It is time for one of the shortest festivals at Epcot, the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. This year the festival runs from November 25th to December 30th. This is usually one of the least exciting in terms of vegan options, but we did see some new options this year. The entertainment during this festival is a blast to watch and listen to. So be sure to stop by the various pavilions to learn about holidays around the world and enjoy the sounds of Joyful on stage.
First up let’s talk about the new options!
Nochebuena Cocina – Impossible Chorizo Tamale
This option can be found by the old Starbucks near Port of Entry. This booth features an Impossible Chorizo Tamale. The tamale is filled with the Impossible chorizo and it is topped with a spicy chili sauce and vegan cojita cheese.
This dish was unfortunately one of my least favorites. The flavors were all over the place, as in some great, some not so great. The tamale itself was a bit dry, but the flavor of the chorizo was nice. The sauce was heavily a tomato sauce, but it did have a nice heat to it. The cojita cheese was basically just bread crumbs? It was terrible and not “cheese” at all. This was a one and done for me.
Refreshment Outpost – Peanut Stew
Another new option can be found between China and Germany at the Refreshment Outpost. This is the Peanut Stew. This dish includes rice covered in a peanut stew full of mustard greens, potatoes, and peanuts. I was thankful to have been here alone and not with my peanut allergic son as this whole area smelled very strongly of peanuts.
This dish was interesting, and I appreciate a vegetable focused option. The portion was huge, more like a meal than a snack. However flavor-wise I was not super impressed. To me it just tasted like spicy peanut butter. The greens were fine in it and I liked the variety of the potatoes. But overall not a dish I would personally get again, however I am in the minority on this one.
L’Chaim! – Potato Latkes & Black and White Cookie
Both of these options are returning from past years. The L’Chaim! booth can be found between Morocco and France. This is one of my favorite options each year though.
The Potato Latkes come with a vegan sour cream drizzled on top and you get two latkes per order. They are almost always crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. They are often seasoned well and are just an overall great option.
The Black and White Cookie is pretty hit or miss. Sometimes this cookie is moist and doughy. Other times it’s a bit dry and crumbly. My day was leaning on the dry side, but the flavor was still really good. It’s a nice dessert option when on a good day. The chocolate flavor is strong and very enjoyable.
Shanghai – Vegetable Spring Rolls without Sauce
There is another option available in China that requires a quick modification. The Vegetable Spring Rolls with Citrus Sauce are a returning option but again require you to order it without the sauce. The sauce contains chicken stock and oyster sauce, so a warning to vegetarians as well.
The spring rolls themselves are quite large and enjoyable. I do wish the sauce was vegan, as sauce really takes a spring roll to the next level. But overall mine was great. The outside was nice and crunchy and the inside was full of the vermicelli noodles and various vegetables.
Chestnuts & Good Cheer Holiday Kitchen – Various Nuts
There are also the roasted nuts from last year, however I didn’t grab those while I was there. They are again not noted as plant-based, but they are vegan. There are almonds, cashews, pecans, and chestnuts. We loved the cashews last year. Hopefully the chestnuts are less dry this time!
That is it for this years festival. The next festival to hit Epcot will be the Epcot International Festival of the Arts from January 13th to February 20th. See you there!