Review of Little Pig & Maine Oysters

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes a four star review of Little Pig.

Outside, on the tree-covered patio, there are café tables to park yourself while you devour superlative Lao sausage and fiery jao sauce, fried hake banh mi sandwiches slathered with choo chee curry, and basil-flecked Thai-style street corn. Once winter hits, you’ll want to consider this stellar newcomer as takeout-only. It shouldn’t matter. Cooking this confident, spicing with such self-assured swagger, is a rarity. Don’t let the lack of a chair put you off.

The paper also includes an article about the Maine oyster industry.

We’re into the “R months,” the stretch from September to April when oysters are at their culinary peak. In Maine, half-shell fans and lovers of local seafood have more cause for excitement each year as oyster farms continue to proliferate along the state’s coast.

Seagriculture Conference

The Press Herald has a report on the Seagriculture Conference that took place in Portland this week.

Johnson was among 300 attendees at “Seagriculture,” the second annual International Seaweed Conference USA, held this week at the Westin Portland Harborview Hotel. The two-day event featured presentations by global leaders in seaweed innovation exploring its production and various uses, including food, bioplastics, medicine and sustainable economic development.

Here’s a link to the program for the conference.

New Oyster Aquaculture

The Times Record has a report on new oyster farming operation in Bath that’s using a novel approach to raise oysters to market-size at an accelerated pace.

The City Council last week approved the sale of a city-owned building on Town Landing Road along the Kennebec River to Matt Nixon, owner of Muddy River Farm Aquaponics. Nixon designed the world’s first 3D-printed, closed-loop, oyster-farming tank made from sustainable materials. It will be the city’s first business specializing in aquaculture, the production of aquatic life like shellfish or salmon under controlled conditions.

Maine Dayboat Sea Scallops

Eater has published an article about Togue Brawn and her work developing the Maine dayboat sea scallop market.

Brawn slices each plump, ivory-colored cylinder into thinner disks she lays on a platter. “The texture is what you should really notice, and the flavor is good and not fishy,” she says, then a confession: “I am obsessed with scallops.” She wants everyone else to be obsessed with scallops, too. And since the pandemic caused a swell of enthusiasm for mail-ordered foodstuffs — including Brawn’s scallops — that time may well be nigh.

Maine Coast Fishermen’s Stew

The Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association (website, facebook, instagram, twitter) has launched Maine Coast Fishermen’s Stew which features sustainably harvested monkfish caught by local small-boat fishermen. The stew is produced in collaboration with the Hurricane Soup company in Greene, Maine.

Proceeds from the stew will help support MCFA’s Fishermen Feeding Mainers program which purchases fish directly from fishermen and donates it to schools, food banks and community groups.

The stew is currently available at Fork Food Lab and at Free Range Fish and Lobster in Portland. Check the MCFA website for an updated list of retail locations.

Maine Scallop Aquaculture

The New York Times has published an article about scallop aquaculture in Maine.

You certainly couldn’t tell that, just below the waves slapping against the hull, there were hundreds of thousands of sea scallops, swimming, squirting and cavorting in a series of nets, all part of Mr. Brewer’s aquatic farm.

Mr. Brewer and his son, Bob, pulled up a long algae-covered net and scooped scallops into a bucket of seawater, where they zipped around, moving a whole lot faster than you’d think bivalves could. Most would go to Glidden Point Oyster Farms. The rest were about to become lunch.

Sea Urchin Aquaculture

The Press Herald has published a report on Maine’s sea urchin fishery, and efforts to develop an sea urchin aquaculture industry.

Though sea urchins may seem an unlikely focus for Maine’s burgeoning aquaculture industry, “uni,” also known as urchin roe or gonads, is considered a delicacy in many Asian and some European markets. Steve Eddy, director of the University of Maine Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research, believes urchin could become a valuable economic driver for the Northeast region.

Oyster Aquaculture in Phippsburg

Today’s Maine Sunday Telegram includes an article about John Herrigel, his family, and the oyster aquaculture business he operates in Phippsburg. Herrigel is the founder of the Maine Oyster Company restaurant in West Bayside.

John Herrigel’s is one of them. Herrigel, 41, founder and co-owner of Maine Oyster Co. in Portland and owner of Cape Small Oysters in Phippsburg, is working to restore some of the community lost to gentrification by investing in aquaculture and the public’s growing appetite for Maine-grown oysters. His parents, who live in Bath and moved to Maine from New Jersey, own the old general store building and the wharf it sits on. Herrigel, who lives in the village, uses it as his oyster basecamp. He keeps his boats there for his oyster farm in Small Point Harbor, and sells oysters to-go, hosts shuck-and-slurp parties on the wharf in the summer, and leads hands-on boat tours of his oyster-growing operation and oyster farms in the New Meadows River.

Portland Fish Exchange

The Portland Phoenix has published an article about the Portland Fish Exchange and an effort to determine its future.

Suggestions range from reevaluating the confusing governance structure (the quasi-public nonprofit Fish Exchange is governed by a board of directors and the fish pier is governed by the Fish Pier Authority), bringing freezing and more processing services to the pier, including more species in the auction, and redesigning it to handle smaller lots. Some have suggested opening a public boat-to-table-style market, similar to Pike Place in Seattle.