Apple Map and Calendar

As part of their seasonal Apple series, the Press Herald has published a map of orchards that stock heritage apple varieties, a guide to when various apple varieties are in season and a new article by Sean Turley about heritage apples.

At the same time average apple consumers are strolling through orchards, there’s a manic search under way by apple obsessives on the hunt for unconventional and heirloom varietals that grow in small quantities across the state. Whereas most orchards in Maine grow only McIntosh, Cortland and, occasionally, Macoun, there are other orchards that provide a dizzyingly diverse array of varieties, from the latest creations provided by university agricultural experiment stations to apples that have been grown continuously in New England since the colonial era.

New Maine Apple Column

The first of this Fall’s weekly apple column was published today in the Press Herald.

Heirloom apples, though, are another matter. They are beguiling subjects of intense adoration for many people because they have so much more to say. Each one offers insights into our region’s history, its values, its sense of community and the interplay between the landscape that surrounds us and the terroir of the food we consume. Oh, and they often taste great, too.

You can follow columnist Sean Ryan Turley on instagram at The Righteous Russet.

Zapoteca Owners Face Lawsuits

Tom and Shannon Bard, who closed Zapoteca in June, are the target of several lawsuits, reports the Press Herald.

Celebrated chef Shannon Bard and her husband are facing at least a dozen lawsuits from vendors who say the couple left a trail of unpaid bills when they closed Zapoteca, their popular Portland restaurant, in June.

‘Outsized Food Town in a Small Package’

American Way magazine has published a well written article about the Portland food scene.

Portland certainly has the right ingredients for culinary success: a natural bounty from land and sea, a tradition of locavorism and a wealth of homegrown gastronomic talent combined with an influx from elsewhere, improving the quality and variety of food on offer. Sure, you could argue that the city has been on the nation’s food radar since at least 2009, when Bon Appétit named it “America’s Foodiest Small Town.” But in the years since (especially the last three), it’s upped its own ante, thanks to a second wave of chefs and a populace that’s literally eating it up.

The author interviewed Paige Gould, Andrew Taylor, Mike Wiley, Michelle Corry, Courtney Packer, Clayton Norris and Peter Hale for the article.

A Call for Weekly Reviews

A letter to the editor from Kennebunk resident Deborah Mathieu has asked why the Maine Sunday Telegram doesn’t publish a restaurant review 52 weeks of the year.

With fewer people reading newspapers, I would think the Press Herald would make it a priority to have write-ups that are of local interest and not from the Associated Press, which one can read anywhere.

Really, if you can’t find someone to do a weekly review, then it’s time to have more than one writer.

Jewish Food Revival

The Press Herald has published an article about the revival of Jewish food, a trend here in the Portland area and across the country.

Conley isn’t the only food entrepreneur trying to fill this particular niche, although most are doing it in smaller ways. Union Bagel in Portland makes bialys on the weekends. Just a stone’s throw away, Atsuko Fujimoto bakes babka on Fridays at Ten Ten Pié. Out on Brighton Avenue, Elise Richer makes knishes at Tin Pan Bakery, and Audrey Farber is baking traditional Jewish breads at the Fork Food Lab. In North Yarmouth, the smoked fish topping on Krista Desjarlais’ Montreal-style bagels delights customers who used to live in New York.

New Technology Use in Restaurants

The Press Herald has taken a look at the digital technologies being used in Portland restaurants.

New technology, from simple apps that speed up the ordering process to robots that help busy bartenders make Jell-O shots, is making inroads into the restaurant business. But with concerns over the cost and the impact on customers’ dining experience, embracing some of these changes may take time – especially in smaller, independently owned restaurants like most of those in Portland.

Nitro Cold Brew Grows in Popularity

The Press Herald has published an article on the growing popularity of nitro cold brew coffee.

It wasn’t that long ago that cold brew coffee became the new, hip drink in coffee bars all around the country. Now that cold brew is mainstream (you can get it at Dunkin’ Donuts) a subset of that category, nitro coffee, is fast becoming the new favorite among coffee drinkers who like specialty brews and trying something new – and who don’t mind paying $4 or more per 16-ounce cup.