Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup at Bad Habit Room, Portland, OR

Slow Roasted Tofu, Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian PopupThis post is in collaboration with Folklore.

For those who enjoy chasing after the best dining experiences in town, make sure you have Folklore popup on your radar. Brought to you by the talented Chef Sean Sigmon, Folklore is a plant-based dinner featuring local agrarian cuisine with a Southern influence. In wine making, winemakers talk about terroir: the natural environment that shapes the character of the wine. With Folklore, there’s a similar approach with dishes that are of the land, highlighting the locality and seasonality of the ingredients. The name Folklore is fitting too as it references storytelling of a culture, community, and place, and this dinner brings people together for an evening of storytelling through local food. It will be interesting to see how the story changes with the different seasons.

You can find Folklore popup at Bad Habit Room on the last Wednesday of every month. If you know the Portland vegan food scene, I’m sure you’re familiar with Sean’s work at The Sudra, Harvest at the Bindery, and Farm Spirit. With that in mind, you know you’re in for an incredible meal that won’t break the bank. Pricing may change in the future, but for reference, the June popup was $35 for 6 courses plus a glass of kombucha. Folklore also does a la carte brunch popups around town, so follow along on Instagram for the latest and greatest updates.

Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandFolklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandThe June popup began with a glass of raspberry elderflower kombucha. The color is stunning, and it tastes of summertime. There’s no shortage of locally brewed booch in Portland, and this is one of the best I’ve had recently.

The amuse bouche was a savory spelt pancake with sauerkraut cream and pickled mustard. My hand is in the photo for scale, but I didn’t eat with my hands. Just kidding, I actually did pick up the mini pancake and pop it in my mouth as that was the best way to experience all the flavors and textures together.

Savory Pancake, Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandRaspberry Elderflower Kombucha, Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandNext up was a garden gazpacho with celtuce, cucumbers, and nasturtium vinaigrette. When I think of gazpacho, red/orange chilled soups come to mind, so it was a refreshing change of pace to see a delicate green gazpacho. Just because it’s a bowl of chilled veggies, don’t assume it’s lacking in flavor and complexity. Perfect for a hot summer day.

Garden Gazpacho, Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandHeirloom squash with herb yogurt, lemon balm, sansho leaf, and pistou (similar to pesto, minus pine nuts). It’s rare to come across a vegan yogurt sauce that’s this rich and luxurious. I feel like squash is everywhere lately, and I tend to get bored of it, but this was a really tasty rendition.

Heirloom Squash, Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandAnyone who says tofu is boring needs to try this tofu misozuke ASAP. In this dish, locally made Ota tofu is fermented in miso, creating rich umami flavor and creamy cheese-like texture, before it is slow roasted and accompanied by leeks and cherry tomatoes. Delicious.

Slow Roasted Tofu, Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandThe dishes will change at every Folklore popup, but there will always be dumplings on the menu. This month’s dumpling dish is nettle¬†dumplings were served with allium broth, kale, lovage flowers, and porcini. These dumplings are done in the Southern style where you make biscuits, bake ’em halfway, then finish them in the pan. I grew up in Asia, and I was only introduced to this style of dumplings as an adult, but I find this style of dumplings to be so comforting.

Nettle Dumplings, Folklore Plant-Based Agrarian Popup by Sean Sigmon, PortlandLast, but not least, is the berry jelly with smoked fig leaf meringue, blackcap raspberries, and shiso leaf. I’m not a big sweets person, so I normally don’t get that enthused about desserts, but it’s berry season here in Oregon, and anything made with summer berries is fantastic.

Note: This post is in collaboration with Folklore. I was invited as a guest to this popup and received a complimentary meal. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.

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  • Reply
    Jade Helm /Tasting Pour
    July 10, 2018 at 11:42 am

    This sounds like so much fun. I love the idea of hearing the stories behind dishes and how they tell about place and culture. Of course food can show terroir. It why that old wine pairing rule – what grows together goes together – works so well.

    • Reply
      July 10, 2018 at 11:52 am

      I wish Folklore offered wine pairings to go along with the dishes. That would be perfect!

  • Reply
    July 10, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Wow, $35 for 6 courses is a huge deal, and the dishes each sound wonderful in being a combination of flavors and textures that no one minds its vegan!

    • Reply
      July 11, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      Yes! I think most people would forget that it’s vegan because everything is so good!

  • Reply
    Erin @ Platings and Pairings
    July 11, 2018 at 7:56 am

    Every dish looks amazing from start to finish and I agree with Pech – What a great deal for $35!

    • Reply
      July 11, 2018 at 11:29 pm

      Such an incredible dining experience!

  • Reply
    Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife
    July 11, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    $35 for 6 courses is an amazing deal! The heirloom squash dish looks so perfect for summer. Raspberry elderflower kombucha sounds perfect for a meal like this, too!

    • Reply
      July 11, 2018 at 11:30 pm

      So many amazing flavors! I wish I had another round of that heirloom squash dish. Yum!

  • Reply
    Hillary Harper
    July 12, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    This meal looks incredible! I love that’s its so affordable as well. I still need to go to Farm Spirit – I’ve heard great things!

    • Reply
      July 20, 2018 at 3:50 pm

      You definitely have to visit both sometime!

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