Markets, Markets and More Markets

I’ve recently been updating the PFM lists of ethnic markets and variety stores and there have been several changes and additions:

Review of Local 188

The Spiced Plate has published a review of Local 188.

The star of the night, however, was this dish:  A squash roasted to perfection and filled with saucy garbanzo beans, spiced in a mix of Indian-style spices with Italian-style tomato flavor, served with the garnish of coconut-cilantro chutney.  I couldn’t talk while I was eating this.  Every bite I ate with concentration on the flavors and textures of the dish.  I couldn’t get over the sauce, the softness of the squash, or how the chickpeas were just so darn lovely.

Coblestones Now Open, Plus Ariel’s and Bengi’s

Cobblestones is now open for business. They’re serving a selection of soups, salads and sandwiches from the former Henry VIII’s space in Monument Square.

Two other new additions to the Food Map are Ariel’s Hummus and Bengi’s Port City Dogs. Ariel’s makes a weekly appearance on Tuesdays at the Public Market House and Benji’s is a food cart that today is operating on Commercial Street.

Oysters & Willard Square

Today’s Press Herald includes a profile of two Scarborough River oyster farmers,

[Nate] Perry and Abigail Carroll, another fledgling farmer, are among the first to try oyster aquaculture in the Scarborough River. The location, with its tidal currents and particular nutrients, creates oysters that they try to describe with such adjectives as briny, sweet, creamy and grassy.

“That’s what an oyster is — it’s the taste of the sea where it came from,” Perry said.

and a reprise of the recent activities in Willard Square that led to a 3-month building moratorium and two entrepreneurs reevaluating their plans to open a market in the Square.

Encouraged by the city’s planning office and zoning that calls for up to six more businesses at Willard Square, the partners envisioned a small market that would be built next to Perry’s two-story apartment house.

What they didn’t foresee was the opposition.

This Week’s Events: Cheese Class, Maine Lemonade Day, Blood into Wine

MondayMemorial Day.

Wednesday — there will be a wine tasting at the Old Port Wine Merchants, Grace is holding their monthly wine tasting event, and the Monument Square Farmers Market is taking place.

ThursdayThe Cheese Iron is teaching a class on Spring & Summer cheeses.

FridayMaine Foodie Tours is running an island progressive dinner, there will be a wine tasting at the West End Deli and First Friday Art Walk is taking place so make your reservation soon.

SaturdayLocal Sprouts is celebrating their 1-year anniversary, LeRoux Kitchen is holding a wine tasting, and the Deering Oaks Farmers Market is taking place.

Sunday — it’s Maine Lemonade Day and kids across the state will be stting up their lemonade stands, Joe Ricchio is hosting Blood into Wine a wine dinner and movie screening at One Longfellow Square.

For more information on these and other upcoming food happenings in the area, visit the event calendar.

If you are holding a food event this week that’s not listed above, publicize it by adding it as a comment to this post.

Cupcake Review of Aurora Provisions

Cupcakes! Cupcakes! Cupcakes! has published a review of Aurora Provisions.

I am so glad that my tipster let me know they had cupcakes there that day, since it really was the best basic cupcake I have had in a while. The butter cream frosting was really light and not too sweet. The flavor for the frosting was spot on to complement the chocolate cupcake. The sugar sprinkles gave it a fantastic crunch and obvious visual appeal…

Rising Food Prices

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram reports on the recent uptick in food prices.

After two years of the lowest food inflation rates since the 1960s, food prices are headed up again. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that nationally, overall food prices jumped 3.9 percent from April 2010 to last month.

Coffee prices have soared nearly 14 percent in the past year. Beef and pork prices shot up 10.4 percent. Dairy prices are up 6.3 percent, eggs up 4.8 percent and fresh vegetables up 4.5 percent.