Review: Flavors From Fire Epcot 2017 Food and Wine Festival

 Flavors Fire Kiosk Epcot Food Wine 2017

Flavors From Fire is a new kiosk for 2017, situating itself in Future World behind what used to be Innoventions West. The Imagination and Land Pavilions are on the left out of frame.

Figment Topiary Epcot Food Wine 2017

In addition to offering several of the better food items at the Festival, both in terms of taste and value, it offers plentiful counter space to set your items down and enjoy the scenery.

Menu Flavors Fire Epcot Food Wine Festival 2017

The Piggy Wings migrate over from last year’s Craft Beer area, while each of the other items are brand new.

Flavors Fire Food and Drink Epcot Festival 2017

$25 worth. Not too bad in the grand scheme of things.

Piggy Wings: Roasted Pork Wings with Korean BBQ Sauce and Sesame Seeds – $4.50

Piggy Wings Epcot Food Wine Festival Flavors Fire

The wings offer a surprising amount of tender, tangy, satisfying roasted pork topped with a generous sprinkle of crunchy, nutrient-rich sesame seeds. Relatively speaking, I think these are $1 overpriced – if the dish arrived with three wings it would be a no-brainer. But as is, they’re worth picking up if you have plans on ordering another item or two. I’m not sure I’d specifically seek these out if the wait to order was 10+ minutes.

Taste: 8/10

Value: 5/10

Smoked Corned Beef with Warm Crispy Potatoes, Pickled Onions, and Blonde Ale Beer Fondue featuring BelGioioso Romano and American Grana Cheeses – $5

Smoked Corned Beef Flavors Fire Epcot Food Wine Festival

I guess we’re calling potato chips, “warm crispy potatoes” these days. This is otherwise another flavorful, comforting dish – the chips do a nice job of holding up against the lean, smoky corned beef. The American Grana cheese, which is turned by hand twice per week over the course of at least 18 months, offers a nutty subtlety to the creamy sauce and helps it stand out against the bold barbecue flavor of the beef. There’s just a little bit of onion on top that provides additional crunch and a little bit of a piquant quality that contrasts nicely with the tangy barbecue flavors. Very good overall.

Taste: 8/10

Value: 6/10

Sweet Pancake with Spicy Chipotle Chicken Sausage, Onion Jam, and Maple Butter Syrup – $4

Sweet Pancake Chipotle Sausage Epcot Flavors Fire Food Wine Festival

Perhaps the best new item at the Festival, there’s a lot going on here and it all works perfectly in tandem. The fluffy, sweet pancake does a nice job of propping up the mildly spicy sausage that’s topped with a sweet/spicy onion jam and a delightful, rich maple sauce that adds a punch of sugar without being so thick that it distracts from the sausage and pancake. It’s only going to taste better as temperatures cool heading into October and November.

Taste: 9/10

Value: 10/10

Chocolate Picante: Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cayenne Pepper, Chili Powder, and Raspberry Dust – $3.25

Chocolate Picante Flavors Fire Epcot Food Wine Festival 2017

This is a deceptively dense, incredibly rich dessert with a strong cacao flavor to the mousse, which is thick enough that it’s almost like three separate layers of cake inside of the cup. The spice is present, but not overwhelming, and mostly works to extend the lingering flavor of the dark chocolate.

The fruitiness of the raspberry dust, in addition to the cream and crispy chocolate pearls add more depth to the overall flavor profile. Overall, this one is going to be a big winner for those that enjoy dark chocolate and less so for those that prefer things a little lighter. Considering how dense it is, there’s some value at $3.25.

Taste: 8/10 for the dark chocolate crowd

Value: 7/10

Orlando Brewery Smokin’ Blackwater Porter – $4.25

Orlando Brewery Blackwater Porter

Store Price: 13.9 cents/ounce

Festival Price: 71 cents/ounce

Value: Average

The Blackwater Porter returns from the 2013 Flower and Garden Festival and is one of Orlando Brewing’s better offerings. That’s not really saying much, but the typical coffee, caramel, and roasted malt flavors pair nicely with the tang and spice of the items offered here. It’s not worth going out of your way to order, but you’re probably not going to find the beer outside of the Orlando area, which may make it attractive to aficionados.

Ravenswood Zinfandel, Napa Valley – $6.50

Ravenswood Zinfandel Epcot Flavors Fire Food Wine Festival

Store Price: 67 cents/ounce

Festival Price: $3.25/ounce

Value: Average

Zinfandels are often paired with barbecue because their dry, sweet, and spicy character complements smoky flavors so well. The Ravenswood is an approachable old vine zin  – rich with rustic tannins with some hints of blackberry and ripe cherry. It’s particularly tasty alongside the sausage dish.

Swine Brine featuring Evan Williams Bourbon – $8.25

Swine Brine Epcot Food Wine Festival Flavors Fire

I was initially unsure why Disney would be so ambiguous with the menu description. Most of us know what to expect if we saw a Manhattan, Martini, Bloody Mary, etc. on the menu. “Swine Brine” is somewhat less obvious, even if it mentions the bourbon that’s supposedly used. But after being served one of the murkiest drinks I’ve ever seen, complete with a rib on top, it was a bit clearer why they wouldn’t tell you straight up that this is mixed with lemon juice, mustard, and apple juice. The drink basically tastes like lightly carbonated sweet and sour mix – there is no noticeable bourbon flavor whatsoever.

Flavors Fire Swine Brine Epcot Food Wine Festival

On our second drink, the rib wasn’t long enough to be propped up on top, so it was simply dropped in the drink. The image took me back to elementary school when the D.A.R.E. officer brought the diseased lung around in an effort to scare fourth graders away from spending their allowance money on Marlboro Lights. Hopefully in turn these pictures will scare you away from ordering this drink. Swine Brine. Not even once.

Overall, there are some very approachable dishes offered at Flavors From Fire and it’s a relatively comfortable place to take a bit of a break and enjoy some food and drink. The Pancake in particular is an excellent dish that’s as close to a “must buy” as we’ll see at the Festival.

Comments

  1. Heather says

    Yay! I’ve been stalking in anticipation of your reviews starting. We will be there next week! I think I’ll go get an IPA from the Light Lab to enjoy with the food from this booth, none of the drinks appeal to me.

  2. Dorliss Chambers says

    Good grief that Swine Brine not only looks disgusting, the combination of ingredients is appalling. Inspired by the Snickers in the pool scene in Caddyshack?

  3. Marie says

    Tried the 3 food offerings today. Thought they were pretty good. Only alcohol was the Blackwster Porter, thank goodness because that Swine Brine looks disgusting!!!! Though your description was good for some comic relief tonight while waiting for HEA.

  4. Daz says

    All these sound delicious to me. The “Swine Brine” although odd seems pretty interesting, because it uses the same acid/mustard/apple juice/bourbon flavors used throughout the Southeast for bbq.

  5. Christine says

    I noticed they included the recipe for Swine Brine in this year’s festival cookbook. I can’t imagine what they’re thinking. Who would want to make that??

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