EPCOT has reopened as of July 15th! The day it opened, the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival began as well. This festival is kind of a hybrid of the Flower & Garden Festival mixed with the Food & Wine Festival. There are topiaries around, but not many, and plenty of food booths, with some labeled “coming this fall.” We took a trip around World Showcase in the rain to see what the vegan options were, so let’s get started.
The first thing we tried was from the Mac & Cheese Booth from inside of the building between the Canada and UK pavilions. Located way in the back of this wonderfully air conditioned and very spread out building was the Mac & Cheese Booth which had a plant-based labeled item on the menu.
The Macaroni and Cheese with House-made Italian Sausage and Peppers was a hit with us. We ended up getting it twice, the second time without the sausage for little dude. The cheese flavor was good, I believe they are making it as it didn’t have a stand out flavor like a specific brand. They are also making the vegan sausage, which had a consistency more of chorizo, but was a great flavor and texture. The first round of it the mac and cheese was kind of dry, our second bowl later without the sausage was incredibly creamy. The flavors were great and kind of reminded us of the days of Hamburger Helper. We will be getting this again if we head back to EPCOT anytime soon.
We ventured past the Morocco Booth where they have the Spicy Hummus Fries as they have had in the past. I did not get them, as they’re a returning option from previous years. I did ask about the topping, as this has been an issue in the past. I was told again that the tomato and cucumber is mixed with tzatziki so be sure to order them plain. [See last years review here]
Another returning, but mildly changed, option is at the Africa Booth where they have a labeled vegan and plant-based logo’d item. The Spicy Kenyan Vegan Corn and White Beans with Pigeon Peas, Quinoa & Ancient Grains Medley and Kachumbari Slaw is the same as last year, with the change being that it is on a bed of quinoa and ancient grains instead of rice.
The flavor is still good with this, but we got it towards the end of the night so it was cold and clearly had been sitting out. The beans kind of remind us of a curry chili. The portion on this is pretty big compared to other options, and it’s something we would get again.
A booth that is very much a hybrid of both festivals is the Earth Eats Booth which is sponsored by Impossible™ Foods. This booth is totally vegan and has three options. We only opted for the Impossible™ Burger Slider with Wasabi Cream and spicy Asian Slaw on a Sesame Seed Bun, as the other two options were available at Flower & Garden in March. The other options are the Impossible™ Farmhouse Meatball with Lentil Bread, Spinach, Marinated Vegetables, and Creamy Herb Dressing and Chocolate Pudding Terrarium with Avocado Cream, Matcha Crumble, and Baby Herbs.
The Impossible™ Slider has been a favorite of ours over the last few years. The burger itself was cooked perfectly when we were there. The bun was pretty dry, something we’ve encountered with this item several times. The Asian slaw was flavorful and crunchy and there was a good helping of the Wasabi Cream on it. [Read about the Chocolate Pudding and Meatball here]
This year we have a new dessert option at the Shimmering Sips Booth. Here you can find the Banana Bread with Mixed Berry Compote. We did not care for this one. However there may have been a few factors contributing to this, it had been raining for quite a while so the booths were pretty empty and it had been plated already.
We don’t know how long it had been sitting there, but the banana bread was dry and then mushy from the compote. The flavor was okay, but nothing to really celebrate. The whipped topping on it tasted like a cocowhip, which was a nice addition. I had a friend who got it at the Cast Member preview and said hers was incredible and very moist, so this may be one that depends on the day/time.
The last vegan option currently available is another we did not pick up on Wednesday. At the Refreshment Port you can get a Dole Whip Pineapple Soft Serve. This is the standard option for each festival each year, and can also be found in several other places around Walt Disney World. [See more info about the Dole Whip here]
A few things to note about the festival, there is currently no end date. While walking around we saw several booths with a “Coming This Fall” banner on them. Hopefully we see some new options trickle in. Currently all of the merchandise is from the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. There is hand sanitizer everywhere, tables are spaced out pretty far from each other. There is also no paper passport like in the past, they have QR codes on the booths that you can scan to see the menu lists.