During the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival several outdoor kitchens pop up with different fresh-from-the-garden food from around the world. This is the perfect time to visit if you are an adventurous eater. However, if you are not adventurous with your food or traveling with someone who isn’t, here are a few tips to help entice picky eaters to try new and sometimes strange foods from the various outdoor kitchens at Epcot.
Enticing Picky Eaters at Epcot
Confession time – I am not the most adventurous eater. Sure, I like to try new things and experience new adventures, but when it comes to my food I always err on the side of caution. There is just something about food that makes me crave comfort instead of adventure. On a recent trip to Walt Disney World to see the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, along with my picky eating sister, we challenged ourselves to be adventurous and try as many new foods as we could during our time at Epcot.
Food at Epcot – Outdoor Kitchens
During the Flower and Garden Festival, small kiosks known as the outdoor kitchens are setup around Epcot. They offer guests a small plate with unique servings and delicacies from different areas around the world. This small plate sampling option made it easy and inexpensive for my sister and I to be adventurous, with plate prices ranging from only $3-$8. We also found that adopting the following three practices during our challenge helped us to succeed in our goal of being adventurous eaters at Epcot.
1. Go Hungry
Feeling hungry at Walt Disney World isn’t hard. After a day full of searching out retro attractions at Disney, we were famished! Feeling hungry is helpful because like my sister, I am much more likely to try something new when I feel like eating. For this reason we decided to capitalize on our hunger and start out with something adventurous instead of something we were comfortable with. Our first small plate choice in Epcot was a “Cachapa con Queso” (a sweet corn pancake with farmers cheese) from Botanas Botanico. This dish is a traditional Venezuelan or Colombian meal. The Botanas Botanico kiosk is new to the Outdoor Kitchens in 2015.
How we liked it: At first bite, I loved the Cachapa con Queso dish. It tasted much like a pancake version of chips and cheese dip to me. However, after several bites with my hunger level decreasing, I found the corn flavor to be overwhelming and a bit nauseating.
2. Enjoy a Favorite
After we tried something new, we decided to indulge ourselves in a comfort food so we headed over to The Smokehouse: Barbecue and Brews located in The American Adventure at Epcot. While we were at a location that was familiar to us, we found that the menu afforded us options to be adventurous!
Epcot certainly has a way of taking a dish and making it different. Here we were able to taste a “Piggylicious” cupcake made with bacon infused cake, maple frosting and topped with a pretzel crunch. All of the comforts of foods we already know, but rearranged into a dish that was different and new!
How we liked it: The “Piggylicious” cupcake tasted like an entire breakfast all in one bite. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the flavor of the savory bacon paired with the sweet maple frosting. The only thing I didn’t like were the bits of bacon in the cake. The hardness of the bacon didn’t pair well with the sponginess of the cake.
Another re-purposed dish we found at the outdoor kitchens was a Pineapple Soft Serve paired with either Sammy’s Beach Bar Red Head Macadamia Nut Flavored Rum or Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Coconut Rum. It was like the ever popular Dole Whip, but with alcohol added instead of pineapple juice!
How we liked it: There is no question here. We loved it!
3. Get a Sweet Treat
Desserts in themselves are a comfort food to me, and I tend to be more adventurous when the dish is sweet. With the Outdoor Kitchens at Epcot, we were able to taste test fresh from-the-garden desserts from different nations. One of our favorite dishes was Frushi – fresh pineapple, strawberry and melon rolled with raspberry coconut rice and sprinkled with toasted coconut and whip cream. This outdoor kitchen option can be found at the Hanami kitchen in Japan.
How we liked it: This dish is like a fruit version of sushi. The fruity flavors were fun and delectable.
Another sweet treat we tried was a large strawberry marshmallow macaroon from the Fleur De Lys kitchen in France.
How we liked it: This was actually my first time ever having a macaroon and I am a new huge fan. The crunchy outer shell, paired with a cupcake like center, soft creamy filling and a surprise center of fresh strawberry made this my new all-time favorite dessert.