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Exploring Epcot cuisine: Author to release new Disney Parks cookbook |

Ashley Craft has been an enthusiastic fan of the various Disney Parks since she was a child.

“I’m the ultimate Disney nerd,” Craft said. “I just love it. It’s so special to me.”

Craft, a native of Anaheim, California, who went to Disneyland often, will release her latest book focusing on the culinary side of Disney’s Epcot park this month. “The Unofficial Disney Parks Epcot Cookbook” debuts June 14.

The new cookbook features 100 recipes for dishes from snacks and entrees to desserts that are treats visitors to the park will find at eateries there. Everything from Jumbo Pretzels, Power Greens Salad, House-Made Hummus Fries and Lemon Chicken Tagine to Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches, Crunchy Arancini and Crab and Cheese Wontons is in the cookbook.

Craft called Epcot a “culinary mecca” at Disney. Epcot features a World Showcase, which highlights rides, various attractions and food and drink served in countries around the globe.

“A lot of culture is (about) food,” Craft said, adding she wanted to showcase the many flavorful offerings found at the culturally rich Epcot.

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The majority of Craft’s research and visits to Epcot for this book specifically took place in the beginning of 2021.

“I visited at least three times (as research for writing the book),” Craft said. “I love getting more acquainted with different cultures and other countries,” she said, adding the research for the book was really great fun.

Originally Craft began compiling Disney recipes while she was blogging in 2017. Her past two Disney-themed cookbooks are “The Unofficial Disney Parks Cookbook” and “The Unofficial Disney Parks Drink Recipe Book.”

For all of her books and her blog through the years, she’s always focused on authentically recreating the recipes in them.

Craft said she traveled with various friends and family to Epcot at different times to taste the offerings at the park. The author said she also made sure to visit during the various festivals presented at Epcot including The Festival of Arts, Food and Wine Festival and The Flower and Garden Festival.

Craft, who previously lived in Kansas, now resides in Minneapolis. She grew up in Anaheim and was a big fan of Disneyland. She also did two internships at Walt Disney World and has visited both Disneyland and Disney World extensively through the years. Ella’s Craft’s blog, titled Ashley Crafted, has frequently included recipes from the Disney Parks.

According to Craft, the biggest challenge of doing this cookbook is that she wanted to make sure everything was to the standard that people would find at the Disney Parks and “living up” to the quality presented there.

“I didn’t want to put out products that people are disappointed with,” she said.

Craft’s next cookbook will feature recipes from Universal Parks.

The following recipe is from “The Unofficial Disney Parks Epcot Cookbook.”

House-Made Crab and Cheese Wontons

48 ounces vegetable oil, for frying

3/4 cup shredded imitation crab

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 medium green onions, sliced ​​thin

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat to 350 degrees.

2. Line a large plate with paper towels. In a small bowl, mix together crab, cream cheese, green onions, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce.

3. Lay out 1 wonton wrapper at a time and place 1 teaspoon filling in center of wrapper. Dip finger in water and dab center of each long edge of wrapper with wet finger. Bring opposite edges of wrapper together and pinch closed along edges.

4. Carefully lower 3-4 wontons at a time into hot oil and fry 1-3 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Transfer to a prepared plate and repeat with remaining wontons. Serve immediately.

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