DECEMBER NEWS: MAINE TO-GO FOR THE HOLIDAYS
If you can’t visit Maine this holiday season, let Maine come to you. Some of the state’s best purveyors will mail order the best of Maine foods and Maine-made goods to homes across the country. Go to Maine Made, an organization that builds recognition for Maine products and their producers, to see recommendations for local food purveyors, crafts, sporting goods, gifts, fiber arts and much more. Here’s a sampling of producers that are worth checking out.
FROM THE SEA
Luke’s Lobster in Saco and Portland has established a nationwide reputation for shipping lobster, lobster rolls and other sustainable seafood from Maine. Anyone looking for Lobster Mac & Cheese, Maine oysters and crab claws can visit their website. But they have plenty of competition from companies such as Graffam Bros of Rockport, Lucky Catch Lobster of Portland, and Dorr Lobster Co. of Milbridge.
Atlantic Sea Farms in Saco specializes in kelp products. Those include Seaweed Salad to Sea-Chi, a mild kimchi, and Sea-Beet Kraut, a kelp sauerkraut. Their Ready-Cut Kelp is ready to eat while their Kelp Cubes are designed to add to soups and smoothies.
The holiday season is not complete without oysters and Maine produces some of the best tasting bivalves in the world. You can order them online from Glidden Point Oysters in Edgecomb, as well as the Maine Oyster Company and Mook Sea Farm, both in Damariscotta. As for smoked salmon, two go-to companies are Maine-ly Smoked Salmon in Perry and Grindstone Neck of Maine in Winter Harbor
FROM THE LAND
Maine Grains of Skowhegan offers freshly-milled, organic and heritage grains sourced from the Northeast, supporting local grain production and milling. Their incredible range of stone ground flours include Organic Sifted Wheat Flour, Organic Whole Spelt Flour, Organic Corn Flour and many more varieties.
Stonewall Kitchen has been nationally known for years. But they have inspired many other Maine-made and Maine inspired foodstuffs from smaller purveyors, such as Cape Whoopies, a South-Portland based company that sells Maine gourmet whoopie pies. Not to mention Nervous Nellie’s Jams and Jellies, a mainstay on Deer Isle since the 1980s, who make about 300 jars of jams and jellies by hand each day.
Crooked Face Creamery of Skowhegan sells small-batch cheeses and locally raised meats. Their specialty is their Up North Applewood Cold Smoked Ricotta, made with whole milk from registered Jersey cows. Wyman’s Blueberries of Milbridge has been family-owned since 1874 and offers frozen Maine blueberries to keep the taste of a Maine summer alive all year long.
Sea Bags on Custom House Wharf in Portland takes discarded sails and upcycles them into nautically inspired totes and accessories. While tote bags are at the heart of the business, they have many other Maine-inspired gifts as well. Rugged Seas also produces totes, but theirs is made from used lobster bibs. A portion of sales goes to support Maine Lobstermen Association and the Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association. Seacolors Yarnery in Washington is a bio-regional fiber shed that makes 100% wool blankets woven on antique looms.
Maine-made goods for the outdoors span a range from the 19th to the 21st centuries. Shaw & Tenney of Orono, for example, has been making finely crafted wooden oars and paddles since 1858. Then there’s relative newcomers like Hyperlite Mountain Gear of Biddeford, which specializes in ultralight climbing, backcountry skiing and hiking gear.
Maine authors can be found at Islandport Press, which has a great selection of books by Maine writers. The shop called 33 by Hand in Portland is where to find handmade high fashion leather goods. North Country Winds Bells is an audible gift of the sound of the Maine Coast, Lobster Buoy Birdhouses in Lisbon Falls sells colorful houses and feeders while The Angler’s Pint sells full-color designed fish glassware for anglers to use for “tall tales after a day on the water.”
For more ideas on Maine purveyors and goods, go to Visit Maine.
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