Maine food gets the national television treatment in April, as two shows spotlight Maine businesses and Maine cuisine in general. Settle on the couch or set your DVRs at 8:30 p.m. April 12, as the Food Network’s show “Unwrapped” will feature Gifford’s Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate ice cream on a chocolate-themed episode. The episode will spotlight Gifford’s popular chocolate flavor, winner of the World’s Best Chocolate Award at the 2009 World Dairy Expo. The secrets of the Maine treat will be revealed, as the show details Gifford’s proprietary process, which blends antique ice cream churners with a state-of-the-art freezing system. That same day, the Travel Channel’s “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” will finally broadcast its Maine episode, which was filmed in early January in locations all over the state. Bourdain visited J’s Oyster Bar and Street and Company in Portland, Conte’s in Rockland and went to an authentic bean supper in Milo. The show will air at 10 p.m.
As your designated go-to journalist for all things whoopie pie, I’ve got yet another update to report in the ongoing saga of what may turn out to be Maine’s official state dessert. Down East Books has published a new cookbook titled “Making Whoopie: The Official Whoopie Pie Book,” set to be released this June in bookstores all over the state and online. The book contains a fairly complete history of the chocolate-and-cream confection, as well as 16 different recipes for the treat, from traditional pies to zucchini, pumpkin and banana flavors. The author, Nancy Griffin, collects recipes and anecdotes from around the state — as well as tidbits of information from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, the other two states that claims the dessert as its own. Included are recipes from the Eastward Inn in Tenant’s Harbor, from Fort Kent native Jenny Jandreau, Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, Two Fat Cats Bakery in Portland, and Isamax Snacks in Gardiner. Quotes from Brothers Ken and Don at Friar’s Bakery in Bangor, the folks at Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, and Bernie LaBree from LaBree’s Bakery in Old Town round out the book, a who’s-who of whoopie pie celebrity in Maine. For more information, visit www.downeast.com.
GreenDrinks first started in 1989 in a pub in London, with the goal of bringing together local business people, those in the non-profit sector and in government, and any others with an interest in the environment and sustainability. It has since expanded to nearly 500 locations all over the world. Portland GreenDrinks began two years ago, with the same format: a monthly, informal meeting of like-minded individuals. Now the Mid coast has its own GreenDrinks, with Rockport market and eatery Farmer’s Fare hosting its second event from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 11. A demonstration of Farmer’s Fare’s solar oven is slated, as well as food and drink from its Sunday brunch menu, which features locally made bread, locally raised eggs, cheese and meat, and organic produce. Farmer’s Fare is located at the intersection of Cross Street and Route 90 in Rockport; for more information, visit www.farmersfare.com and www.greendrinks.org.