Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Post 114: Portland - Surprise Visit to The Meadow, A Salt and Chocolate Shop (Portland: North Portland/Boise/Mississippi)

All in one morning Angela and I flew from Southern California to Portland, warmed up our stomachs with oysters and charcuterie, devoured a hearty breakfast, and polished off pastrami sliders and cookies.  If that isn't reason enough to take a fat nap, then I don't know what is.  We were determined to find the closest public transportation back to our hotel in the Southwest quadrant of Portland to take said nap, so we wandered west from North Williams Avenue to North Mississippi in search of said public transportation.  While meandering through the quaint residential streets of Boise neighborhood, we came across a section of restaurants and coffee shops that peaked our interest.  We stayed away from more meals, but we did enter this unassuming salt and chocolate shop called The Meadow.

Salts were proudly displayed from wall to wall.  The shelves of chocolate started at the floor and almost reached the ceiling.  There was a table of wine tasting and even a section dedicated just to bitters.  Every nook and cranny of the store was filled with something intriguing, mesmerizing... fascinating.

These chocolates were no ordinary chocolates.  On every shelf there were chocolates for eating, chocolates for drinking, chocolates for baking, dipping, dunking, saucing, and gifting.  Naturally, the best were the chocolates that were combined with salt.  Many of them had imported ingredients but were produced locally around Portland.  Some were even made in small batches and even numbered by hand on the label.  Pretty impressive.

I took some of the more unique flavors back with me... chocolate bars with tortilla, lime and salt (of course) and a few bars with ramen noodle scattered throughout.

The salts came from all over the world.  From sea salt to fleur de sel to salt blocks, there were an unimaginable plethora of salts.  And when we sampled them with the expert staff on hand, we were surprised to find out that not only do the various salts have different salinity, but they have different flavors as well.

If there is any place in Portland, or the entire country for that matter, to discover salts and how they can be tailored to your cooking and baking, The Meadow is the place.  Andrew Zimmern's episode of Bizarre Foods in Portland aired just last week with him visiting this hidden gem.

Okay, but really... nap time.  We need to rest before we restart our marathon of eating.  Until then let's all get S.O.F.A.T.

ML - 20120914

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