As the holiday season approaches and we’re beginning to make proper preparations for small gatherings with family and friends, including mapping our holiday meals. This year, we’re encouraging you to include locally harvested and sustainable seafood on the menu.
Looking to purchase local seafood? Use this seafood guide to find a list of retailers and restaurants located throughout Deer Isle, Stonington, and the Blue Hill Peninsula. Some restaurants may be closed for the season, so be sure to call ahead or visit them online for their holiday hours. Not local? Some of the seafood retailers listed can ship your favorite Maine seafood directly to your door with overnight shipping options. You can also use this seafood finder that can connect you to local seafood businesses closer to your home.
Ready to get cooking? Let Leroy of Ask Leroy! be your virtual assistant with his step-by-step instructions to prepare lobster and cook up a hearty seafood chowder. We’re also including a collection of recipes from Deer Isle and Stonington community members who have a passion for cooking with sustainably caught Maine seafood and local ingredients. Recipes range from crab cakes, casseroles, a how-to guide for shucking oysters, and more! Perfect for planning appetizers and a full-course meal for your holiday guests.
We’re also sharing our top reasons for eating sustainable and locally harvested seafood below:
Supporting the local economy – When you purchase locally-sourced seafood, you’re supporting your local economy. You’re supporting businesses owned and managed by your neighbors. For many communities, that money spent locally, stays local unlike supporting national chain-businesses.
Supporting local fishermen – Not only are you supporting the local economy, but you’re also supporting local fishermen. You’re helping them provide for themselves and their families. Do you know a fisherman who is licensed to sell directly? Reach out to them about purchasing some fresh lobsters or clams for your next holiday gathering. They may even take some time to explain where and how it was harvested.
Know where your seafood comes from – When you purchase locally harvested seafood, you know where it came from. In some cases, you may even know the fisherman who caught it and perhaps where-about in the Gulf of Maine it was caught.
Nutritional value – With the holidays, comes enjoying all the festive foods. Some good for our health, and others, not so much. Maine seafood is packed with nutritional benefits, ranging from protein, low in saturated fat, and filled with important vitamins that benefit different organs throughout the body. You can learn more nutritional facts about seafood on the USDA website.
Food brings people together – For those who enjoy cooking, seafood can sometimes be intimidating. With step-by-step videos and other helpful resources, you can create a delicious seafood dish from the comfort of your home – as well as create new memorable experiences while cooking with local ingredients. You may even have an interesting story to tell about your locally-harvested seafood with your guests.
Bon appétit and happy holidays from the MCCF Team!