Monday, March 14, 2011

Dining in the Dark

I feel like I'm constantly chasing the NYTImes' self-proclaimed "foodie trends." Miracle fruit was one of the most amazing food experiences of my life, and I have been dying to try "Dining in the Dark"-enjoying a meal without any visual input-totally blin
d. The theory is that without your sense of sight, all other senses will be heightened, elevating your meal to a whole new level.

So when I saw the invite from the Massachusetts's Dietetic Association that a group of dietitians was going to dine in the dark, with a special presentation by one of my mentors, Marci Anderson, on Mindful Eating, How could I say no??? I quickly registered and counted down the days till blindness struck.

Located in a beautiful Beacon Hill Mansions, The Hampshire House (and attached to Cheers), was the scene of our adventure.
I caught up with Jessica and Jennie before we were allowed to enter the actual dining room, where I was seated (with my nametag + "vegan" sticker) with Janel, Marci and Janice Bissex (1/2 of Meal Makeover Moms).
They provided very entertaining dinner company.

Before we dug in, Marci Anderson, an amazing dietitian and eating disorder specialist in Cambridge, led us through an eating meditation, where we explored the different types of hunger one can have.
It was a great way to kick off the event, before we begun our blind journey. Little did I know that there was also a theatrical element. Dining in the Dark hires a pianist and singer to take you on a "journey" through a tropical island (Lost?) as you discover these new meals in front of you.

I was very grateful that they provided a vegan option (so rare, thank you!) but the food was mostly bland or over-salted (and I swear it wasn't because my "senses were heightened")
First Course: Samplings from our Caldrons
Trilogy of gingered chantenay carrot soup, caramelized pumpkin soup and cream of parsnip
Second course: Textures from the Oceans
Vegetarian: Arugla and apple salad with spring rolls
Roast beast and Trimmings:
Vegetarian: Tofu with spinach and roasted vegetables
Heavenly sweets:
vegan: the best lemon sorbet I have ever tasted and fresh fruit

Dining in the dark can get a little messy, but we definitely enjoyed ourselves.
Without the sense of sight, I definitely was much more curious about what was placed in front of me, and noticed smell much more. I don't think it enhanced the taste, but maybe that's just me! I was very grateful that they provided a vegan option (so rare, thank you!) but the food was a little underwhelming. Some of it was very over-salted (and I swear it wasn't because my "senses were heightened"). If you want to experience this yourself Dining in the Dark does both public and private events! Check it out!

What is the most adventurous thing you have ever done, food-wise?


Meal Makeover Mom Janice said...

Elizabeth, it was fun dining with you at the Dining in the Dark event. i must say, I'm a bit jealous looking at your photos and seeing the fresh fruit you got for dessert. I got three (yes, three) cookies. Time to become a vegan perhaps?! See you at the next event!

Molly said...

I need to get on whatever mailing list you're on! Miracle fruit and dining in the dark?!? Well, I can always live vicariously through reading your blog. :-P

Janel said...

My favorite picture is my claw hand and Marci in the background. Cracking up. Actually seeing that tofu is even more unappetizing.

mindrunningwild said...

oh my! I really need to try this!! It would just tune me into my food and really let me enjoy what I was eating. Wow. It looks like you had a lot of fun!