Forget about the flavor of the month — the best way to get a taste of the times is to sample the season’s bounty at the Oregon Berry Festival, July 20-21. This second annual celebration of nature’s sweet treats give you the chance to pick up some of the tastiest good-for-you goodies around, from berries by the carton to jams, jellies, pies and cobblers. This free, family-friendly event at the Ecotrust Building in Portland’s Pearl District features live entertainment and cooking demonstrations showing how berries can add vibrancy to your favorite dishes. Over in the children’s area — a great place to burn off natural sugar highs — little ones eat up the excitement with games and other activities, like visits from “Ima Blueberry.”
If this festival is a feast for fruit fans, then its closing event is a dessert for the senses. The Gala Berry Dinner, held July 21 at the Heathman Restaurant, caps off a sweet weekend with a multi-course meal from Chef Philippe Boulot, who pairs a variety of local berries in flavorful preparations with premium Oregon wines. Tickets are available in advance — like the berries, get them while they last.