What if you were sitting in a park, enjoying a beautiful day, when all the sudden you were surrounded by hundreds of people wearing white and toting tables, chairs and food for a spontaneous picnic? You'd probably be a little awestruck, which is exactly how those holding this Diner en Blanc, or "Dinner in White," want you to feel. It's essentially a flash mob picnic involving hundreds or even thousands of participants.
These gatherings, which can involve as many as 10,000 people, are typically announced through word-of-mouth or social networks like Facebook or Twitter. Once invited, attendees are told the time of the Diner en Blanc, but in order to maintain the element of spontaneity, they won't learn the location until one hour before the event is set to begin. Then, at the appointed time and place, droves of white-clad picnickers descend with tables, chairs, food, tablecloths, plates, napkins, candlesticks, flowers and any other fine dining accessories that they choose to bring along. The end of the impromptu dinner is often when the group lights sparklers, then a band or DJ is on hand to lead the dancing that typically concludes the magical night. Everyone is expected to help out with the cleanup so that not one scrap of food or trash is left when the group departs.
Author's Note: 5 Adventures in Eating You'll Never Forget
I was a pretty picky eater when I was a kid. You know the type: chicken nuggets, French fries and the occasional vegetable -- as long as it was in a can. But in college and graduate school, I learned that trying new foods and cooking new dishes could actually be quite fun, and now I consider myself a fairly open-minded eater and a pretty darn good cook. But adventures in eating? I suppose you could talk me into some of those experiences. Let me grab my fork and I'll meet you at the flavor tripping party!
More Great Links
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It sometimes seems that, with Google maps and GPS, there couldn't possibly be an unturned stone anywhere on the planet, but that's far from true.