Fortune Cookie Museum

dsc00143Portland in a Snap has a report on the Fortune Cookie Museum at Wok Inn.

According to the info in this mini-exhibition, the earliest Chinese fortunes were discovered in 1899 on fossilized ox and tortoise bones. Markings on these bones were made during the Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 BC). It’s pretty common knowledge that fortune cookies are a Western invention, but according to this display they claim a colorful place in history.

'09 Best of Portland Nominees

The Portland Phoenix has published the list of nominees for the ’09 Best of Portland award for you to vote on. The food categories range from Best Bagel to Best Wine List and everything in between.
This year there’s even a category for Best Food Blog. Portland Food Map is a nominee as are Accidental Vegetables, Commune Tested City Approved, Portland Psst! and Type A Diversions.

Maine Food and Drink Ambassadors

This week’s edition of The Maine Switch includes an article on the Maine Food and Drink Ambassadors program recently launched by Margo Mallar.

When Margo Mallar volunteered at last fall’s Harvest on the Harbor festival, she realized Maine is filled with enthusiastic food lovers, but few have formal culinary training. So she’s decided to do something about it. The result is a brand new program called the Maine Food and Drink Ambassadors, which kicks off at the beginning of March with a series of classes exploring Maine-made cheeses.

Chickens, Pearls, etc

The Portland City Council is scheduled to meet Wendnesday night. Urban chickens are on the agenda (link is to a large PDF) as is a liquor license for Pearl, a bar that’s proposed for the former location of Onyx, revisiting the vote on the Cactus Club, as well as liquor licenses for The Farmer’s Table and Typerwriter Tavern. Paperwork submitted to the city confirms that Jeff Landry is behind The Farmer’s Table and includes a draft menu (see page 120 of the agenda).

Chickens and Waterfront Zoning

This week’s issue of The Forecaster has a couple food-related articles. There’s a report on the proposal before the City Council to allow raising domesticated chickens in the city,

Residents like Elaine McGillicuddy are excited about the prospect. McGillicuddy said she heard about the proposal and immediately began educating herself about chickens and sending e-mails to friends encouraging them to support the urban chicken movement.

and news on the struggle over the appropriate use of waterfront property along Commercial Street,

The owner of the Comedy Connection and Porthole restaurant wants to reopen the former Boone’s Restaurant space on Custom House Wharf, but is meeting resistance from the city in a new challenge to waterfront zoning rules.

A Call to Raise

Tracy Allen from the Restaurant Opportunities Center of Maine has called for raising the minimum wage for tipped workers in a guest editorial that appeared in today’s Press Herald.

Despite the fact that they make up such a huge portion of the workforce, many restaurant workers are paid the tipped minimum wage, which is less than the overall minimum wage.

Federally, that means tipped workers are paid just $2.13 per hour plus tips.

The tipped minimum wage has been frozen at just $2.13 per hour since 1991 — that’s 18 years! With the passing of each year, tipped workers effectively earn less and less, and many struggle to make ends meet.