Maine Food Show highlights tasty newcomers

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Portland’s new oyster cart is part of Maine’s rolling food economy

A few days before the food cognoscenti descend on Manhattan for the Fancy Food Show, Portland hosts its own tasty take on innovative, specialty fare. On Thursday, the first annual Maine Food Show throws down a smorgasbord of edible (and drinkable) innovations made in Maine, or inspired by the Pine Tree State. It takes place at The Portland Company and is part of Maine Startup and Create Week.

“This is not Harvest on the Harbor,” says Jess Knox, who runs the weeklong entrepreneurial event, which toasts the culinary economy this year. “The whole conference is about scaling and growing companies.”

And this is your chance to taste test the market — sample today what they will be tweeting tomorrow.

Don’t think chefs touting crab cakes as much as foodpreneurs handing out samples of inventions you never knew you loved. Startups like Christopher Hastings Confections, BP’s Shuck Shack and Mami will be in the house. That means Maine beer nut maples, oysters served from a converted hotdog cart and savory Japanese street food, to name a fun few.

“There will be a lot of energy around these participants being so new,” said Sarah Desormiers, who helped make this show a go.

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The Maine beer nut maple by Christopher Hastings Confections is a brand new treat

The new Maine Beer Nut Maple from Christopher Hastings Confections, a dynamic flavor spawned from a Facebook contest, is a mere week old. A fan suggested this twist on a  childhood favorite — maple walnut — and the Portland-based chocolatier turned the yen into gourmet gold.

This dark chocolate maple crème made from Maine maple syrup and candied walnuts infused with Rising Tide Brewery’s Ishmael copper ale could be the new Needham. The glamorous dollop is topped with Maine Sea Salt from Eggemoggin off Deer Isle. “Lots of Maine in that chocolate,” said co-owner Nate Towne. Just hit stores last week. Try them while you can!

Wash the night’s cutting edge cuisine down with the show’s signature drink served in the Maine-made cocktail bar. A collaborative concoction from Coastal Root Bitters, Royal Rose Syrup and the Finest Kind Tea get things flowing. All local, all ready to serve!

Twenty five vendors in all, a photo booth and DJ Mozart. Take that Manhattan! Tickets are $75. Get em here.


Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.