Epcot's International Flower & Garden Festival is officially in full swing and we went on opening day, sampled at least one item from practically every booth we could manage to visit, and now we're ready to tell you all about it!
1. Frozen Desert Violet Lemonade (Pineapple Promenade)
What is it?: frozen violet lemonade (GF)
Our review: No trip to Flower & Garden is complete without a Violet Lemonade! It's incredibly refreshing on a hot festival day, making it the ultimate Flower & Garden staple.
2. Macaron au Chocolat en Sucette (Fleur de Lys)
What is it?: large chocolate macaron lollipop (GF)
Our review: The macarons in the France pavilion never disappoint and neither did the chocolate macaron lollipop! It's dipped in nuts on one side and tasted almost like a fudgy brownie batter with a bit of a crunch. It's definitely a bit on the sweeter side of Disney treats, but still worth it (especially if you're gluten free).
3. Frushi (Hanami)
What is it?: fresh pineapple, strawberry, and melon rolled with coconut rice and garnished with whipped cream, berry sauce drizzle, and toasted coconut (GF)
Our review: Similar to the Violet Lemonade, the Frushi available over in the Japan pavilion has become somewhat of a festival staple. It's basically the dessert sushi that you've always dreamed of, but it's not too sweet or heavy. After asking for the ingredient list, Joe found out that the Frushi is actually gluten free although it's not officially marked as such on the festival menus, if you even if you avoid gluten you don't have to avoid the Frushi!
4. Coffee-rubbed Pork Poutine (Refreshment Port)
What is it?: coffee-rubbed pork poutine with barbecue demi-glace, fire-roasted corn relish, and cheese curds
Our review: I think it's safe to say that this poutine was my favorite food from this year's Flower & Garden Festival! So much flavor and the pork is cooked perfectly making it an easy 5/5 Cody T heads!
5. Mickey Tart (Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth)
What is it?: peanut butter mousse with strawberry jam and boba pearls
Our review: I will be very honest with you, we got the Mickey Tart by mistake. We ordered the cookie butter drink that's also available at Flavor Full Kitchen, but received the tart on accident. Even though I really don't like peanut butter, we decided to just keep it and give it a try because it can't be too bad if it's Mickey shaped! To my surprise, I actually didn't hate it. The tart kind of tasted like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and the boba pearls added a fun texture to it. Overall, not too mad that we about getting the wrong item, but definitely going to go back for the cookie butter drink!
6. From the Garden (Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth)
What is it?: roasted beets, cashew cheese, and micro herbs, with lemon-oil dressing (GF)
Our review: We decided to order the "From the Garden" dish despite none of us *loving* beets, but figured it was worth a shot seeing as it's one of the few gluten free dishes available at the festival. I think it's safe to say that we were all truly wowed by how much the dish had as well as how nicely the beets paired with the cashew cheese. Definitely a festival underdog in our book!
7. Citrus-poached Salmon (Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth)
What is it?: citrus-poached salmon with ancient grain salad, roasted vegetables, and citrus greens (GF)
Our review: This was probably our most disappointing dish of the day only because the salmon was extremely undercooked. The rest of the components of the dish all tasted great and I'm sure the salmon would've too, but we were running a little behind and decided not to get it remade.
8. Chocolate Pudding Terrarium (Trowel & Trellis Hosted by IMPOSSIBLE™ Foods)
What is it?: chocolate pudding terrarium with avocado cream, matcha crumb, pomegranate and baby herbs (GF)
Our review: This chocolate pudding is perhaps one of the most "instagrammable" foods at the festival. It looks like an actual terrarium AND it's super yummy! Not to mention, you get a pretty decent size portion of pudding in that cup.
9. Farmhouse Meatball (Trowel & Trellis Hosted by IMPOSSIBLE™ Foods)
What is it?: farmhouse meatball with lentil bread, spinach, marinated vegetables, creamy herb dressing
Our review: I'm always a huge fan of the plant based dishes available at the festivals, so it was not surprise that I love this meatball! It was a little bit messy, but other than that, still super delicious!
10. Grilled Street Corn on the Cob (Trowel & Trellis Hosted by IMPOSSIBLE™ Foods)
What is it?: grilled street corn on the cob with savory garlic spread (GF)
Our review: If you love garlic, you're in for a treat with this grilled street corn! It's covered in an incredible garlic spread that I would literally put on anything.
11. Mixed Berry Buttermilk Cake (Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace)
What is it?: mixed berry buttermilk cake served with apple cider sorbet (GF)
Our review: Not only is this buttermilk cake gluten free, but it's also probably one of the best desserts we tried at the festival! The combo of the cold sorbet on top of the warm berries and crumbly buttermilk cake was amazing!
12. Smoked Salmon Stack (Arbor at The Gardeners Terrace)
What is it?: smoked salmon stack with avocados, tomatoes, sour cream, caviar, and focaccia crostini
Our review: If you enjoyed the salmon stack from Festival of the Arts, you'll probably really enjoy this one! The avocado really takes it over the top for me and I definitely loved it!
13. Toasted Pretzel Bread (Bauernmarkt: Farmer's Market)
What is it?: toasted pretzel bread topped with black forest ham and melted gruyère cheese
Our review: The little superstar of last year's Flower & Garden is back and I'm so SO happy! I used to get one of these toasted pretzel breads every single time I came to the festival last year and I know I'm going to do the same this year! Although the menu pictures look slightly different, don't be fooled because it's basically the same as last year's!
14. Potato Pancakes (Bauernmarkt: Farmer's Market)
What is it?: potato pancakes with caramelized ham, onions, and herb sour cream
Our review: The potato pancakes come in two different options, but we decided to go with the ham and onion version that we really liked from last year! If you're going to the Germany booth for pretzel bread, you might want to give these a try while you're there!
15. Tri-Colored Cheese Tortellini (Primavera Kitchen)
What is it?: tri-colored cheese tortellini, sage butter, and chicken veloute
Our review: I gets my hopes up for the Italy booth every. single. festival. and I can finally say I was not at all let down by their Flower & Garden options. The tri-colored cheese tortellini was delicious and I could easily eat a full serving if that ever becomes an option!
16. Pizza Toscana (Primavera Kitchen)
What is it?: rustic Italian flatbread with sweet sausage, caramelized onion, mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan cheeses
Our review: Continuing the trend of incredible food from Primavera Kitchen, the Pizza Toscana was a show stopper! It tasted almost identical to the pizza that I had a few weeks ago at Via Napoli, so I was in love.
17. Chicken Karaage with Nanban Sauce (Hanami)
What is it?: Japanese-style fried chicken served on a bed of shredded cabbage and topped with a soy and vinegar-based dressing
Our review: Chicken Karaage is one of my favorite Japanese dishes, so I definitely had to give Epcot's a try. Overall, the chicken was pretty good, but I wish the cabbage wasn't served so plain and lifeless. Otherwise, still a lot of really good flavors!
18. Spicy Blackened Shrimp & Cheddar Cheese Grits (Florida Fresh)
What is it?: spicy blackened shrimp and cheddar cheese grits with brown gravy and local sweet corn relish
Our review: The shrimp and grits is another one of my lifelong festival favorites. There didn't appear to be as much shrimp as there used to be, but after a day full of eating it was just enough!
19. Seared Scallops (Northern Bloom)
What is it?: seared scallops with french green beans, butter potatoes, brown butter vinaigrette and applewood smoked bacon (GF)
Our review: This was one of the few things that I did not end up sampling for myself, but Joe & Molly did since it's gluten free and they didn't really enjoy it. They said it was pretty bland and would have to recommend any of the other gluten free dishes we tried over the scallops.
To wrap it up, we tried a whole lot of food from Flower & Garden, but I know there's definitely still some amazing foods that we have yet to try! Let us know if there's anything that you really loved from the festival that we should sample!