I'm at the International Food Bloggers Conference in Portland and we are about to start a live food tasting event. So I'm actually typing and tasting as we go. It's a speed tasting event where Oregon purveyors are bringing each table something to live taste/tweet/blog about for 5 minutes. Then they move to the next table.
Unfortunately, first up is coffee and I don't drink coffee. Sigh. It's HappyRockCoffee.com. They are based in Gladstone. I'm told this sample is really rich.
Temptress Truffles has brought us apples in a salted caramel that has both black and white truffles (as in fungi) flavoring and some truffle oil on top. Elan Hagens deals with wild, harvested edibles and so she of course follows our Hank Shaw. She has truffle butter, truffle salt, and more.
John is from Fishes Sushi from Cannon Beach. He's brought an Oregon roll which has Oregon dungeness crab in it. They specialize in local fish and only import unagi and mahi.
PackerOrchardsandBakery.com from Hood River area. They've been around since 1926. They have brought some jams and exploring sugar free items using pear concentrate to sweeten them. We are trying pear sweetened raspberry and it is plenty sweet.
PFriem Brewery is up next with beer, so that's another skip for me.
Yay! Ice cream is next! Something I can taste! Oops, it's not ice cream, it's oatmeal. Straw Propeller has containers that look like ice cream, but is filled with an instant oatmeal. You add boiling water and then wait 2 minutes. We are tasting blueberry blitz with yogurt covered and natural blueberries. Thirteen flavors including a Lavender Lemon and a Curry Up. Each is about $2.50-$3.
The Well Traveled Fork is in Bend and has brought us black porter mini cupcakes. I'll take a bit of alcohol in baked goods and who can turn down cupcakes? Bette Fraser actually does culinary tours, cooking classes, and catering. She has a Farm and Ranch Tour and knows the food purveyors in the Cascades.
Rogue Creamery is here with a big wheel of blue cheese. Again, not something I care for, but I go for it. It does not make me gag, like my first childhood traumatic memory of blue cheese. But I would rather have tasted a non-blue. Their TouVelle sounds delicious and more my style - "an American original cheese designed to please all palettes with full flavors of sweet cream, milk chocolate, roasted nuts, a hint of vanilla, and the slightest tang."
A RazCherry is a Bing cherry, dried, soaked in raspberry syrup, then covered in chocolate. These come from Pacific Hazelnut. Hazelnuts are a huge crop in Oregon. 98% of US hazelnuts come from Oregon. Pacific Hazelnut specializes in candied hazelnut products as well natural, trail mixes, salted, etc.
Sigh. Our final tasting is another liquor - vodka. That means I didn't try 3 out of 10 items. Boo! 9 Rocks Vodka is from Spray, Oregon (never heard of it). Oh well.
This event was put on by Travel Oregon which is currently promoting Feast Portland which happens next month. I hope that I'll be able to do more with Travel Oregon, because I know the bounty Oregon has. I sample it every time I come north.