Red Tide & Bartender Bash Reports

Today’s Press Herald has a report about scientific research on predicting the severity of red tide in the Gulf of Maine this summer.

Sea-floor sampling for the seed-like cysts of Alexandrium fundyense, the organism that causes red tide, shows a 60 percent increase compared with the substantial bloom of 2005, researchers with the Gulf of Maine toxicity project reported Wednesday.

Thursday’s paper also has an article about next week’s Bartender’s Bash, a cocktail competition that’s part of Maine Restaurant Week.

The rules are simple. Each participating mixologist was given two instructions: Use Cold River Vodka and adhere to the theme of ”Celebrating the Spirit of Maine.” Beyond that, the bartenders’ imagination is the only limit.

The Only Constant Is Change So Eat Soup

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald provides insight on:

  • Bresca’s plans for offering lunch services and expanded menu to include “European and classic American pastries and tarts”
  • the New Orleans-style sandwich shop Po’Boys & Pickles that opened on Forest Ave in late December
  • El Rayo‘s delivery service
  • the plans for Havana South which is under construction on Wharf Street
  • Walter’s under construction bar Gingko Blue
  • the transformation of Bangkok Thai into Boda which “will feature homestyle Thai cooking and Thai street-vendor specialties”
  • and information on a new seafood CSF

There’s also a nice profile of the Kamasouptra soup delivery services in Avery Yale Kamila’s Natural Foodie column this week.

With the snow piling up and the wind howling around the house, who couldn’t use a steaming bowl of soup? Even better if it’s delivered piping hot to your door.

Enter Kamasouptra, the Portland-based vegetarian soup purveyor which makes house calls.

Chicken and Scallops

Today’s Press Herald includes an article on new rules that would regulate small scale chicken farms

[Organic farmer Rick] Stanley is among a number of small poultry producers planning to speak against the proposed rules at a hearing at 10 a.m. today in Room 208 at the Cross Office Building in Augusta. The issue highlights how the booming demand for locally grown and produced food can collide with the regulatory framework set up to ensure its safety.

The newspaper also reprinted a piece from the Bangor Daily News about the Maine scallop industry

“When the water is warm, they swim right through the water like Pac-Man,” he said, referring to the classic video game. “This year, I’ve seen quite a few small scallops. You know, little guys, 1-inch, 2-inch scallops. I’ve heard from other people around the state that they’re seeing some small scallops, which we haven’t seen in many, many years.

“I hope it bodes well for the future,” he added.

Ready Bros Negotiating Maine State Pier Space

According to an article in today’s Press Herald Ready Lobster Co is in the process of inking a deal with the city to lease part of the Maine State Pier for their wholesale lobster business.

The council will decide Monday whether to lease a portion of the large shed at the end of the city-owned pier to Ready Seafood Co. for $100,000 a year.

Although the 3,000-square-foot tank might be the closest thing to an aquarium that Portland ever sees, the operation would be strictly industrial.

The company, now located behind Becky’s Diner on Hobson’s Wharf, would move to the Maine State Pier and use the new facility for wholesaling, packaging, shipping and processing.

Digging Clams & Harvesting Shrimp

The Maine at Work article in today’s Press Herald tags along with Tim Downs as he digs clams in Scarborough.

“It’s important to keep the hole clean, so you can see where the clams are at,” Downs said.

Once he had a hole dug, he began digging up mud more strategically, looking for air holes the clams had made, and placing two of his four tines on either side of the hole so as to not pierce the clam. Then he’d flip a chunk of mud over, and more often than not, find clams.

“We’ll get this one next year,” said Downs, holding a clam that looked less than 2 inches long, which means the state deems it too small to keep.

Today’s newspaper also includes an article on the 2009-2010 Maine Shrimp Season.

Northern shrimp are believed to be so plentiful in the Gulf of Maine that regulators have declared a full six-month fishing season for a second straight year. And, unlike last year, fishermen and dealers are hopeful that there will be enough of a market to make money on the small pink crustaceans.

Digging Clams & Harvesting Shrimp

The Maine at Work article in today’s Press Herald tags along with Tim Downs as he digs clams in Scarborough.

“It’s important to keep the hole clean, so you can see where the clams are at,” Downs said.

Once he had a hole dug, he began digging up mud more strategically, looking for air holes the clams had made, and placing two of his four tines on either side of the hole so as to not pierce the clam. Then he’d flip a chunk of mud over, and more often than not, find clams.

“We’ll get this one next year,” said Downs, holding a clam that looked less than 2 inches long, which means the state deems it too small to keep.

Today’s newspaper also includes an article on the 2009-2010 Maine Shrimp Season.

Northern shrimp are believed to be so plentiful in the Gulf of Maine that regulators have declared a full six-month fishing season for a second straight year. And, unlike last year, fishermen and dealers are hopeful that there will be enough of a market to make money on the small pink crustaceans.

NY Times on Linda Bean’s Plans for Maine Lobster

The New York Times has taken a look at Linda Bean’s fast growing, and sometimes controversial, role in the Maine lobster industry.

Her goal, she said, is to save Maine’s most iconic industry by ending its dependence on Canadian processors and, under her Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine label, to mass market Maine lobster the way Perdue does chicken.

NY Times on Linda Bean's Plans for Maine Lobster

The New York Times has taken a look at Linda Bean’s fast growing, and sometimes controversial, role in the Maine lobster industry.

Her goal, she said, is to save Maine’s most iconic industry by ending its dependence on Canadian processors and, under her Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine label, to mass market Maine lobster the way Perdue does chicken.

Calendar Island Lobster Co.

MPBN had a report yesterday on the Calendar Island Lobster Company. The new company will be selling their lobsters with numbered claw bands that you can look up online to learn about the lobsterman who caught it.

Jordan says retail lobsters will be hand-selected for quality, and wear bands bearing a number code representing the fisherman who caught the crustacean. “So that if somebody in Dallas buys these lobsters, or somebody in Denver, they can type in the number code and go on to our Web site, so they can read about the lobsterman that actually caught their lobsters, learn a little about their lives and more about their product and everything and really know right where their lobster came from,” Jordan says.

Maine Apple Guide

Today’s Press Herald includes a detailed guide to nearly 40 apple varieties grown in Maine with brief tasting notes and some suggestions on which farms are growing them.
Also in today’s paper is an interview with raw food chef Lisa Marie Lindenschmidt and an article on how lobster is now showing up in discount stores.

Maine lobster has long been associated with white tablecloths and candlelight, but a South Portland-based dealer is putting its lobster where the customers are: in discount wholesale clubs and supermarket take-out aisles.