The Tampa Tribune’s food writer since 2005, Jeff Houck covers the way people live through their food. He also hosts the Table Conversations food podcast and believes that everything crunchy is good.
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- Putting The Wine [And Other Drinkables] Into The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
26 Delicious Things To Love At The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival [Last Weekend To Enjoy]
Posted Nov 10, 2012 by Jeff Houck
Updated Nov 10, 2012 at 11:18 AM
If you haven’t made it to the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival this year, you need to turn off your computer, drive to the park and go there immediately.
I’m not joking.
As if going to Epcot isn’t fun enough - I’m a stone-cold sucker for the acrobats in France who balance on chairs - you have two dozen kiosks selling authentic food from around the world.
I don’t think you’re excited enough.
THEY SELL MILLIONS OF PLATES OF FOOD EVERY YEAR THAT IS CREATED USING AUTHENTIC HOME RECIPES FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
IT’S LIKE HAVING A UNITED NATIONS OF FLAVOR IN YOUR MOUTH!
I will hereby convince you with an extensive list of why you should get in your car or other mode of transportation and visit the festival on this, the final weekend:
1. People watching. This is Andy Jackson. He wears his food on his sleeve. In this case, sushi.
2. Decorative plants beautiful enough to eat.
3. Free, unfettered access to samples of Ghiradelli chocolate.
The list really could end here and it would be reason enough to go.
Let’s forge ahead.
4. The people watching.
5. Access to champagne in a theme park setting.
6. Cheese and wine seminars.
Cheese would be enough.
Wine would be enough.
THEY PUT THEM BOTH TOGETHER AS IF THEY WERE A FOOD VERSION OF “THE AVENGERS.”
Sorry. I get a little excited.
7. You can ask a grown man in plastic plants standing in a temporary bog about cranberries. And he will entertain you with a myriad of information about this most delicious of crops.
I’m not joking. The Ocean Spray guy could go on tour. He’s that good.
8. The people watching.
9. Mickey Mouse tea kettles.
10. Did I mention the Champagne?
11. The lettuce wrap with roast pork and kimchi slaw at the South Korea kiosk.
12. Fun facts about soda.
13. Pickle-shaped Christmas ornaments for sale.
14. The people watching.
15. Groups of adult beverage teams who attempt to “Drink Around The World.”
It’s like having the vicarious fun of a bad decision and avoiding the hangover altogether.
16. The escargot in brioche balls served at the France kiosk.
I cannot resist the allure of these buttery, tender yet flaky balls. Yes, I just typed that for public consumption. DEAL WITH IT!
17. El Pato Donald.
18. Copping a family squat in the sunshine.
19. The spinach and paneer pocket at the South Africa kiosk.
20. Car air fresheners that smell like Mickey Mouse ice cream bars and theme park turkey legs.
21. Beverage drinking accessories.
22. The fried calimari at Tutto Italia in Italy. Make a reservation early in the day. You’ll thank me later.
23. Seared filet of beef with smashed sweet potatoes and Braii sauce at the South African pavilion.
Best kiosk value for the flavor. Bar none.
24. Mickey tongs.
25. Watching your 6 year old throw rock ‘n’ roll devil horns at bands like Night Ranger.
26. The people watching.