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 teacher, 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 rayesmustard.com will top the list. We even like to include it when we do a giveaway basket. It’s that quintessentially Maine.
Being crime writers, our list naturally includes two products developed by retired Portland Deputy Police Chief Joe Loughlin: Loughlin’s Irish Marinade and Blueberry Marinade http://loughlinirish.com 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 http://www.stonewallkitchen.com 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.
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?