Tasting Our Way Through Portland

Maine Foodie Tours ImageFor those who have been reading this blog, you know there are few things we like more than eating and drinking. Factor in my love of walking tours (and Brian’s tolerance of them) and you have a perfect morning outing in Portland. Maine Foodie Tours has several offerings, including the Port City Beer Tour. No, we didn’t do that one.

We set out on the Old Port Culinary Walking Tour, a 2.5-hour stroll along the cobble-stoned streets of the city’s Old Port section. It’s still a working waterfront and also a popular place for shopping and dining. During the tour we learned about the Old Port’s fascinating history (it was twice destroyed by fire and rebuilt), its architectural highlights, and — what we really came for — its culinary gems. Portland was named “America’s Foodiest Small Town 2009” by Bon Appetit.

We tasted local Maine foods like fresh-caught lobster (once considered “poverty food” and fed to prisoners) seasoned with stone-ground mustard, smoked trout with lemon pepper and garlic, and artisanal cheeses, some of which are available only in the area. Then it was on to the sweet stuff: scones topped with wild Maine blueberry preserves, dark chocolate truffles made with vodka distilled from Maine potatoes (sounds strange for a confection, but they’re divine), and whoopie pies, a traditional Maine dessert — two soft chocolate cookies sandwiching home-made marshmallow creme. We walked off the calories in time for a final stop at Gritty McDuff’s Brew Pub, which produces its own ales in a small room in back of the restaurant. Cheers to Portland.

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