For the unitiated, the Food and Wine Festival is held each year for about 6 weeks in Epcot's World Showcase. The event features booths set up for each of the World Showcase countries, plus additional countries that serve authentic foods and alcoholic drinks from each of the countries. The event is one of the few on property events marketed exclusively to adults, possibly why I like it so much. It also attracts a lot of attention on World Showcase, which doesn't get much attention until it's time for Illuminations. The event also features a series of classes and demonstrations from renowned chefs and cooks, as well as a whole slew of tasting sessions.
In another exciting exciting move, each of the booths had one of these neat bar code scanners you can use on your smart phone. When you scanned it, your phone took you to a website that gave you more information about the foods there, and also the recipes (my favorite part). I essentially was able to leave the Food and Wine Festival this year with a free international cookbook on my phone. Of course, when I got home and tried one of the recipes, mine didn't taste nearly as good as their version, but isn't that always the case?
|Griddle Cheese - Yum!|
|Belgian Waffle - duh!|
Of course, some of the old favorites remained there, and continued to attract huge crowds every time I went by: the Argentine beef, the Lamington cake in Australia (a tasty coconut concoction), the escargot in France (which I won't try!), and the Fisherman's pie in Ireland. All of those booths had incredibly long lines, and guest comments about the items was overwhelmingly positive.
|Lemon Citron Slush|
Another drink I tried, again on the recommendation of a friend, was in the Brazil booth. It was called the Leblon Frozen Caipirinha, and is described as the national drink of Brazil. This one goes down easy as it's sweet, but it has a real kick at the end. Another pleasant surprise.
A unique addition to the festival this year was the Ocean Spray cranberry bog that spring up in the International Gateway. Ocean Spray built an actual cranberry bog to educate people on the cranberry growing process because as I learned, it's one of only two berries that are native to North America. The bog had all kinds of displays around it, and cranberry farmers (boggers?) wading around in it, answering guests' questions. At the end of the experience, you received a free sample of Craisins. Not bad!
Despite all of the great food and drink (and there was plenty of it), my favorite part of it (get ready to laugh at my dorkiness) was that the Festival Center was placed inside of what was once Wonders of Life, home of my favorite attraction ever, Body Wars. One day I'll write a post about my irrational love of Body Wars, but for now, just know that the ability to stroll through the pavilion and reminisce made me very happy. I may or may not have even snuck behind one of the planters so I could stroll through the old Body Wars queue...for strictly journalistic purposes of course! I am happy to report that I didn't notice any Overtakers while I was there, either.
Even the rain (it rained for a day and a half straight this trip...the most I've ever had while down there) didn't deter guests from having a great time at the Festival, which runs until November 13. The bottom line is that it's a wonderful event, and you should check it out if you're in the area.