Native Maine Local Lore

Eat Local, Smart Cookies, and Seaweed!

Greetings Local Lorers!  Slowly, but surely, mid-winter is coming to an end!  The sun is up at 6am and sets after 5:30pm!  Wow, Spring will be here before....well, okay...let's not get carried away.  Winter will be with us for a while to come.

This in between season is the time for farmer and local foods conferences.  Last Friday, the Maine Farm to Institution Summit took place at the University of Maine campus in Belfast. Native Maine is super proud that we were a sponsor of this important event. Maine Farm to Institution (MEFTI) supports developing the supply of and increasing the consumption of Maine-grown food in Maine institutions in order to give more people access to healthy, local foods while also strengthening our local economy. 

The summit brought together over 200 people from different sectors including public schools, hospitals, farmers, fishermen, educators, college students, non-profits, government agencies, and distributors. Speaker panels and workshops were held throughout the day to strategize getting more Maine foods onto Maine plates. Sessions ranged from Meeting Your Farmer to Leveraging Food Waste Prevention.

One of my favorites was a panel discussion called “Setting Up Your Kitchens for Local Procurement and Processing”. Two school food directors and the food director at the Charleston Correctional Facility talked about the successes and perils of bringing more scratch cooking and local foods into their kitchens. It was informative and fun! The summit helped all participants see and feel the power of working together to achieve goals,

 SMCC Culinary Students are Wicked Smart!
Quick, name four of the five ingredients in Chinese five-spice powder. What term describes the meat from the cheek of a hog? What mushroom has a crunchy texture, an almost fruity flavor and is also known as a snow puff mushroom?

Five SMCC culinary students, Avery Anderson, Taylor Feehan, Mark Kurkjy, Jim LeBlanc and Nancy Piche, will answer similar questions when they compete in an upcoming “Jeopardy”-style competition testing their culinary knowledge. SMCC faculty chose these students based on their knowledge, skills and leadership in the classroom

The Baron H. Galand Culinary Knowledge Bowl will take place at the American Culinary Federation’s regional conference in Charlotte, N.C., on Feb. 26-27. A dozen teams (nine from the Northeast region and three from the Southeast) of culinary students will compete. Regional winners will go on to the national competition in New Orleans this summer.

Besides taking part in the Knowledge Bowl, students will hear from guest speakers, take part in workshops and have a chance to meet chefs from along the entire East Coast at networking events, said Kurkjy, the team’s captain. “I am extremely competitive, so just the opportunity to compete in the competition is a big draw for me,” he said

The entire student team is currently employed in the food industry. Each of the students are fund raising by reaching out to their employers and holding a number of on campus fundraisers that highlight their skills in the kitchen. If you would like to donate to the SMCC team, please contact Maureen LaSalle, Culinary Arts Chair at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Oh yeah, and if you’re curious, the answers to the above questions are cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, star anise and Szechuan pepper; jowl (or guanciale); and an enokitake mushroom.

Native Maine Approves of Ocean Approved!!
We are happy to announce that we are partnering with Ocean Approved Seaweed to offer our customers unique kelp products at value-oriented prices. Ocean Approved creates delicious and mild tasting kelp products with just a hint of ocean with no additives or dyes. All their products are naturally a vibrant green and ready to serve right out of the package. Everything is cut, blanched, and then quick frozen. All you have to do is thaw and serve or add right to a hot dish.

Farming kelp sustainably creates a highly nutritious vegetable without using arable farmland, fresh water, pesticides, or fertilizers. Ocean Approved harvests kelp not only from their own farms, but the farms of 9 other fisherman along the Maine coast. Their fresh frozen products are produced locally in a new 8,000 sqft. state of the art facility.  Native Maine stocks:
KELC-Kelp Cubes LOCAL 12x12 (144ct)
Move Over Kale, now you can supercharge your Smoothie with Maine's Own Kelp Cubes™. They have a mild, fresh flavor. They are easy to use and will not overpower the flavors of your smoothie - simply add 1 cube per serving to your blender and puree with other ingredients. The cubes are designed with portion and cost control in mind and work well in a broad spectrum of recipes.
KELSC-Kelp Slaw Cut LOCAL 10#
Mild in flavor, vibrant color, and a just right texture. Easy to use in sautés, salads, pesto's, sandwiches, pizzas, even desserts. Simply thaw, drain, and add to your hot or cold dish. Maine Kelp is the new, better tasting kale.
SEASALL-Salad Seaweed LOCAL 4x2.2#
SEASALLB- Salad Seaweed LOCAL 2.2#
Made with Maine kelp, carrots, honey, ginger, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and spices, Maine's own Seaweed Salad is 100% natural.

Cook This!

1 Ocean Approved kelp cube
1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
½ cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut milk
1 Tbsp. mint
2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. lime juice, fresh
Add all ingredients to a blender; puree until smooth. Drink and feel healthy! Delicous!

Eat your kelp, donate to the SMCC team, and support your local farms!  

Local You Know

At Native Maine Produce & Specialty Foods we're working hard to connect our customers with the freshest, quality produce & specialty products available. We believe in supporting New England's vibrant and diverse food system by providing locally grown & processed food items alongside some of the world’s best specialty foods sourced from around the globe.

As one of New England’s leading produce wholesale distributors with 3000+ quality items in stock, our 2000+ New England customers have access to local, regional & hard to find specialty foods delivered frequently at very competitive prices. We are your neighbors; we are the Local You Know.

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