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8 Portland Dishes That Should Be Spoofed On "Portlandia"

From Scorpion Salt to a Cock-N-Balls Doughnut.

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Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein's IFC comedy series Portlandia is now in its fifth season of production, and whenever folks visit Portland these days you'll often hear the same thing over and over: "That's so Portlandia." Featured in Food Lover's Guide to Portland, these eight real Portland food and drink products definitely fit the bill and could easily be spoofed on an upcoming episode.

1. Scorpion Salt, The Meadow

The Meadow

Remember the dumpster diving episode of Portlandia? Well this would be a pretty scary dumpster find: chili-infused fleur de sel with edible scorpions. According to The Meadow: "The idea was to embrace edible insects without forcing their presence in the shop. So when we found the perfect scorpion pepper powder we also got ourselves some edible scorpions." Aaaaand: "If you grind the scorpion into the salt you get an incredible nutty taste on top. The scorpion alone is best dipped in honey and covered with the scorpion salt." Truth is oftentimes better than fiction.


2. Clear Creek Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir, Clear Creek Distillery

Clear Creek Distillery

Tree-flavored liquor? Yep. I think that Andy Samberg's mixologist character in Season 2 would have totally dug dousing some newfangled cocktail with this spirit, made with unaged Oregon brandy infused with Douglas fir buds (Oregon's state tree!) handpicked by Clear Creek employees. Had me at handpicked.

4. Chocolate Chip Mint Julep Ice Cream, Salt & Straw

Leela Cyd

Salt & Straw takes ice cream to another level — a level where you can keep drinking by eating ALCOHOLIC ICE CREAM! Portlandia doesn't exactly love children so I envision an episode with a picnic with a bunch of kids + alcoholic ice cream followed by drink tank nap time. Four Roses Bourbon, Oregon spearmint, and Oregon roasted single-origin chocolate are all represented in this top-shelf ice cream.

6. Smoked Ghost Chili Pepper Salt, Jacobsen Salt Co.

Jacobsen Salt Co.

Peter and Nance should have considered purchasing Jacobsen's Smoked Ghost Chili Pepper Salt to spice up their relationship in Season 2. Pure flake finishing salt from the cold waters of the Oregon coast. Smoked and dried ghost chili peppers + locally harvested ocean water turned salt. Spice it up!

7. Chickpea Miso, Jorinji Miso

Jorinji Miso

Kath and Dave came back from Spain and all they wanted to do was talk to everyone about Spain all the time. Iberian experts. Well, if they discovered local, no-GMO, organic misos, no trip to Japan would be required. They'd be all about it. The miso on the far left is the chickpea.

8. Brussels Kraut, Picklopolis


"We can pickle that!" David Barber of Picklopolis pickles everything from duck eggs and sausage to habaneros, bacon burger salame, and...Brussels kraut! Every year since 2009, he's co-organized the Portland Fermentation Festival with me and our friend George Winborn. The tagline for the annual festival: "Good stinky fun." Carrie and Fred, Nance and Peter, AND Kath and Dave would all love the Brussels kraut and the festival.


Liz Crain is the author of Food Lover's Guide to Portland and Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. A longtime writer on Pacific Northwest food and drink, her writing has appeared in Cooking Light, Budget Travel, VIA Magazine, The Sun Magazine, The Progressive, The Guardian and The Oregonian.


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