Grab a cup of coffee and get caught up on some recent food writing about the Portland/Maine food scene:
Anoche (website, instagram) has launched an exciting new initiative called the Backyard Cider Project. The Washington Ave cider bar will be gathering apple donations from the public, and work with Cornish Cider Company (website, facebook, instagram) to press, ferment and bottle a “unique cider that showcases the terroir of Maine”.
The finished product is expected to be bottled and available this coming spring along with a map that shows where in Maine the fruit for the community cider project was sourced from.
All across our state apple trees abound on public and private property alike. A large portion of these apples go to waste, and we want your help turning those apples into a unique cider that showcases the terroir of Maine.
With the apple harvest being upon us, we are asking any and all who have access to apple trees to bring us your fruit! [B]ring whatever you can: blemished apples, small apples, crabapples, etc. from now through the end of October. Because good cider apples don’t typically taste good to eat—the more bitter and sour, the better! Drop them off at Anoche any day of the week between 2 pm and 8 pm. Leave them by the front door and come to the window to let us know they are there…we will bring them in!
Anoche owner Erika Colby shared, “We thought this project could be a fun way to bring people together at a time when the pandemic is keeping us apart. Pressing and fermenting juice into cider is an expression of hope in a better future—one where we can come together again to taste the fruits of the work we did to make this cider possible.”
Everyone who donate a bushel (40 lbs) or more to the Backyard Cider Project will be entered into a drawing to win an apple tree from a local nursery so “we can keep the tradition going for more years to come.”
Anoche opened late last year on Washington Ave serving a menu of draft and bottled cider and Basque food. During the pandemic Anoche has launched an outdoor seating area and cider takeout window serving draft and bottled cider as well as a cider growler service.
Mainebiz reports that The Holy Donut will be opening a new donut shop in Auburn.
Eight years after opening for business with a single shop in Portland, the popular donut maker and retailer is expanding to Auburn, in a former Tim Horton’s coffee shop that’s been vacant for five years. The new store, at 848 Minot Ave., will be Holy Donut’s first location outside greater Portland.
The new location is expected to open before the end of the year.
The owners of Salt Pine Social in Bath have announced plans to permanently close the restaurant after service on September 26th.
To our Dear friends and loyal followers . We want to thank you for your amazing support during these difficult times and for the love and friendship you have shown us over the years at El Camino and Salt Pine Social. It is with a heavy heart we are reaching out to let you know that Saturday September 26th will be our final day . After over 40 years in this industry we feel it’s time for us to go . The pandemic it seems is the final nail in the coffin for our industry. We find ourselves financially and emotionally unable to continue. We feel truly honored to have been a part of this community and we will miss you .For now we’ll take a deep breath (behind our masks of course) and step boldly into the future and whatever comes next for us we will keep you posted Love and peace to you all . Eloise Daphne and Paul
D Ajans Supermarket is under construction at 170 Brighton Ave. D Ajans will occupy the 2,173 sq ft former 7-11 building at the intersection with Saint John Street.
Owner Maaz Ullah is also the founder of the Crown Fried Chicken on Forest Ave.
Vertical Harvest and co-founder Nona Yehia have been named by CNN as one of their 10 Champions for Change in 2020. A one hour show will featuring Vertical Harvest will air this Saturday September 19th.
Vertical Harvest announced plans earlier this year to build a 70,000 square foot greenhouse in Westbrook which is expected to open in 2022.
The Press Herald reports on the concerns of tasting room operators as cooler the seasons change.
When the state adopted new rules for businesses to reopen this summer, tasting room operations were lumped in with bars, because their licenses are the same, and told they could only operate outdoors. But Bodine and others are worried about the future of tasting rooms if the rules aren’t changed before cold weather hits in another month or two.
Fork Food Lab is raising funds for am Entrepreneurial Empowerment Scholarship. $1,800 of a $4,200 goal has already been donated.
Fork Food Lab is dedicated to closing the racial-economic gap that inhibits BIPOC from opening food businesses by hosting and supporting small food startups regardless of race or identity. Fork Food Lab is proud to organize a scholarship toward entrepreneurship for the statewide BIPOC community. The purpose of this scholarship is to create an opportunity for a Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color to start a food business. This scholarship aims to dissolve some of the economic barriers to entrepreneurship and provide sustainable, logistical business support in the interest of longevity and success.
Visit www.forkfoodlab.com/lfpp to learn more about the program and/or to make a donation.
Kate and Steve Shaffer, co-owners of Black Dinah Chocolate, have announced the new name for their Westbrook-based business.
Ragged Coast Chocolates (website) “pays homage to our hardy island roots while also celebrating Maine’s unique beauty and traditions which we work hard to reflect in our handmade chocolates,” shared Kate Shaffer in a release issued this morning.
Ms. Shaffer announced the intent to change the company’s name to their newsletter subscribers and in a public statement on the their social media pages on June 9th. In the statement, Shaffer explained that the timing was in response to and support of the Black Lives Matter movement and the nationwide protests for racial justice. The Shaffers named the company for Black Dinah Mountain on the island of Isle au Haut, Maine. However, the name “Black Dinah” can also refer to a generic term for Black female slaves. There is no recorded history as to why the Isle au Haut landmark bears the name Black Dinah (also spelled Black Dina on some maps).
In a public statement on her social media pages on June 19th, Shaffer wrote, “I have always imagined that if Black Dinah Mountain was named for an actual person or persons, she was strong and powerful and wise. But I’m beginning to understand that it is not my place, nor the place of my brand – perceived or actual – to use her name…for profit or to push my own unrelated agenda.”
The Blueberry Files has posted an article about her pan-pandemic eating journey.
Writing about food during Covid-19 is difficult. There is so much wrapped up in what was once a casual meal on the town—from the ethics of dining out during a global pandemic to wanting to support the businesses that create Portland’s identity as a foodie small town. But the best way out is through, so here we go.