’t nearly as refreshing. Still pretty good, though. Gotta love those Italians and their Margaritas! Err, wait…

Score: 7.0 out of 10

Off to Africa!

Like Canada, I had been putting off ordering the African dish that intrigued me most due to the weather. So I finally had an opportunity to try the…

Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew

Usually just seeing the word “Vegan” causes me to break out in hives. But this Vegan dish is extremely savory and flavorful. And more than a little bit spicy. The yogurt helped cool things down, though I could have used a bit more of it. This tastes a lot like chili, and not fake vegan chili… this tastes like the real deal.

Score: 8.0 out of 10

Finally, Flavors from Fire!

Flavors from Fire Booth

Flavors from Fire Menu

Chocolate Picante

Very rich and smooth, with a nice amount of heat from the cayenne and chili powder. I really liked the fruity (mango?) sauce that topped the dessert.

Score: 8.0 out of 10

That probably does it for our coverage of the 2018 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. I’d say it was a good year, and I can’t wait for it to return in 2019. Luckily, there are MANY more festivals to come in the meantime. Thanks for reading!

Author: DougE

I'm the owner/operator of destinationdoug.com, and am based in Central Florida.

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