Best first bites at 2022 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival

Epcot Food & Wine 2022, Fry Basket trio, photo by Cristine Struble
Epcot Food & Wine 2022, Fry Basket trio, photo by Cristine Struble /

With the sun shining brightly, the 2022 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival kicked off its long run on July 14. Now through November 19, the Disney fan favorite festival delights guests with its nod to epicuriosity. Blending traditional foods with flavor innovations, there are plenty of reasons to devour every bite from all the marketplaces.

For many Disney guests at least one visit to the annual EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is on the calendar. With over 25 years of culinary delights, theme park guests have come to appreciate that food adventure. Whether it is the always delicious Le Cellier filet from the Canada marketplace or sipping on a margarita from Mexico, there are certain flavors that have to be satisfied.

Still, many guests want to explore the newer options. Even though many of this year’s marketplaces have returning favorite dishes, or versions of familiar dishes, the blend of new and old makes the food festival exciting. Just like pairing a ride on the new Cosmic Rewind with a trip on Soaring, bringing together the classics and the innovation is what makes a Disney theme park so memorable.

During opening weekend, everyone had to stop at the new Fry Basket. The tasting trio was a huge hit with guests. Combining a classic sea salt malt fry, a barbecue seasoned fry with bacon and a sweet potato fry with pecans and marshmallow foam, the flavor variety shows how the humble potato can be transformed.

Like any flight, everyone tends to have a favorite. Personally, the sweet potato fries were the best of the bunch. The hint of savory from the pecans contrasted the sweetness from the marshmallow. Even though the foam tends to melt a little quickly, it was the perfect sweet ending to the trio. Although it might not make everyone re-think that sweet potato casserole at the holidays, it is definitely the bite to keep to yourself.

After starting with the Fry Basket, it is time to bring the heat with a new dish from Flavor From Fire. While many people will grab the always popular Swine Brine, the Banh Mi Bao with char-grilled Asian skirt steak is bursting with boldness. Although some people might be scared of the chicken liver aioli, do not let the offal offend. It is a punch of umami that is balanced by the pickled vegetables. It is quite a satisfying bite.

Always a popular choice, the Mexican marketplace has two new menu items. The Taco al Pastor and Tostada de Barbacoa. The chipotle black beans on each dish have everyone embracing that touch of picante. And, either of the two new margaritas are a perfectly refreshing pairing.

For a hearty bite, the coffee rub filet at the Kenyan marketplace is quite satisfying. The richness from the coffee contrasted by the bright slaw garnish definitely has people falling in love with the African flavors.

To bring the spice level down a little, the new Crab Cake Slider at the American Adventure is a taste of the coast. Bringing together a rich brioche bun with a touch of remoulade makes the classic crab cake shine. With an ice-cold beer, it is a little taste of an All-American summer.

For a sweet treat, the Australian Lamington is a must try. The traditional Australian yellow cake dessert with its chocolate and coconut icing is just sweet enough to satisfy.

These offerings are just a few of the hundreds of food and beverage offerings available during the 2022 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. In addition, August 15 brings a few more marketplaces to the food festival. Given that this special event runs through November 19, there are plenty of reasons to visit and visit again to savor all the delicious food offerings.

The 2022 EPCOT Food and Wine Festival is included with theme park admission. In addition to the various marketplaces, there is the Eat to the Beat Concert Series presented by Florida Blue Medicare, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak scavenger hunt and other fun activities throughout the theme park. Guests are required to make theme park reservations. For more information, please visit the Disney Parks website.

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What food are you most excited to try at the 2022 Epcot Food and Wine Festival? How many times will you visit over the festival’s run?