Fall in Maine means beautiful foliage and harvest of this humble state’s best. Orchards are ripe with fresh apples, farm pastures are loaded with pumpkin and squash that brightly dot the fields, awaiting picking for someone’s table or jack o’lantern carving.
Fall in Maine delivers farmers markets and fairs, like the Fryeburg Fair, where farmers show off their summer’s worth of work, their pride in produce, meat and cheese. Yes Please! Read on about Maine’s best produce and prize harvests, and few recipes from from Vacationland. Fall is a wonderful time to vacation, in Vacationland, a Maine foodie tour with bonus foliage!
Maine is famed for the following food:
Maine’s apples are best picked from late August through early October. Maine is home to 84 apples orchards farms, responsible for producing about one million bushels of apples each year on 2000 acres. Most common varieties of Maine apples grown are McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun and now Honeycrisp Two lesser-known varieties, Black Oxford and Brock.
Maine has an “apple day”. Great Maine Apple Day is a festival October 14, 2018 in Unity Maine that celebrates the apple harvest with cider making, apple pie contests, showcasing the many tasty apple varieties grown in Maine’s orchards.
Maine’s best apple recipes include Apple Crisp, Apple Pie, Apple Chutney, Apple Cider, and Apple Sauce.
Broccoli is abundant in Maine. Despite Kennebunkport’s favorite former-president’s disdain for the bright green veggie (President George H W Bush said he hates broccoli), Maine is a top producer of this cruciferous green vegetable in “The County” – with 6,500 acres in Aroostook county. Broccoli is a powerful antioxidant with numerous health benefits, a big source of vitamins K and C, folate (folic acid), also high in potassium and fiber. Besides, its fun to dip broccoli in ranch or cheese – and pretend their little trees and you’re the Jolly Green Giant.
Maine’s Aroostook county has potatoes aplenty. Maine is a top producer of spuds, not as much as Idaho, but still – over 70,000 acres of land in northern Maine is proliferated with potato farms. 25 percent of Maine’s potato production supplies the East coast, 45 percent is used for frozen French fries- like McCain, 20 percent for (my personal favorite) potato chips – Humpty Dumpty, Frito-Lays, Utz, and 10 percent go to fresh market for Maine’s best restaurants and local consumption. Maine Potato Blossom Festival in Fort Fairfield in July is a 70+ year tradition to celebrate the spud! The Maine Potato Board, yes that’s a thing, has pages of potato recipes from mashed to home fries to Shepard’s pie! Oh, and Cold River Vodka is made from Maine potatoes- gluten free!
With all eyes on pie and Halloween jack o’lanterns, Maine’s pumpkin patches are prolific. A fun family activity is to go to a Maine pumpkin patch and PYOP: pick your own pumpkin. Pumpkins are a fun, feel good, do good squash plant, most popular from Halloween to Thanksgiving. Traditions aside, Pumpkins have high nutritional value: high in fiber and low in calories, pumpkin packs an abundance of disease-fighting nutrients, including potassium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and vitamins C and E. Even pumpkin seeds carry nutrition, like protein, potassium, magnesium and fiber. So pick your own Maine pumpkin, carve your trick-or-treat face, keep the inside for pie, and roast the seeds with Maine sea-salt for a powerful tasty treat.
See our Maine lodging guide for where to stay, play and explore fall in Maine!
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