My favorite food fest hands down is the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival; held every fall at Disney World. This year’s festival, in its 21st year, saw some new booths and menu items. I am very sad to see Terra, the all vegan kiosk again not included this year. Overall, this year’s festival lacked dairy free and vegan items and there seemed to be a lack of salad offerings, all a big disappointment. However, there are some dairy free and vegan options to be found and here are the highlights:
From the Greenhouse Guru , the Heirloom Tomato Salad can be made dairy free and vegan by asking to have the goat cheese eliminated. I would also ask to have less dressing put on the tomatoes as the balsamic dressing was overpowering and took away from the freshness of the tomatoes. From the same booth the Tomato Gazpacho can be made vegan by asking to have the lump crab meat eliminated, although it is still dairy free with the lump crab meat included. The gazpacho is delicious and if you like cold soup this one is for you!
From Patagonia the Roasted Verlasso Salmon with Quinoa Salad and Arugula Chimichuri is a delicious dish and well worth the money. My husband and I both enjoyed this very much. If you want this vegan you can ask to have just the salad and you will still be quite satisfied and happy
At Farm Fresh, the Pickled Beet Salad can be made vegan by removing the Goat Cheese. It was really fresh and tasty.
Greece has a true vegan dish to try. Loaded Greek Nachos are made with meatless Gardein sausage crumbles , vegan Tzatziki and pita chips. It was really yummy and it was nice that there was at least one vegan option that was truly delicious tasting.
The only other true vegan dish is in South Korea and was offered last year. It was so bad a year ago that I couldn’t bring myself to try it again.
My husband has some favorites that he would like to tell you about. At the Wine and Dine Studio in Future World West he tried the Seared Scallop with Celery Root Puree , Brussel Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms . He found the flavors did not blend well and the texture was lost with the combination of ingredients.
In Hawaii, Dean sampled the Kalua Pork Slider with Sweet and Sour Dole Pineapple Chutney and Spicy Mayonnaise which he said is basically a pulled pork sandwich but was quite tasty.
In Morocco, Dean found the most unique item at the Food and Wine Festival: Hummus Fries which he said tasted like a spicy falafel. Unfortunately , even though this was dairy free, I could not eat or even try because it was not made in a dedicated fryer. Since it was in the fryer mixed with other foods , it could not be considered safe due to cross-contamination.
Dean’s most favorite item came from Ireland: Seafood Fisherman’s Pie which he said was loaded with tons of seafood, very filling , not salty and the best value for the money paid.
The item he liked the least was the item he thought looked the best: Ricotta and Zucchini Ravioli with Roasted Tomato Sauce from The Chew Collective Booth. He said the garlic was too overpowering and there was too much salt , although Dean figured all that garlic offset the rise in his blood pressure from all the salt !
As with any food festival the chance for cross contamination is higher so ask questions and if something doesn’t seem safe, don’t eat it.
The festival has plenty of other offerings including many gluten free ones. If you’ve never been to this festival I encourage you to go. There’s something for everyone including the food, cooking classes and demos, bands and other culinary experiences.
What’s your favorite part of the Epcot Food and Wine Fest? Tell us in the Comments section.