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,

No. 15 / Winter 2021

Editorial in this issue

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dirt

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Dirt

Quahogs Sittin’ in the Bags in the Bays

Quahogs Sittin’ in the Bags in the Bays

Study Investigates Hard-Shell Prospects for Clammers

Stacked, Packed, and Hasselbacked

Stacked, Packed, and Hasselbacked

New-Fashioned Party-Ready Maine Potato Dishes

Bubbles and Berries in Bottles and Cans

Bubbles and Berries in Bottles and Cans

Bluet Aims High to Elevate Maine’s Iconic Crop

Finprints

Finprints

Using DNA to Weigh Climate Change Impact on Maine Seafood

Tying up Loose Ends

Tying up Loose Ends

Suggestions on How to Use Up All the Edible Bits and Pieces

Ham Bones and Ice Cream

Ham Bones and Ice Cream

Chaval's Ilma Lopez dishes on sweet innovation

Intentional Mess

Intentional Mess

Food Stylist Catrine Kelty Influences Culinary Art from Her Buxton Home

Smokin’ Cocktails at Home

Smokin’ Cocktails at Home

Three Techniques for Smoldering Winter Sippers

The Holiday Regifting Guide

The Holiday Regifting Guide

Ten Edible Presents that Give Back to the Maine Food System

Precisely Portioning Pot

Precisely Portioning Pot

Don’t Get Too Cooked

Perfecting a Local Fish Sauce

Perfecting a Local Fish Sauce

Maine Scientists Research Using Green Crabs As A New Ingredient for An Ancient Condiment

Old Techniques, New Tricks

Old Techniques, New Tricks

Maine Craft Cheesemakers Conserve, Collaborate, and Market Collectively

Maine Center for Entrepreneurs Helps Drives Maine Food Economy

Maine Center for Entrepreneurs Helps Drives Maine Food Economy

Get to Know Your Maine Nonprofit

Vertical Farming On the Up and Up

Vertical Farming On the Up and Up

State-of-the-Art Facility Planned for Westbrook

Reimagining School Lunches

Reimagining School Lunches

Ecology School Chef Looks to Cook Without Fire

Recipes in this issue

Smoked Black Manhattan

Smoked Black Manhattan

Pan-Seared Cod and Littleneck Clams with Soy Brown Butter

Pan-Seared Cod and Littleneck Clams with Soy Brown Butter

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Hasselback Sweet Potatoes

Baked French Toast with Streusel Topping

Baked French Toast with Streusel Topping

Smoky and Spiced Pear Simple Syrup

Smoky and Spiced Pear Simple Syrup

Artfully Messy Kimchi

Artfully Messy Kimchi

Potatoes Pavé

Potatoes Pavé

Bluet Gin Fizz

Bluet Gin Fizz

Smoky Poire Harvest

Smoky Poire Harvest

Rustic Apple Galette with Lakin’s Gorges Opus 42

Rustic Apple Galette with Lakin’s Gorges Opus 42

Twice-Baked Potatoes

Twice-Baked Potatoes