Instagram is obsessed with Epcot’s latest sweet treat, Chinese cotton candy, made by master sugar artist Wenbo Zhang!
Anyone with the title master sugar artist is already worth talking about. During Epcot’s International Festival of the Arts, Master Zang created sugar paintings to look like the Chinese zodiac, and traditional Long Xu Tang (Dragon’s Beard Candy). Watching the creations being made was mesmerizing. Now Epcot and Master Zhang are taking it up a notch with traditional Chinese cotton candy for Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival.
While we know Instagram culture is big on Disney snacks, we think it’s a good idea to get to know the person behind the counter making the sweets. Master Zhang has lines of people waiting for his creations every single day at the China pavilion at Epcot. Guests are delighted in the way he transforms cotton candy into multilayered flowers!
Lotus Blossom cotton candy at Epcot, photo by Cristine Struble
Candy making has been a Chinese tradition for hundreds, if not thousands of years. The art is passed down through apprenticeships through the generations. Most of the arts have been labeled as Intangible Cultural Heritages of China. With the introduction of technology across the globe many of the arts have declined due to the reduction of available maters and practice.
Master Zhang studied the art of traditional Chinese sweet creations for over twenty years, including Dragon’s Beard Candy, a sticky sweet candy with a stringy texture filled with crunchy peanuts. He is an expert at quite a few different confectionary styles including sugar figure blowing, dough figure kneading, and sugar painting. Because of his outstanding mastery in candy making, Master Zhang is a member of the Shanghai Folk Art Association, the Shanghai International Cultural Exchange Association, and was named a Legacy representative of Chinese non-tangible cultural heritage.
2019 marked the first time Master Zhang stepped food out of China. Coming to the United States to display is talents at Epcot was no doubt a culture shock, but the Disney community has welcomed him with open arms and a sweet tooth ready to eat his amazing creations.
Have you stopped by Epcot this year to see Master Zhang at work? If not, he’s there through the end of Epcot’s International Flower and Garden Festival on June 3, 2019.