Last night, we were invited with a few friends at the beautiful colonial house of Häagen-Dazs in Roma, Mexico, to discover some new ice cream flavours. So far, nothing really unusual. Except that the invitation was utterly intriguing, a blind dinner…
So speculations went high. Were we blindfolded to taste the new flavours? Were the waiters blindfolded? Was it a sort of blind dating over ice cream which would have been really weird because most of the people invited were couples… After a few ice cream cocktails on the terrace, we were asked to leave all are luminous belongings in a safe box so not a single spec of light would disturb the experience. I was more and more intrigued by the minute.
So after ditching my Iphone and my husband been released of his watch, we were led by groups of four in a blacked out corridor, holding on to each other and our hostess’ shoulder. We couldn’t help giggling as kids as we were seated soundly and safely at what we imagined to be a round table where an amuse-bouche was waiting for us. From here, one the most intense experience of my life begun. No need to open my eyes, it was absolutely pitch black and for the first time I could experience what it was to be absolutely sightless. Not a paler shade of black, a shadow nor anything to give you a sense of space. We could only touch the table, our chair and our immediate surroundings to get a sense of space. We called out each others name to make sure that we were all seated near but it was absolutely surreal to loose control over your surroundings to that degree.
After finding our glasses and spoon, we dug into what tasted like caramel ice cream and after the second spoonful were pleasantly surprised by a piece of foie gras nested in the center of the ice cream. The salty sweet flavours with crunchy caramel was absolutely divine.The meal went on with three more delicious dishes and it was really unsettling not to be able to see what we ate. We only had our taste buds to guide us and they were sometime utterly inaccurate. Through the third dish,I first thought that I was eating chicken, then dead certain it was beaf and finally, nobody could guess it was short ribs. The waiters impeccably served us our dishes, refilled our drinks while I lousily managed to spill my glass of wine over the table. And not to mention the messy way I was eating. Thank god it wasn’t a first plain sight date with my beau, he would have ditch the Flintstone in me right away. And all of us were quite relieve when candles where lit on the table, we could finally see each other and had a look at the menu to have a proper sense of what we ate.
So do we need our sight to make an opinion before experiencing it? Are appearances which led us to like or dislike something? Can they be misleading? Can they induce our judgement? Yes, unfortunately, I got the certainty last night that it is really hard for us to trust blindly our guts, leave all certainties behind and make a call for ourselves, or shall I say a blind call.
Häagens-Dasz provided us this incredible experience last night with the help of “Ojos que sienten” or “Sight of emotion Foundation. I am in awe of how seamlessly the people helped us through our tables, catered to us the whole evening, letting us have a feel of their universe that we could only remotedly imagine. During this experience in total darkness our other senses took over and each mouthful was a mix of flavours, emotions, reminiscences. The sounds were louder, the smells richer and the disturbing darkness turned into a romantic atmosphere where you wanted to lean over your beloved one, exchanged sweet words… But hands were neatly kept on both side of the plate, or were they????????
To learn more about Ojos que Sienten, organize a blind dinner at your house or as a corporate event or simply to care and help, please visit www.ojosquesienten.org