The 2017 edition of the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival looms: The first day of the 75-day event is Aug. 31, the earliest start in its history. Sentinel food writer Lauren Delgado and Dewayne Bevil had sneak peeks of some of the fare by festival officials this week. If Epcot fests are becoming old hat to you, consider that this year’s Food & Wine will have more than 30 new dishes and more than 60 new beverages on the menus, says Gregg Hannon, Epcot’s culinary director.
There were lots of foodie terms tossed about, such as “raspberry dust,” “julienned pickle garnish” and something called a “glownut.” But here are five facts that are fun to know heading into the event.
1. The transition to a new design for the festival marketplaces is complete. The structures will look more permanent than before, even though they are still temporary, and they will extend farther into Future World than before. “The new buildings are gorgeous,” says Rick DeCicco, festival proprietor. Thailand, India and Spain are marketplaces making comebacks into the festival in 2017. Look for the Thai marketplace near the Odyssey restaurant, across from the fest’s Mexican offerings. India will be just past the bridge in the slot where South Korea has been, and Spain is taking Poland’s spot near the theme park’s Germany pavilion.
2. Yep, South Korea and Poland are out of here for this year. Nothing is forever, I’d say. “I wouldn’t say pierogis are gone forever,” says Tom Kovacs, festival proprietor. (Also out of the rotation: the Champagne and Desserts marketplace and last year’s tomato-centric kiosk. Of course, you’ll still be able to get champagne, desserts and tomatoes.)