Letter from the Editor
The Innovation Issue
I would always rather spend time with somebody who doesn’t realize how much she knows than somebody who professes to know it all. I prefer a conversation to a lecture, I suppose.
In this issue of edible MAINE, we focus on the innovations happening throughout the Maine food system and introduce you to some of the ideas driving them. We bring you into conversation with dozens of your neighbors who don’t seem to realize how much they know about dozens of topics that play into sustainably advancing the size and influence of local food production across the state.
While they are not self-proclaimed experts in their fields, the authors, sources, producers, and visual artists we have assembled speak with humble authority about traditional cheese production, expanding shellfish aquaculture, the balance of sweet and savory on the dessert plate, sustainable commercial kitchen design, and repurposing traditional Maine crops into new products. We provide a primer on vertical farming, an introduction to environmental DNA as a way to track fish stocks in the Gulf of Maine, a profile on a nonprofit working to grow Maine food and beverage businesses, a column on effective portion control when cooking with cannabis, and a discussion on how the evolution of visual food art brings more local food to the table.
In the recipes included in this issue, we remind readers how simple ingredients or favorite treats—your basic Maine potato or your Friday night Manhattan—can handle innovative twists to maintain their history but push your palate in new, exciting directions. And, with our inaugural Edible Regifting Guide, we feature 10 lovely, locally sourced food gifts. We outline how, when you send them to your loved ones near and far this holiday season no matter how you choose to celebrate, the Maine food system benefits in the long run.
Innovation is driven by creativity. It’s lucky for all of us who partake in the state’s food system that, as poet and activist Maya Angelou once said, “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Maine’s local food system, like creativity, is a regenerative resource. The more you use it, the better it grows.
Cheers to a happy, healthy, and sane 2021 for all,