It was a wet afternoon but that didn't stop hundreds of food lovers from around the country from converging on Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square once again for Bob Appetite's fifth annual FeastPDX Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting this weekend.
This was out third year at the event, and the Second that Jimmie was able to join me. Carrie ended up being out of town for work this weekend so it was just Jimmie, Angela, and me there this afternoon.
The event was the usual blend of Pacific Northwest brewers, wineries, and food companies ranging from fruit growers to boutique sauce makers and creameries.
After three consecutive years there were not a lot of surprises or even original ideas in presentation unfortunately for many of them. There are only so many things to change in a crowded IPA marketplace to stand out, and not much Ponzi or Stoller can do to change the taste of 2014 and 2015 vintages of their Pinot Noir. Similarly there's only so many things that you can do to highlight cheddar cheese on a cracker.
There were however a few things that stood out this time around that you should be on the lookout for at local stores.
Farmhouse Culture brought a line of Probiotic and Fermented foods that blow me away. The Gut Shot probiotics had amazing flavor and were smooth as silk going down. They will be available at Whole Foods and New Seasons stores in Oregon and Washington this week and at Whole Foods national stores soon.
The biggest new product surprise for us this year was actually a beverage that we were all suspicious of when we approached the booth. When you think of Portland you think of a lot of things, but Portland Sangria is out to add something new to the conversation and we were amazed by this sangria in a can.
A blend of Marionberry, red raspberry, and wine that could only be found in the Willamette Valley was a pleasant surprise and the two new flavors they had on tap to taste which they plan to release next year (lemon rosemary and blueberry basil) were even better. I know it doesn't look like much, but you won't be sorry if you pick this up before the end of your day.
The rest of the Grand Tasting was a lot of the same folks that we saw last year. All of the major brewing company and winery folks were there. It was a wet and wonderful afternoon.