The 5th annual statewide food and drink festival Seaweed Week begins April 21st, 2023, and will run until April 30th, 2023. Celebrating Maine’s kelp harvest, Seaweed Week will feature special events, one-time-only menus and limited-edition items from local bars, restaurants, brewers, bakers and more.
The kick-off party will take place at Oxbow Blending & Bottling’s Washington Avenue location in Portland on Thursday, April 20th from 5 PM -9 PM and will include a special beer release from Oxbow: Saison Aquatic a Farmhouse ale with sea salt and sugar kelp from Heritage Seaweed. In addition, the evening’s events will include interactive seaweed demos (find out how many seaweed species there are in Maine!), oysters for Lady Shuckers, food from Duckfat Frites Shack on site, and music from DJ HiDuke.
Events will be taking place all week throughout Greater Portland. To view the full list of events head here.
First, Why Seaweed?
Many reasons! Seaweed is not only a delicious and versatile dish enriched in essential amino and antioxidants, but it is also good for the ocean and the working waterfront, can feed the world, and is environmentally friendly.
Broken down a little bit further:
- Delicious and Versatile: North Atlantic Kelp, Kombu, Wakame, Sea Lettuce, and Irish Moss species represent a wide range of flavors and culinary uses.
- Happy Oceans: Seaweed creates a habitat for baby lobsters and other marine life. It also sequesters carbon, creates oxygen, and reverses ocean acidification.
- Working Waterfront: At a time when Maine’s traditional waterfront jobs face multiple pressures, lobstermen are turning to aquaculture and kelp farming to diversify their income on the water.
- Health Benefits: Typically, seaweeds have 10x more minerals than land-based plants. Plus vitamins, essential aminos, and antioxidants. Oh, and it’s where fish get their omegas.
- Feed The World: The world needs 50% more food by 2050, with increasing droughts and poor soil. Seaweed is one piece of the global food-security equation.
- Maine = Awesome: Maine is the national leader in seaweed farming and harvest! In 2022 Maine farms harvested over 1,000,000 pounds of kelp from sea farms across the state!
- Shellfish Love: Oyster and mussel growers are adding kelp farms to their operations because beneficial halo effects make their shellfish stronger, healthier, and tastier.
Participating Restaurants and Bars:
The list is long! Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the participating restaurants, bars, breweries, shops in Portland, Maine:
- Blyth & Burrows (craft cocktails)
- Luke’s Lobster Portland Pier
- Heritage Seaweed
- Central Provisions
- Helm Oyster Bar & Bistro
- Liquid Riot
- Maine Oyster Company Raw Bar
- Oxbow Brewing Co. (Saison Aquatic Kelp beer)
- Uncharted Tea (Cup of Sea tea, bubble tea)
- Lisa Marie’s Made in Maine
- Urban Farm Fermentory (Seaweed Cidah, beer, kombucha)
… and more! For the full list head here.
Seaweed Week is presented by Heritage Seaweed, Maine Sea Grant as well as the Maine Aquaculture Association.