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The mystery meal: Eating blind-folded

We've seen firsthand the over-the-top skills and cleverness of so many Portland chefs, and we've also been thrilled at how much fun a room of people can have in total darkness, eating what is often plainly delicious -- a big spoonful of buttery, pillowy homemade gnocchi -- but other times, very challenging (for the mind and tongue!) -- like natto, aka fermented soybeans.

TBA:12 Eats Chef Naoko Blind Tasting BingoWe recently hosted our final game of our six-month Blind-Tasting Bingo series. We really went out with a bang. Naomi Pomeroy, fresh on the heels of opening her new joint, Expatriate, came ready to entertain, and the crowd, blind-folded and tipsy, asked for extra servings of every round.

Hosting this game has been a really bizarre and magical experience. We’ve seen firsthand the over-the-top skills and cleverness of so many Portland chefs, and we’ve also been thrilled at how much fun a room of people can have in total darkness, eating what is often plainly delicious — a big spoonful of buttery, pillowy homemade gnocchi — but other times, very challenging (for the mind and tongue!) — like natto, aka fermented soybeans.

We’re trying to tease out how to make this event — or others — walk that special line between delicious + unusual gustatory experience and educational local food gateway drug. More on this soon! (We’re also going to publish a free how-to on hosting your own game. So stay tuned.)

One of our cheerleaders from the beginning has been the talented photographer Shawn Linehan, and she made this really swell video during our game with Kim Boyce of Bakeshop. Please enjoy!

Blind Tasting Bingo with Kim Boyce at Ecotrust from Shawn Linehan on Vimeo.

(Photo at top by Shawn Linehan.)