Wednesday, April 30


Milkin' it

HP Hood apparently refused to increase the price they pay Maine farmers for milk:
Maine organic dairy farmer Mark McKusick explains "...Organic dairy farmers are returning to conventional production at an unprecedented rate because they are losing so much money... We appeal to consumers to demand that HP Hood pay their farmers a sustainable price!" via PRNews.
Pass the blame. One culprit, says Raj Patel, is price gouging by companies. Bring on the litigation lawyers.


Clambake Nation

Gary Paul Nabhan's new book, Renewing America's Food Traditions, led to this graphic on The Ethicurean, which led to this even more interactive graphic in The New York Times.

You live in Clambake Nation.


Nabisco Pilot Cracker

The near peril of this precious island commodity and its savior, Donna Damon, of Chebeague Island, an escapade retold by Sandy Oliver, via (a redesigned) Working Waterfront.


Tuesday, April 29

Organic + GE

The combination of organic farming and genetic engineering is something that Pamela Ronald, professor at the University of California at Davis, likes to tout, via Reuters and Boston Globe.

Coupled with news of rising food prices, the high percentage of organic farms in Maine, and the state's recent approval of GE crops, that could mean the state could be a testing ground for the concept. But it could spell other troubles. On one farm in Iowa, the idea's divided husband and wife, via NPR.

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Monday, April 28

Fulton Street Fish Market (New York)

Photo: Barbara Mensch/
Bonni Benrubi Gallery NYC,
via NYT.

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Sunday, April 27


A reserved critique of the food and a shower of praise for the flamboyant flower arrangement. In other words, Gauchos not quite skewered:
Some of the meat tasted bland, but several cuts were full of flavor, and it's certainly a kick to taste them all and compare. The flank steak, the short ribs and the resilient, spiced chicken hearts stand out from the more than 11 types of meat I tasted, via PPH.


Fore Street

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Friday, April 25


The Milk Haul, a reading and photo show about the transportation of organic and hormone-free milk in Maine, shows at Rabelais. 5 p.m. Free (beer).

The Natural Cook, a talk with Richard Wrangham, 7 p.m., UNE, via PFM. Free.

King Corn
, a video about two college grads growing an acre of corn in Iowa, plays at Space, 7:30 p.m., via PPH and tP. $7

Potato planting parties at Rippling Waters farm in Steep Falls, and Turkey Hill Farm, Cape Elizabeth, via TMS. Saturday.

Future of Agriculture in Franklin County meeting. 6 to 8 p.m. West Farmington Grange Hall, via SJ.

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Page Six

Bresca made the Conde Nast Traveler hot list. (Thanks QT!)

John Bunker, apple saver extraordinaire, made The Atlantic. (Thanks MOFGA!)

Rosemont's John Naylor reportedly bought Fat Baxters. (Thanks Anon!) Premade sandwiches next week.

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Thursday, April 24

Week in Review, Apr. 24

Typical Mainers served guests baked beans and ketchup (1), Sugarloaf planned to run vehicles off used fryer grease (2), and plastic bags were passe (3). Beef contributed to climate problems (4), and last February, the governor received a letter asking him to encourage Mainers to become vegetarians (5). "It's going to tax the poor people in the state more than the rich people," a man said about a beer and soda tax (6).

Happy Teriyaki opened in the same building as the National Kidney Foundation of Maine (7), nurses sickened from bad event food (8), and Mousam Lake still needed to eat right and get on an exercise program (9). The diet of pregnant women appeared to effect their child's gender (10).

A baby was called a great eater (11) and a book's protagonist ran from "metaphysical predators" who wanted to "eat his memories" (12). People counted frogs and peepers (13), bird droppings influenced the history of the world (14). chefs rarely worked on the line (15), city dwellers became farmers (16), and Joel Salatin offered $1,000 personal tours of his farm (17). One is six drivers drink (18).

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Rice price

Rice prices are up. Crisis! Start hoarding. Just not at Wal-Mart. Hoard! Everyone's doing it.


Shackleton's stock

John Weaver.

The Best

With so many "Best of" lists, it's hard to keep track. Here's the easy listening guide:
Down East.
The Phoenix.
Portland Press Herald.
The worst of the Bests under comments...

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Kitchen designs

Four famous chefs describe how their kitchens reflect their philosophy, via Metropolis.


Wednesday, April 23


With Zagat-style quotes and less insight than [fill in the blank], Type A weighs in about Evangaeline:
"An instant classic, Evangeline is a 'must try' restaurant for foodies living in, or visiting Portland," via TA.
"Food" calls out a shill:

i disagree completely. i was there the same night. the food was just ok.

Erik Desjarlais said...
Thank you, Food. Although we hit some highs in the first few nights of service, I am aware of the lows as well. We're working out kinks. We are trying to not be typical maine.
And now, the beauties of decontextualization, cultural appropriation, and self-referential commentary:
It now appears that the whole episode is an example of how facts can be lost these days in an online sea of opinions, via PPH.

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Tuesday, April 22

The Great Tortilla Conspiracy

The GTC.



A new book on sustainable seafood, called "Bottomfeeder," by Taras Grescoe, comes out next month. Grescoe mentions Browne Trading – and a whole lot more:
Though [Chef Eric] Ripert and his peers can afford to buy the scallops Rod Mitchell personally harvested, or the monkfish from the day-boat whose captain they have met, the chef at the bistro in Milwaukee, or a salmon house in Calgary, almost certainly does not have that kind of access.... It was the very prestige of the world’s leading chefs that legitimized the ongoing pillage, via Ethicurean.
It seems pretty hopeless. So, when you're lost in front of the fish case, here are some tips from the Environmental Defense Fund, via NPR, and Friend of the Sea, via City Paper. (Thanks JI!). More resources merging new technology and sea life at the barcode of life and fishphone.


Monday, April 21

Meat me at the lab for lunch

Food prices climb and temperatures climb, people have been pointing the finger at meat. Paul McCartney says, Go Vegetarian. So does Anna Lappe.

But like any conflict in the history of the future of food, there's an alternative to the meat-free tomorrow: In vitro meats.
"The general consensus is that minced meat or ground meat products – sausage, chicken nuggets, hamburgers – those are within technical reach. We have the technology to make those things at scale with existing technology," via Wired (Thanks MH!)
In fact, PeTA is even offering a reward.

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paul mcevoy.


Patriot's Day

So plant peas.

This message brought to you by Russell Libby.

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Sunday, April 20

Press and price

Sara Dickerman's essay hits the spot when it comes to getting right what food press often get wrong:
As an industry, we rhapsodize about la cucina povera—that is, "poor food" like polenta, beans, and braise-worthy cuts of meat like short-ribs and pigs trotters—but we rarely talk about cooking in terms of dollars and cents, via Slate.
The same applies to those oft-quoted, offal chefs.

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Water, water

Five myths about water debunked, via NPR.

Find out the waterprint of various foods, says, 75L of water/beer.


Friday, April 18

Maine potato

Natalie Conn


Review roundup

Artemisia, via PPH: "Salad is girly food, but this is not a girly salad. It's definitely not rabbit food."

Chef et al and Siano's, via TMS.

Empire Dine & Dance, via tP: "Empire seeks to strike a blow against the corporate food empire by treading similar territory in a better way."

Arrows, via TA.
(Per an earlier suggestion here.) "I consider Arrows to be a 'destination restaurant,' worth the drive from either Portland or Boston, and for serious foodies, a restaurant worth traveling for whether you live in, or are visiting New England." I consider this unreadable.


Thursday, April 17

Week in Review, Apr. 17

"[Large groups] isn’t a big deal, no. The gefilte fish is kind of a big deal," said a Rockland woman (1). Dandelion season began (2), a cow was killed in Topsham (3), and a goat in Stonington appeared to have been killed in a ritual or in a disturbing prank (4). Napkins reduced biker deaths (5).

Drug trafficking in Colombia resulted in fewer clammers (6), clam flats in the midcoast were closed because of a state error (7). Small farms in Ellsworth received a grant (7), Governor Baldacci signed a bill to fund health care with a beer, wine and soda tax (8) and a beer tax rebellion appeared to be brewing (9).

"Local wood" was good (10). Illegal Arctic fishing endangered cod (11), the US and Canada prepared for another lobster war (12), and global warming could expand the Alaska's fishing stock (13). "Lavendar is one of my new favorite flavors," said a fancy salt seller. "It's really nice on oysters" (14).

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Portland Beer Map

Another map. Believe it when you see it.


Bates bites

The Bates-ers are peeved:
Michael S. Sanders quotes a student who said he did not apply to Bates College because when he ate there while visiting, “the meal was not very good.” However, the student must have eaten at a dining facility being closed down in preparation for a new commons, which opened in February, via NYT.

Reader say the Lewiston college has some yummy "double fudge muffins" and "luau haddock with pineapple relish," and the service is "impeccably polite."

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Wednesday, April 16

Human footprint

Tuesday, April 15


Pub Dounder, the intrepid Bollard-head, hits Spring Street's bar, Flask.
It's owned by a lesbian couple, but Flask isn't tailored to attract clientele of any specific sexual orientation – though a moustache pageant it hosted in late March may have suggested otherwise to some. Flask is a neighborhood bar, via tB.

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Gardeners get tax breaks

At least that's what Roger Doiron, of Scarborough, is proposing:
In recognition of planting season and the intersecting geopolitical crises now upon us, I am proposing that home growers finally catch a break. Not from bugs, weather, or clunky garden shoes, but from taxes, via Alternet.

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Candy popart:
Prudence Emma Staite

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Hemingway opens two bottles of beer

"No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in," says Hemingway. "That kind of symbol sticks out like raisins in raisin bread. Raisin bread is all right, but plain bread is better." He opens two bottles of beer and continues, via TIME.


Saturday, April 12

Let them eat cake

"Real" Maine news (RMN) serves news about potato terrorism, fast-food bans, and used cake going to the statehouse:
“They just sit there and stare at the wall with their mouths full of cake, with crumbs and frosting all over their ties,” via CL.


Friday, April 11

Port City Food

PortCity Life dishes up B&M baked beans, Maine Medical Center, Mark's hot dogs, Rabelais, junk food, and budget consumption. Sorry, not online.

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Oprah film crew reportedly filmed tuna sandwiches at Hugo's, via PPH.

Fire codes not met at the golden Spotted Pig, Evangealine, via WoM. Not open tonight.

Sam and Don of Rabelais turned one.

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Meat water

See also,
Pig placenta drinks.


Thursday, April 10

Weeks in Review, Apr. 10

Portland suggested introducing greeters instead of bouncers at bars (1). Antlerless deer got a break from hunters (2), but cars still posed a threat (3). Dogfish ate just about anything (3.5), a woman who lost 100 pounds prepared to run up Mount Washington (4), and a woman whose barn burned said, "We have to sell the cows because we won't be able to milk them. We're trying to load them up now." (5).

A casino might pay for new roads and schools and a lobster in every pot (6), state cops rewarded dogs with food (7), and dill beans were found in Aisle 5 at the Shaw's in Lewiston (8) and a spirit messenger, also a former health food store employee, said: "When I'm in a grocery store or an airport there may be 100 people walking up and down. I see 1,000, deceased relatives of the people walking there" (9).

Maine's farmers sought protection from genetically engineered crops (10), Montville residents debated a local ban (11). Sales at Paul Bourassa's store, Dad's Tackle Box, were said to be "off the hook" (12), sculpted flowers from Couture Cakes in South Portland sold well (13). One syrup maker said, "I have trees that still have 3 feet of snow around them. It’s not looking good right now" (14).

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Wednesday, April 9

College, cheap, garbage, free

Boiwdoin College's oft-recognized food makes an appearance in the NYT (Thanks Brett!). An earlier reference here.

Tips for thifty eaters and tips from a thrifty eater, via PPH. An earlier post here.

The fast food wrapper icicle, or the Bayside Glacier, gets profiles in this week's Phoenix. An earlier post here.

Wash it down with some free booze (All these breweries sample, right?), via TMS. Been done before.

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Tuesday, April 8

Hardtack bowls

Design: Nobuhiko
, via FS.

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The titans of (all-natural) siren

The Helen Nearing of, er, the Baby Boomer set, Barbara Damrosch, who lives with Eliot Coleman and writes for the WashPo, is coming to town – twice. She'll be at Space, AprilFeb. 26 at 7 p.m. and Rabelais May 10.

The "titan of the organic world" shares her thoughts, via PPH:
I just hope that everybody will go organic. I really don't know what the future is going to bring, but I worry about animal extinction and plant extinction as the world gets messed up.

Now I am worried that the bats are dying. We are going to have to stop using chemicals out there, and it is hard on our own food supply.
Other wingbats of the organoDisney-locavore-Prius driving subset seem a little off the mark when discussing current food price increases.

"Michael Pollan, the author and de facto leader of the food intellectuals, happily dreams of small, expensive bottles of Coca-Cola" and "urging others to eat better (and thus more expensive) food is not elitist" Alice Waters told the NYT. Another analyst said:
“The main thing is that you need a little evidence before you say everyone is clipping coupons and eating dirt. All we know for sure at this point is that people are going to the supermarket and noticing butter is $4 a pound and not $2.”

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Monday, April 7


On tomatoes.


Organic dairy farmer tai chi

Photo: FOMG,
via SF.

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Plywood Report

Granny's Burritos set to reopen with Uncle Billy's bankroll, via tB.

Chef et al. opened with hot soup or cold seats, via TA.

Evangeline taking reservations for April 11, via bB.

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Fort Kent, Me. (1942)

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Friday, April 4

Please enjoy the music while your party is reached...

Will be back Monday.

Thursday, April 3


TMS TTs some NECC. Rough translation, Amy Martin taste tastes some New England Clam Chowder, via TMS. In short:
Gilbert’s: "the heartiest"
Morrison’s: the "Coors Light of chowders"
J’s Oyster Bar: "thinner chowder with a buttery flavor"
Old Port Sea Grill: "fluffy, kind of like" a puppy
DiMillo’s Floating Restaurant: "You’ll get a clam in every bite"
Portland Lobster Co. Not open yet.
See also, last year's chowder note. There's still room to do another chowder review about sourcing: Where are these clams coming from?

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Pretty soon, the parks are going to be brimming with banh mi munchers from Kim's:
Walk out with lunch for less than 5 bucks, including an ice-cold coffee or tea sweetened with condensed milk. Or grab eight sandwiches for a Jackson, call friends and picnic at the park, via a Psst! last fall.
Fresh discovery for the Russian doomsday cult Goers, who just gave Kim a stellar review:
When or if the weather improves, Kim's would be a great place to grab some sandwiches before heading to a bench on the Western Promenade for a picnic, via PPH.

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Wednesday, April 2

Maple syrup

Maine syrup. Higher than average syrup prices this year are good for some, not so good for others.

Photo: Jon Levittt/BG.


Who you calling Hussey's?

Safe to fly, folks.
Photo: Wired.

Going where?

A recent travelogue in the Boston Globe has stop offs at all the hot spots: El Camino, The Cheese Iron, and 158 (bagel heaven). The piece apparently got lost somewhere east of Brunswick in the Scarborough marsh, at least according to MM.

Another short on One-Fifty Ate, a former relative of Scratch Baking (almond horn bliss) in SoPo, apparently confuses the Yankee.

So where to turn to for sophisticated, not-too-geriatric tour guides? DownEast? The site whose food options in Portland used to be limited to the old people's home and Becky's suburban development?

Well, they've updated, but the posts lack the terse originality of Yankee (help me for saying such things). Surprisingly, the wimpy lifestyle rag gets some things right about Maine:
Dysart's: "Expect decent home cooking (fries with gravy, meatloaf, steak subs) 24/7, and that sort of exquisite indifference from your server that’s sadly being lost elsewhere."

Caiola's: "Look for dishes such as pan-fried flatiron steak, crispy duck, and—for those less Continental—a memorable hamburger."
Bonus points. No mention of Fore Street. For that, there's only one place: Four on Fore.

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Tuesday, April 1

The spaghetti harvest



Food campaign, pt. 5

Obama heads to Pennsylvania, where he's met by tempting chocolatiers:
Cheryl Burton offers the candidate a thick chocolate cake with white chocolate frosting. He looked at this thing, clearly a little worried; it’s only been 45 minutes since he was asked to inhale three varieties of chocolate.

“Oh man, that’s too decadent for me,” via NYT (Thanks Moof!).

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Today's the day

Photo: M. Finder.