Food lovers rejoice! The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is well underway at Walt Disney World in Orlando. From now through Nov. 10, 2014, you can reach foodie nirvana by tasting a wide menu of famous flavors from around the world.
Now in its 19th year, this gastronomically advanced, party for your taste-buds takes place around Epcot's World Showcase and features tasty dishes from 25 international marketplaces - all part of your regular admission into the park.
Visit Orlando's Food Fanatics have tasted their way around this cavalcade of culinary creations and have shared their top ten must tastes.
#1. Puerto Rico's Carne guisada con arroz blanco - $4.50
NEW! This high-energy marketplace adds color, sounds and flavors straight from the vibrant island commonwealth of Puerto Rico. We kicked off our festival experience with a taste of this slow-braised beef. You should do the same!
Bonus Taste: Puerto Rico's Ensalada de carrucho - $4.25
Caribbean cuisine is famous for a variety of conch recipes and this fresh tasting salad in a cone does not disappoint.
#2. Refreshment Port - Dole Whip Soft-serve - $3.99
Eat your dessert first! The Dole Whip, previously exclusive to the Magic Kingdom, has now come to Epcot. This tasty ice cream snack is made with fresh Dole pineapple juice and is the park's most refreshing treat.
#3. Canada's Cheddar Cheese Soup - $4.25
This treat is one of the main highlights from the daily dining repertoire in Canada's La Cellier restaurant. It's overly obvious that this cheese and bacon delight is a must taste.
#4. Ireland's Kerrygold cheese selection - $4.00
Cheese lovers will love this classic combination of sweet, nutty and rich flavor cheeses that are perfect for paring with an Irish stout.
#5. France's La Passion Martini Slush - $9.95
This delightful drink is the surprise hit of this year's festival. You'll want to toast Paris with this très bon mix of vodka, cranberry and passion fruit juice.
#6. Brazil's Crispy Pork Belly - $5.25
The Brazil Marketplace has a new tilapia dish but our favorite taste is still the crispy pork belly on a bed of black beans and paired with their Kaiser Brewery Xingu Black Beer.
#7. Japan's Spicy Tuna and Salmon Roll - $4.95
This treat is our staff's top pick for its value. You get a full sushi roll for around the same price or less than most plates at the other marketplaces.
#8. Brewer's Collection - Beer Flights
Grab your beer goggles! There are several options to taste beer flights around the festival. Our top picks are from the selection of German beers at the Brewer's Collection Marketplace.
Beer flight 1 has lighter and crisper tastes while Beer flight 2 features darker and richer brews.
Bonus Treat: Germany's Riesling Wine Flight
Germany is world-known for its beers. And while we are in the midst of Octoberfest, don't miss the opportunity to try three of the region's tasty Rieslings.
#9. Patagonia's Roasted Verlasso Salmon - $4.75
NEW! This year, the Patagonia marketplace debuts combining the flavors of the South American cone region. Our pick is this healthy and sustainable dish on a quinoa salad and topped with arugula chimichurri.
#10. Farm Fresh Griddled "Yard Bird" - $4.50
NEW! Enjoy a taste of Southern comfort food that's fresh from the farm. Our top choice is the Griddled "Yard Bird" (chicken thigh) on a bed of collards served with a dollop of habanero sauce.
Bonus Taste: Culinary Demonstrations - $15.00 per person
Take a lesson or two from the cooking pros in the Festival Center. Enjoy useful culinary tips and delicious tastes prepared by expert chefs.
On our visit we got to see James Beard winner, Chef Norman Van Aken and we got to taste his delicious dish inspired by his restaurant - Norman's at The Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes in Orlando.
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