Generally, it looks like my complete 12 months has been spent waiting in line for vegan food. Demand has positively outstripped provide.
Such strains had been very seen in August when the California-based touring restaurant Southern Fried Vegan got here to Definitive Brewing in Portland to supply a pop-up dinner that includes veganized variations of dishes like fried hen, smoked BBQ beef and mac and cheese. A whole lot confirmed up. Many would-be diners gave up once they noticed the road. Even so, the await these of us who caught round was as much as 1½ hours.
It was an identical scene on the veg-friendly Frequent Floor Honest in Unity, the place a brand new sales space promoting vegan pad Thai had one of many longest strains. Even vegan meals distributors who’ve been coming to the truthful for years, comparable to Falafel Mafia, Heiwa Tofu and the Ellsworth Unitarian-Universalist Church (which makes vegan egg rolls), all had vital strains. The report attendance on the truthful in all probability contributed to these waits.
Biddeford-based Atlantic Sea Farms just lately launched two Sea-Veggie Burgers, made with Maine-grown kelp and chickpeas, and obtainable in basil pesto and ginger-sesame flavors. Harbor Fish Market in Portland and greater than 300 Sprouts supermarkets throughout the U.S. already inventory the burgers. In October, Bissell Brothers Brewing Three Rivers in Milo responded to rising hen costs by making plant-based hen patties from masa and utilizing them in Chump Change, a vegetarian sandwich they serve.
This summer season, Vail’s Customized Truffles & Icelandic Bakery in Dover-Foxcroft added a full vegan cake menu, and Gaia’s Plant-Primarily based Kitchen in Brunswick started catering occasions. Portland restaurant LB Kitchen and Brunswick-based Skordo are partnering to promote spice packs with recipe playing cards permitting folks to recreate LB Kitchen’s darkish chocolate spice and coco-mango smoothies, each vegan, at dwelling. Go to skordo.com and click on on “recipe kits” to order.
I’ve written many occasions concerning the fast march of vegan doughnuts throughout Maine. In August a political story within the British weekly newspaper The Economist, of all locations, observed the identical, defining Portland as a city of “lobster-and-scallop mousse and vegan doughnuts.”
In September, The Bayview Resort in Bar Harbor hosted a collection of pop-up, four-course, vegetarian dinners. Resort proprietor Kimberly Swan stated the dinners had been well-received, and she or he hopes to host comparable pop-ups subsequent 12 months.
Additionally in September British animal rights activist and filmmaker Ed Winters, generally known as “Earthling Ed,” spoke at Colby School concerning the connection between local weather change and consuming animals. The month earlier than, animal activists in Readfield circulated a petition in opposition to the Pig Scramble held as a part of Readfield Heritage Days, prompting the Readfield Choose Board, after the competition, to cross a decision excluding actions that hurt animals, or are perceived to hurt them, from future Heritage Days celebrations.
And the new new merchandise at Hannaford deli counters just isn’t product of pigs however of vegetation. All 125 shops within the Hannaford grocery store chain now inventory a number of styles of Mrs. Goldfarb’s Unreal Deli bulk vegan meats, which will be sliced-to-order on the deli counter.
However not every part is developing vegan deli slices. October introduced unhappy information: The Copper Department in Portland, a part of a vegan chain headquartered in Montréal, went darkish and a For Lease signal appeared within the window. The restaurant opened simply months earlier than the pandemic hit, and even when the specter of COVID-19 receded, the failure of the workplace lunch crowds to return downtown certainly didn’t augur effectively. We’ll miss you Copper Department.
Right here’s a take a look at extra cheerful vegan information in Maine:
Midcoast Vegan places out its sandwich board
Nationwide hip-hop artist Sole, who is thought off-stage as Tim Holland and lives on a permaculture homestead in Brunswick, has launched Midcoast Vegan, a plant-based sandwich enterprise. Lots of the sandwiches use Holland’s small-batch vegan meats and cheeses, together with his signature banh mi.
“It’s actually an enormous experiment to seek out out what folks need,” Holland instructed me. “I’m experimenting and trialing every part by Morning Glory (Pure Meals in Brunswick). This winter I’m hoping to broaden to extra shops between right here and Portland.”
When the Brunswick Winter Market opens for the season on Nov. 10, Midcoast Vegan could have a sales space promoting sandwiches, breakfast burritos and muffins. Quickly, the corporate will start supplying Union Bagel in Portland with lacto-fermented cashew cheese and vegan Canadian bacon. Holland additionally makes and smokes seitan-based roasts, which he slices into deli meat. The meats will star in Midcoast Vegan’s forthcoming ham and cheese sandwich.
You’ll be able to hearken to Holland on Propaganda by the Seed, a month-to-month podcast he hosts with Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery in Falmouth. The podcast focuses on meals forests, foraging, mushrooms, natural medication and the way to develop uncommon vegetation. Observe Midcoast Vegan on Instagram.
Tootie’s Tempeh begins manufacturing
After rising as a startup in 2019 and transferring twice (now it’s within the food-centric North Dam Mill constructing no. 10 on the Pepperell Mill advanced in Biddeford), Tootie’s Tempeh has, eventually, begun delivery pallets of its natural tempeh.
Manufacturing delays (to say nothing of COVID) pushed the launch date again repeatedly, however the tempeh is lastly displaying up in shops and eating places, together with Rosemont Market shops, lots of the state’s cooperative grocers and Fish and Whistle restaurant in Biddeford. Tootie’s Tempeh is the one commercially obtainable tempeh made in Maine. (After a 15-year run, tempeh maker Lalibela Farms closed its Bowdoinham operation a couple of months after the pandemic began).
Tootie’s preliminary product is apparent tempeh, made with natural soybeans grown by Aurora Mills and Farm in Linneus. Its packaging makes use of 50 % much less plastic than rivals, in accordance with the corporate, which is structured as a worker-owned cooperative. Tootie’s Tempeh hopes to franchise its enterprise idea of domestically sourced tempeh, employee possession and a reduced-plastic manufacturing approach (which lessens the quantity of plastic wanted to ferment desserts of tempeh).
“Our mannequin is scalable as a result of we would like this sustainable tempeh to be obtainable throughout the county,” co-founder and CEO Sarah Speare stated. “The concept is to maintain it native all over the place.”
Michael LaCharite, previously with Brewery Extrava, is the corporate’s manufacturing supervisor. He oversees tempeh fermentation with help from sous chef and meals security skilled Kate Musser. Speare is the previous longtime govt director of the Maine-based Institute for Humane Schooling.
The corporate is called for Speare’s mom Tootie, who died 17 years in the past. She was an entrepreneur who, beginning within the early Nineteen Sixties, advocated for equal rights and environmental safety. Speare hopes Tootie’s Tempeh will comply with in her footsteps.
County Roots hosts cooking lessons
County Roots, a vegan cafe in Presque Isle, is utilizing the brand new culinary classroom at Northern Maine Neighborhood School to show a vegan baking collection. The lessons, which run for six weeks ending Nov. 9, cowl every part from desserts, cake adorning, pies and muffins to biscuits, breads, gluten-free breads and Thanksgiving baked items.
“We need to put it on the market that vegan baking and cooking is simple,” stated Amy Stedman, the proprietor of County Roots. She is educating the lessons with Julie Hartley, who’s licensed in plant-based vitamin.
The collection is already bought out, so the instructors are planning extra programs, particulars to return later this winter. Nation Roots café on U.S. Route 1 was just lately promoting vegan peanut butter–frosted chocolate cake, cinnamon rolls and pumpkin–white chocolate chip cookies. Observe County Roots on social media for each day specials and data on upcoming cooking lessons.
Avery Yale Kamila is a meals author who lives in Portland and will be reached at [email protected]mail.com.
Please verify your e mail to verify and full your registration.
Use the shape beneath to reset your password. While you’ve submitted your account e mail, we’ll ship an e mail with a reset code.