The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is all about things that grow and bloom, but once again it’s also featuring a variety of food booths with fresh, delicious ingredients that tie in nicely to the overall theme. Food gets its very own festival in the fall, but the items at this year’s Flower and Garden Festival are tasty enough to hold their own against the colorful flower beds and creative character topiaries.
Click the slideshow accompanying this article for a previous of some of the food, dessert, and drink options. I had an opportunity to try them at a special preview. You can taste them for yourself when the festival kicks off on March 4, and it runs all the way through May 17 this year.
Every one of the items I tried was delicious, but I had a special affinity for the kale salad and the capacha con queso (corn cake with cheese). The quinoa vegetable naanwich was also a hit with my taste buds, with flavorful oven dried tomatoes on top. The beef brisket burnt ends hash with white cheddar fondue and pickled jalapenos was quite tantalizing on the tongue, too. I’m very fussy about shrimp, but I was happy to see that the shrimp and grits is back for a return engagement as it’s very fresh and appealing even for someone as picky as myself. If you like some zest, the smoked sausage with house-made kraut and mustard will wake up your sense of taste for sure.
Of course, there were plenty of tasty desserts to sample at the preview, too. I loved the Florida blueberry and lemon curd tart, but the moistness of the tres leches cake made it a real treat. If you love the macaroons sold at the bakery in France, you’ll flip for the new strawberry variety that’s debuting at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival. Marshmallow and strawberry is a winning combination.
Top all that off with libations like beer, pineapple cider, and Key Lime wine and you’ve got a perfect combination of food and drink to fuel a day of hiking through the park and admiring all the topiaries, flower beds, and garden set-ups. The butterfly garden is back, of course, as are playgrounds based on Disney movie favorites like Monsters University and Cars.
Check your park map for the food booth locations. The items at the preview were from Urban Farm Eats, the Smokehouse, Botanas Botanico, Florida Fresh, and Fleur De Lys.
What does the festival look like when it’s in the final stages of getting ready? Go to this article for a behind-the-scenes peek at several of the gardens and the currently under constructor interior of the butterfly house. You can see many of the topiaries, including Anna and Elsa, by going here.