2014 Food & Wine: South Korea

Last year, the Kimchi Dog was introduced to the South Korea kiosk at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The sausage used for the dish was not a typical “Disney dog,” but a special type made in Tampa specific for the festival. I was excited to try the new dish, and it didn’t disappoint.

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Seeing it return this year, I was hoping that they didn’t sub out the sausage, and fortunately, they did not (at least from what I could tell). The Roasted Pork Lettuce Wrap remains, and while it was perfectly fine, it’s not something that I’ve ordered since the kiosk’s introduction in 2010. Prices are up 25 cents each on the food items, and the Soju Fruit Slushy is up 50 cents.

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My Kimchi Dog this year was a bit less mustard sauce than last year, but it still brough a kick to it. The “kimchi” is more like a quick-pickle, but still added some necessary crunch to the dog.

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The bun was fresh, but really nothing special. It’s the same thing you could buy at the supermarket.

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The spices in the sausage build a touch, but I don’t find this dog overly spicy. It might be a bit much for those with a sensitivity to heat, though. While I do like this dish – certainly enough that I ordered it in its second year – I’m not so sure it really provides much “bang for your buck.” The main feature here is the sausage, and if they were to switch it to a normal dog, I’d walk right by.

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As I’ve noted, the Roasted Pork Lettuce Wrap is fine, it’s just starting to “show its age” at the Festival.

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Last year, the Soju Fruit Slushy came with a comically oversized straw. While refreshing, the portion size is overpriced, much like the Szarlotka in Poland.

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The Bokbunjajoo, below on the left, is a Black Raspberry Wine that tastes like Manischewitz. I haven’t ordered it since 2011 because if I wanted sweet, blackberry wine, I can buy a whole bottle of Manischewitz for about the same price.

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We’ll keep you posted on updated reviews from South Korea as the 2014 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival continues. What have you tried from the kiosk, and what did you think? What are you looking forward to trying?

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12 responses to “2014 Food & Wine: South Korea

  1. The kimchi dog wasn’t originally on my list but I hear so many good things I’m adding it in. Also, the iCing sparkling grapefruit whatever sounds interesting, maybe?

  2. IMO the kimchi dog is about the best selection at any of the booths….it actually has some nice spice to it and offers something interesting vs. the bland choices at most of the booths. By the way, your article reads “by at the supermarket” instead of “buy”.

  3. Jenn – I’ve been typically avoiding drinks, but I agree, it does sound interesting and it is something I’m considering. I’ll probably head back to epcot once or maybe twice before the Festival ends, but I’ve had my fill of people being stumbling drunk by 1pm. 😦

    Keith – Thanks for the catch – I fixed it.

  4. Hey! They finally found the Bubble Tea straws! 😉

  5. Both my husband. & I really like the kimchi dog & enjoyed it again on our visit at the end of Sept. I actually tried the grapefruit bev that was offered. I liked it in the 6oz. pour. Had it been in a 12oz. size, I might have poured some out at the end. However, if you like the grapefruit beer served in Germany like I do, it’s worth a try at least. If you don’t like grapefruit, skip it. I’m not a grapefruit eater, but I find the grapefruit beer in Germany refreshing on a hot day. The grapefruit bev selection in S. Korea similar, but a little sweeter.

  6. Jane – Ha! Not sure if they’re using the same straws this year, or if they switched to a “standard” size lol!

    Jennifer – I like the grapefruit beer in Germany, so maybe South Korea’s drink would be a good one for me to try, too. Thanks for the insight!

  7. I’m not a fan of kimchi so I stayed away from the food options here. But I did try the Black Raspberry Wine, and I agree, it is sweet. I was expecting it to be on the sweet side but not that much! I might have to try the Manischewitz, if it is not too sweet.

  8. The kimchi here is not the kimchi I know and love, with its fermentation. This version is more like a quick-pickle of julienned vegetables. It’s been several years since I’ve had Manischewitz, as it was consumed during my family’s traditional Christmas Eve dinner, and I haven’t had one of those in I don’t know how long. I can’t recall how the sweetness compares to the Bokbunjajoo, but the glasses we had were small ones. It was not something we’d drink from a normal size wine glass! 🙂

  9. I enjoy the kimchi dog even though it’s not really authentic kimchi (although there are authentic “lighter” kimchis that aren’t as fermented. I like the crunch and slight tang of the veggies in contrast with the hotdog and mustard (kinda like having a green half-sour in some ways). But I thought it has been around for a couple of years at least. I remember having it with my friend Michelle (who couldn’t meet me last year for my last minute F&WF trip since I had to cancel our normal trip due to the relapse) in the year prior (2012).

  10. Hmm… According to my records, 2012 had a Mung Bean Pancake and 2011 had Boolgogi, and 2010, its introduction, was a Barbecue Short Rib.

  11. I think South Korea finally got it right last year when they introduced the kimchi dog. The lettuce wrap remains one of our favorites, but the mung bean pancake was a really weak second-tier item. The only thing that could make me happier is if they brought back the bulgogi as well, though I suspect that this booth would really want a vegetarian dish if they were to introduce a third savory food item.

  12. I agree with you with the Mung Bean Pancake, especially in comparison with the offerings in years prior to. A vegetarian dish would be great as a third option, especially since the festival is still lacking on that front. We should totally run the menus for 2015! 😉