Eating Maine

Here at Maine Crime Writers, we talk a lot about writing, and about snow and fog and critters and living in Maine. We talk about lobsters and guns and addiction and research. We talk about the characters who live in our town and inspire the characters in our books. Today, we’re talking about “Eating Maine,” and the vast range of products made in Maine that we’re particularly fond of. Actually, there are so many special Maine-made products that this post will be one in a series.

Growing up in Union, one of our closest neighbors, and also my high school science and math Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 9.58.04 AMteacher, was a woman named Mary Helen Raye Hardie. That’s Raye of the Eastport Rayes. And of Raye’s mustard fame. Ask anyone about Maine products and Raye’s mustard will top the list. We even like to include it when we do a giveaway basket. It’s that quintessentially Maine.

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 9.44.23 AMBeing crime writers, our list naturally includes two products developed by retired Portland Deputy Police Chief Joe Loughlin: Loughlin’s Irish Marinade and Blueberry Marinade Intriguing not simply because these marinades are delicious, but because most people don’t imagine police chiefs in the kitchen, whipping up a batch of marinade. But as we writers can tell you, don’t be too quick to judge people. They can surprise you. Even the ones we make up can surprise us.

The amazing Tess Gerritsen came to dinner once and brought a bottle of Maine-made vodka. Until that moment, I didn’t know it existed. More recently, I was in a restaurant in Ellsworth, and there was an entire menu of Maine-maine drinks. I’m personally partial to blueberry soda.

Send out a quick e-mail to our writers asking, “What are you favorite Maine products?” and the responses come flying quickly back.

Al Lamanda says:

Anjon’s pasta sauce.

Ann Marie’s barbecue sauce from Bangor.

Aunt Sissie’s fudge from Union, Maine.

Bald Mountain maple syrup in Rockland

Borealis breads in Wells.

Cold River vodka in Freeport.

Gifford’s ice cream in Skowhegan.

And clearly, Al is still in the first half of the alphabet!

Lea Wait has Raye’s mustard on her list, along with these:

Stonewall Kitchen products in general, and their Roasted Onion and Garlic Jam in particular. Kate’s favorite is the blueberry jam, which tastes truly homemade and is loaded with tiny wild blueberries.

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Back River Gin (and my favorite of theirs, Cranberry Gin)

and Waldo Stone Farm’s Bloody Oyster Cocktail, an oyster-and-the-sea flavored Bloody Mary Mix.

So readers, as we are putting together a basket of Maine-made goodies as part of our Maine Crime Writers give-away at Books in Boothbay this July, what else do you think we should put on our list?

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7 Responses to Eating Maine

  1. Sennebec says:

    We discovered the fun of adding dulse to soups, etc. after one of our Downeast vacations. These folks put out an interesting line of goodies from the sea.

  2. Gram says:

    Is anyone else having trouble with the links? Thanks.

  3. MCWriTers says:

    I keep trying to fix the links and they won’t fix!!

    Going to go and try again.


  4. I am so bookmarking this post for my short crime story in the fictional town of Lobster Cove! Thanks for all the tips. Any recommended beers?

    In New Hampshire, look for Ava Marie Chocolates, Ledge Top BBQ sauce, and Maple Lane’s Bumbleberry Pie.

  5. Jane Babbitt says:

    You’ve got to include Black Dinah chocolates from Isle au Haut! Best anywhere. And the fudge at the Smiling Cow is worth including–great flavors. I don’t know how you can include ice cream in a gift basket, but don’t forget Round Top in Damariscotta, and Gelato Fiasco!

    • MCWriTers says:


      I was saving Black Dinah for the next post! But happily accept suggestions of what else to include. We could do just chocolate and ice cream? How’s retirement?

  6. Janet Mendelsohn says:

    Monica’s Chocolates from Lubec. Fabulous.

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