Elvers Fishery

Today’s Press Herald includes a front page story on the Maine elvers fishery.

Elvers — by Maine law, American eels less than 6 inches long — have waxed and waned in value among the state’s fisheries, ranging from the low wholesale price of about $25 a pound just 10 years ago to last year’s all-time high of $2,000. Last week they were commanding a wholesale price of between $1,500 and $1,800 from Portland-area dealers.

Maine Seaweed

This week’s Portland Phoenix reports on the burgeoning Maine seaweed industry.

Maine is at the forefront, in the US, of seaweed foraged wild and now cultivated. Maine Coast Sea Vegetables, headed by macrobiotic entrepreneur Shep Erhart, was the first American company to harvest and sell whole indigenous seaweeds, more than 40 years ago.

We even have a dedicated seaweed extension agent, Sarah Redmond, encouraging rope-cultured mussel farmers and lobsterman to try this counter-season winter crop. Redmond touts “integrated multi-trophic aquaculture,” where farmed shellfish feed on the waste generated by salmon farms, and cultivated kelp then filters out remaining phosphorous and nitrogen, similar to land-based polyculture farms. Maine seafood promoter Monique Coombs thinks “seaweed will get really hot” here in the next few years.

Review of Enio’s & Maine Salmon Farming

Portland Magazine has published a review of Enio’s.

Beef tenderloin, two rounds of gorgeous meat seared just as my partner likes it–rare–is served with excellent hand-made beef ravioli, sauteed mushrooms, and a full-flavored gravy ($23). My half-rack of lamb ($20) is a revelation. Juicy, tender, still reddish pink while being nicely browned, the flavor of the meat could not be better. The side of mashed potato and parsnip is nothing short of genius as is the surrounding balsamic reduction.

The May issue of the magazine also includes a feature article on the Maine salmon farming industry.

It seems like only yesterday that salmon was all the rage–the surefire local seafood choice on every restaurant menu in the state, and the darling of home cooks for its ease of preparation. Restaurants dressed it up in local condiments–maple glazes, blueberry salsas–and salmon was as Maine as lobster and crab.

Nowadays, all commercially available Atlantic salmon is farmed. Fish farming is controversial. Opponents slam farmed salmon as anti-wild, unhealthy, and uncool.

Fishing with Greenlaw/Browne

Linda Greenlaw and Browne Trading are teaming up to offer bluefin tuna charters this summer.

Greenlaw, an Isle au Haut resident, author and world-renowned fisherman, will offer chartered fishing tours for bluefin tuna out of Portland Harbor through Browne Trading Co. on Commercial Street…Trips will be aboard the Hazel Browne, a 46-foot Wesmac owned by Rod Mitchell, the owner of Browne Trading Co.

GMRI’s Sustainable Fish Initiative

The Food & Dining section in today’s Press Herald includes an article on GMRI’s partnership with Maine restaurants to increase the use of sustainable fish species on their menu.

Samuel Grimley, sustainable seafood project manager at GMRI, said the institute has been planning Culinary Partners for a little over a year now, and held a couple of feedback meetings with restaurateurs to get their input as the program was developed.

Since February, five Maine restaurants have joined up and set goals for themselves for the coming year. In addition to Five Fifty-Five, the other members are Sonny’s and Local 188 in Portland, Sea Glass at Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth and the Jordan Pond House restaurant on Mount Desert Island.

Maine Shrimp Harvest

Have you been missing Maine shrimp on the menu at your favorite restaurants? Here’s why:

But it’s turned out to be an even bigger bust than anybody anticipated. The shrimp catch has been meager, resulting in a short supply for processors and higher prices for consumers. The season is on course for the smallest harvest in more than 30 years, and possibly since 1978 when the fishery was shut down altogether.

Coffee Containers, The Signature Event, and MSC Apporval

Today’s Press Herald explore the science and personal opinions on how styrofoam cups impact the flavor of coffee,

Coffee tastes better in a Styrofoam cup. Really?

Really, say some folks concerned about Portland’s proposed ban on Styrofoam containers. But is it a fact these folks can prove? Or is it all in their heads? The answer, according to a trio of scientists with lots of initials after their names, is yes — and yes.

Food writer Meredith Goad was has filed a report from the MRW Signature Event,

Matt and Jackie Schumacher of Yarmouth had fun trying the dessert, but said their favorite entry was the beignets from David’s Opus Ten. They weren’t the only ones raving about the beignets. The fried sweet treats, served with peppered strawberry, won the People’s Choice award for desserts for the evening. Chef Bo Byrne of David’s Opus Ten said he was “absolutely floored.”

and the Marrine Stewardship Council has certified the Maine lobster industry as sustainable.

The state’s lobster fishery got the international Marine Stewardship Council’s Sustainable Seafood Certification. That distinction, which recognizes ecologically sound practices from the harvest to the consumer, will help in the marketing and tracking of Maine lobster, according to the state Department of Marine Resources.

Favorite Dishes, Lobster Market, SoPo Farmers Market

Today’s Press Herald includes a survey of chefs and food writers about standout dishes from the past year,

This week, in honor of Maine Restaurant Week, I asked local chefs, food writers and food bloggers to name the best dish they’ve had in a Maine restaurant over the past year.

Some of them couldn’t resist waxing poetic about an entire meal. Others cheated a little and named two dishes.

an article about the 2013 lobster market,

With last year’s glut of lobsters and plummeting prices still a vivid memory, Maine lobstermen are hatching strategies to cultivate new markets and more customers for the state’s leading fishery.

and a report on plans (or lack thereof) for the South Portland farmers market.

The South Portland farmers market, which was established in 2011, is without a home for the upcoming summer season, according to its manager.

Maine Magazine: The Food Issue

mainemag201303The annual Food Issue of Maine magazine arrived in subscriber’s mailboxes yesterday. Inside you’ll find: