Vegan Product Roundup 1

There are tons of specialty foods producers in Maine offering vegan products. When we started So.ME.Vegans we decided one of our primary areas of focus would be to find unique products made in Maine and expose them to the larger vegan community. This is to be the first in a series of posts focusing on such products. We stopped by Lois' Natural Marketplace in Scarborough and picked out three items we thought we'd share with you. Of course, you should be supporting your local vegan food producers wherever you are.

Check out the sidebar. You'll see Falafel Toasties by Papou's Kitchen, apparently a local legend. We say apparently because when we started the blog we got almost immediate feedback saying we needed to try the superstar of local vegan specialty offerings. Honestly we hadn't heard of them yet, despite the product originally being conceived of in 1986. We were truly missing out. This has got to be some of the most finely crafted falafel we've tried. Djgray1200 thought the seasoning was just right. A number of falafels we've tried have been bland, but then again in frozen food you always run the risk of getting something that's obnoxiously salty. This product walks that line masterfully. Missus Gray says they're cake like and not too crumbly or dry, something our other reviewer also picked up on. In addition, she appreciated the versatility of the patty, noting it could easily go either in a wrap or on a burger roll. The only glitch we found was in their cooking instructions which boil down to 'set your toaster to dark and pop in the Toasties'. We found it took a couple of rounds in the toaster to get the center of the patties to even thaw and that oven preparation worked out better for us. Only a minor inconvenience. We still think they're absolutely deserving of the accolades they've received from their fan-base.

Next up was one of the most unique little crackers either of us had tried. Maine Sea Biscuits by The Savory Baker in Windham have a wonderful spice blend consisting of paprika, cayenne, fenugreek, coriander, cumin, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and turmeric. It sounds like a lot right? Not at all. It's all done in perfect balance. The mild heat is a perfect counter to the sweetness of the blueberry wine in the biscuit, and it creates a flavor that reminds us of a gingersnap or molasses cookie. As if the ginger snap reference weren't enough, Missus Gray says the shape of the cookies remind her of Christmas as well. They're shaped like evergreens. Try them with soup of a fine vegan cheese like Dr. Cow.

We tried two bars from Mom's Organic Munchies of Freeport; the On-The-Go Goji-Pistachio and Choco-Fit Mint. Mom's bars are organic, gluten free, refined sugar free, and raw. This is real food in it's purest form. This is pretty calorie dense stuff since the bars are made with a lot of nut butters and seeds. We think these would be ideal for fueling for a day out hiking or for post run recovery. Both djgray1200 and Missus Gray picked the Goji-Pistachio as their preferred of the two bars. He said he appreciated the use of whole sunflower and pumpkin seeds for texture and also that he could pinpoint the unique flavor the dates offered. She also mentioned the pleasant texture and likened it to homemade fudge but didn't get much of the goji berry flavor.


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