American Unagi

Maine Public Radio has aired a piece on the innovative work being done by Sara Rademaker at American Unagi to establish eel aquaculture in Maine,

Many Mainers are familiar with the state’s lucrative fishery for transparent “glass eels,” or elvers. They can fetch thousands of dollars a pound when shipped to Japan, China and other Asian countries, where they are grown to market size.

Now, one Maine entrepreneur wants to add the value herself, growing eels to full size here — a first for the U.S. The startup, American Unagi, is showing early signs of success.


Today’s Press Herald includes an article on Forager, a Maine start-up company that connects chefs and markets with local farmers.

Known as Forager, the company now has over 150 farms in its supplier network and has been signing up new buyers such as restaurants, grocers and food distributors. The company recently signed Wiley’s restaurant group, Big Tree Hospitality, as a client and is in a pilot program with a large grocery chain that Forager will not yet name.

Beer: Record Numbers, Allagash White, Early Training

The Press Herald has published an article on how “beer lovers visited Maine breweries in record numbers this summer“,

Perry can’t separate out summer visitors, but the Maine Brewers Guild says June to September is the busiest time for beer tourism (and all tourism) in Maine. In 2010, Allagash welcomed 9,000 visitors. By last year, that number had skyrocketed to 150,000. Some of that growth can be attributed to the brewery’s location. There are now five other breweries in the immediate area, along with one distillery, so it’s a popular place for tourists to come and hit a number of breweries at once.

and an article on “how Allagash White shaped the nation’s beer tastes“,

So what is it about White that makes it stand out? Its soft, cirtusy palate and delicate spicy notes stand out from many other styles, and it’s a welcoming beer for both new and experienced drinkers. Allagash’s rigorous quality control procedures ensure that the beer tastes just as good at a bar in Los Angeles, as it does in a flight in the tasting room in Riverside.

and Dave Geary reminisces about a brewing internship in the UK for an article in The Bollard.

In the early ’80s, I was doing an internship at Belhaven Brewery, near Dunbar, Scotland, an ancient and beautiful place. Belhaven (the name means “beautiful harbor”) is nestled among the rolling barley fields of the East Lothian coast, about 20 miles east of Edinburgh. Established in 1719, Belhaven is Scotland’s oldest working brewery. With abundant local barley, fine water from the brewery well, and access to markets up and down the coast, Belhaven was the perfect place for a brewery three centuries ago, and it still is today.

Old Stalwarts

Portland magazine makes the case for not forgetting the “old stalwarts” of the city’s restaurant culture while we celebrate the newer establishments in town,

I could, and will, go on: Lolita, the Blue Spoon, and Union have never let me down. When I’m feeling raw and blue, I can always count on the chicken tacos with a side of bacon at the Front Room to cheer me up. The Parisian-feeling outdoor café at the Regency is a nice place for a lunch date on a balmy day. And whenever you get a hankering for top-notch homey German food (and who doesn’t?) there’s nowhere like Schulte & Herr for bratwurst and sauerkraut. As for sushi, no one does it better than Masa Miyake. But Benkay and Yosaku are damned good, too. As for Vietnamese, whether you’re Team Thanh Thanh or Team Saigon, it’s okay—they’re both great.

10 Years Ago in September and October

Here’s a look at the top stories from a decade ago in September and October 2008:

    • The Forage Kill Grow Deathmatch took place.
    • The Portland City Council voted to “ban smoking in outdoor dining areas before 10 p.m.”
    • Michael Bauer visited Portland writing that “Portland is . . . about a tenth of the size of San Francisco, yet in terms of food, it’s every bit as sophisticated”.
    • Chef Lee Skawinski from Cinque Terre/Vignola served a dinner at The James Beard House.
    • Big Mama’s Diner closed.
    • A bicycle food delivery service called Veloport launched.