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Rural living and food diversity

2 months ago

So I live in rural central Maine - a place not known for it’s diversity - human or dietary. Today I am thinking about food. About availability rather than accessibility.

A really serious foodie culture has blossomed in Portland and coastal Maine which is gradually moving northward.. Plus the Maine Organic Farmer’s organization and others have been part of training a lot of young farmers, gardeners, bakers and cheesemakers etc...

I moved back to the area about 12 years ago. And in general the availability of local foods has vastly changed and improved - both at the supermarket, specialty shops and at farmer’s markets from my childhood. During Covid some farms took up cooking - so one could pick up a locally made dinner to eat at home.

Now to the restaurants - geared towards locals more than foodies. The first new addition to the area was Thai restaurants. Now along with pizza and chinese food Thai restaurants are fairly ubiquitous. A Thai restaurant in Vermont just won a Beard award.

A real bagel place has opened - by a very nice lady from the Catskills who loves it when I bring my mom in (who reads as a little old jewish lady from NYC - partly true)

Very recently indian food is becoming available. I recently took my mom on a ride - looking for indian food. Two local convenience stores must have an indian family member who can cook. And there are now a selection of prepared indian foods in the fridge along with ’italians’ and tuna sandwiches. More exciting someone is opening an indian restaurant. It looks like it will be some kind of fusion - generally asian food.

And finally the most local of all. The small town where I grew up has a landmark hotel in the middle of town. By far the largest building downtown. When I was a kid it was a hotel with a bar. For many years it was only a bar - known far and wide. The building had become funkier and funkier. A few years ago someone bought it and put a LOT of work into it. It is about to reopen as a bar and restaurant - with a fair amount of Portuguese food. My mom is busy emailing a friend who lives in Portugal. I am thinking the fare of New England fishing towns is more likely.

circa 1910

circa 2000s - not sure of the date

circa 2023

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