17th Annual Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

For 17 years, Epcot has transformed its World Showcase into a mecca for folks who like to taste new foods and wines. And for 17 years, the Food and Wine Festival team has brightened the festival with new flavors. The 2012 event will have Florida and vegan (called Terra) marketplaces. Kids willget to drink frothed up Nesquick in chocolate or strawberry and adults can sample a wine made from key lime juice. The Florida Beer Company will make a Devil's Triangle brew exclusively for the festival.

I got to taste a bunch at a sneak peek luncheon for journalists. Verdict: Oh yea.

Here are some noteworthy items.

POLAND: Zapiekanki-toasted mushroom, caramelized onion and cheese bread with housemade ketchup. This bruschetta-like snack is sweet, spicy and earthy.

TERRA: Trick'n Chick'n curry with basmati rice featuring Gardein Chick'n Breast. This was the surprise hit. This absolutely delicious, spicy dish has at its center a tofu-based mock mound of poultry. It is superb.

Australia: Grilled lamb chop with mint pesto and potato crunchies. A generous lamb chop, tender and juicy, with a minty topping. (My iPhone photo skills stink, I know. But the lamb chop is good.)

FLORIDA: Florida Shrimp Ceviche with Fire Roasted Vegetables, Fried Plantains and Cilantro. Light and tangy seafood. (Photo courtesy of Disney)

CANADA: "Le Cellier" Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce. The writers were raving about this one - fork-tender steak with a creamy, earthy topping.

I have no photo, but trust me and, if you like steak, make this dish a  priority.

DESSERTS: Yogurt Panna Cotta with Orange Cake, Raspberries and Pomegranate, Lemon Custard Verrine with Blueberry Compote, Dark Chocolate Mousse with Chili and Salted Caramel. All good, but the dark chocolate mousse is you-must-buy-this phenomenal.

For information on new events to be held during the Epcot Food & Wine Festival, read the appropriate section of this feature article.

Eat well, my friends,