Chai smoothies. Kelp chili. Brisket on brioche. These were just a few of the tempting tastes offered at Fare and Ice at Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport on Feb. 16. More than 20 Freeport restaurants, farms, brewers and other food-related businesses tried to outdo themselves – and their competition – at the 17th (almost) annual Flavors of Freeport signature event.

“The restaurants talk about this all year long,” said Community Relations Manager Margaret Hoffman. “And after the first year, they know what they can serve quickly and at the right temperature and make a good impression.”

For example, Winter Hill Farm served two composed “bites” – Frost Gully cheese with strawberry and basil, and feta with olive oil and cherry tomato – and was named Best Savory for the second year in a row.

Winners were chosen by consensus by a new trio of judges: Maggie Knowles of Edible Maine magazine, chef Nina Interlandi Bell of Woolwich (“Master Chef” season 13) and Jason Nappi, the meteorologist who writes a pizza and ice cream blog called Cloudy with a chance of pizza. Winners will receive a cutting board engraved with their business name and the Taste of Freeport logo.

The judges awarded Best Sweet Bite to What the Actual Fudge, which served three flavors of fudge: chocolate, brown butter and limoncello.

Best Display went to Brigham & Cook, Ltd., a purveyor of British goods that served the Scottish soft drink Irn-bru in martini glasses alongside deviled eggs with Coleman’s mustard, Branston pickles, meatballs marinated in Branston pickle relish, and spoons of Cadbury caramel spread topped with Cadbury chocolate buttons.


Best Beverage winner Mast Landing Brewing Co. served Champ Lager, On a Mountain in the Clouds IPA, Besides (a lemon-and-lime vodka soda) and Gunner’s Daughter Peanut Butter Milk Stout. Gunner’s Daughter was also incorporated into one of Betty ReeZ WhoopieZ flavors and a coffee peanut brittle by Wilbur’s.

Guests were raving about the char sui pork belly from the Harraseeket Inn, the lobster bisque by The Lobster Cooker, and the Colorado green chili by Nighthawk’s Kitchen, among dozens of tasty samples.

“Hands down, the best was the lobster rangoon by Linda Bean’s,” said Jordan Henshaw of Freeport. “It’s funny, because I typically think of them as a tourist trap.” However, one bite of Linda Bean’s Maine lobster Rangoon dip on a crispy fried wonton chip with Wakami salad, eel sauce and sesame seeds, and Henshaw was won over.

She was also impressed enough by the sea salt caramel whoopies by Betty ReeZ to buy a pack to bring home. “There’s a lot of whoopie pies in Freeport,” Henshaw said, “but that particular one is delightful.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: