If you have never been to Orvieto in Millinocket, you don’t know what you’re missing. An enclave of fantastic Italian cuisine, the deli has served up panini, cold sandwiches, fresh bread and sauce for the past 18 years. The menu is inspired by the family recipes of original owners Dick and Tib Manzo, themselves descendents of Italian immigrants who came to Millinocket in the early 20th century to work in the paper mill. Now Georgia Manzo Joachim, daughter of the original owners, has written a cookbook inspired by the food of her family — as well as by the seasons and holidays of the year in Maine — titled “A Taste of It All.” Joachim offers menus for cold winter days, summer parties, sick days and Christmas, among others, accompanied by her own poetry and photography, and suggestions for movies and music. “A Taste Of It All” is available at www.thymemosspublishing.com, or at Borders, Giacomo’s and Rebecca’s Gift Shop in Bangor.
A short Tidbit for readers who, like me, take an inordinate amount of enjoyment out of grocery shopping. According to southern Maine newspaper the Falmouth Forecaster, Trader Joe’s, the national chain of grocery stores that features constantly changing products, will move into the former location of Wild Oats on Marginal Way in Portland. An opening date has not yet been scheduled, but apparently the Facebook group titled “Bring Trader Joe’s to Portland, Maine!!!” which has nearly 3,000 members, helped the cause. Last year Consumer Reports ranked Trader Joe’s as the second-best grocery store chain in the country — just behind Wegmans, a chain in the mid-Atlantic.
Attention, cheese lovers. Grindstone Neck Smokehouse in Winter Harbor, purveyors of unbelievably delicious smoked salmon, trout, crab, shrimp and other seafood delights, makes a cheese dip to rival anything available in grocery stores. Their “Betta Than Chedda” cheese spread combines cheddar, cream cheese, herbs and spices, and upon trying it the other weekend, the final verdict is that it lives up to its name. Just stop yourself after three or four liberally-spread crackers, or you’ll eat half the container. While the cheese spread can’t be purchased on the Grindstone Neck Web site (www.grindstoneneck.com), it can be purchased at State Street Wine Cellar in Bangor.