With just a few hours and a few dollars on Saturday afternoon, we took a tasting tour of the food court at the Common Ground Country Fair in Unity this year. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, MOFGA, runs the fair, now in its 38th year, and encourages food vendors to use organic ingredients sourced primarily from Maine. This usually turns up a few surprises. Like tofu fries. The fries, made by Heiwa Soy Beanery of Belfast, took the prize for “That’s Some Different.” We agreed, it was certainly different, but when the connection is made between tofu and regular potato french fries, we were set up to expect a similar taste. And neither the texture nor flavor was reminiscent of french fries. I think I would have liked them more if they were cut smaller and served with organic ketchup.
Salad Cowboys from the Buckle Farm in Unity won “Best in Show,” for its tasty salads with curl cut beets and apples on a bed of spicy greens. The dressing had a tangy tahini taste to it, but we craved more than just the little dab they gave us.
The “Here’s the Meat” award at the Common Ground Fair 2015 went to Cornerstone Farm in Palmyra. They served lamb sausage on a stick, and lamb kabobs. All ingredients, again, were organic and sourced from their farm in Maine.
We also tried kale, squash and pumpkin ravioli – a favorite of ours from last year – and two kinds of natural soda: maple and blueberry. The maple soda, a simple concoction of soda water and syrup, was delicious. Unfortunately, we ran out of time and money before we could get to some of the sweet stuff, like the very popular pie cones from the Maine Pie Cone Company, which are waffle cones stuffed with pie filling and topped with whipped cream.
And the crowd-pleasing strawberry shortcake from Paks Farm of Morrill was just gone too soon.
I also would have loved to try to try the firewater from the Solar Cafe, but got a gist of the recipe from their menu. (That solar bus is just cool.) My takeaways? One, I’ve got to get a vegetable cutter that transforms root and other vegetables into pleasing curly cues. Two, I’m definitely going to try making home made soda; it’s so easy with a fruity syrup or just maple syrup and soda water. Three, kale ravioli is in our future at home, for sure. And four, I’m going to try adding hot pepper to a veggie juice or smoothie and see what I get.