Hungering for a real taste of Maine? Of course you'll indulge in Maine's two best-loved foods, lobster and wild blueberries, but seek out the state's other specialty foods. Bake the best biscuits with Bakewell Cream, pour on sweet Maine maple syrup, pair artisan fresh bread with Kate's butter or State of Maine fine cheeses, B&M baked beans with Morse's fresh sauerkraut. Savor smoked seafood and indulge in rich gelatos and ice creams. Add dulse to soups along with a sprinkle of Maine-grown seasonings. End a meal with a favorite Maine roasted coffee along with a tasty chocolate truffle or a whopping whoopie pie. Taste as you tour wineries along the Maine Wine Trail or microbreweries on the Maine Beer Trail. Be sure to sample Maine potato vodka and gin.
Small farms, independent producers, and nationally known companies pepper the state, each offering products that take advantage of the state's natural bounties and are created locally. Some products draw from the state's immigrant kitchens or other groups; look for French-Canadian inspired meat or salmon pies, Amish-made preserves, Acadian ployes, German pickles and sauerkraut, and Shaker herbs.
Seek out cooking classes offered by noted chefs or at inns or farms. Many Maine producers offer tours of their facilities and host special events. Attend wine and beer tastings. Look for restaurants serving Maine grown or made foods. Shop specialty stores carrying Maine-made goods, from local markets to giants such as Stonewall Kitchen. You'll find it’s easy to sip and nibble your way through Maine, and better yet, return with tasty, tasteful gifts and souvenirs.
More than 1,000 of these specialty foods are for sale in Portland at Maine’s Pantry, 111 Commercial St., 877/228-2028.