A few days ago, in the Portland Press Herald I read Avery Yale Kamila’s piece, “Vegan Food Goes Mainstream in Portland.” It seems that many of Portland’s restaurants are adding a vegan entrée to menus that traditionally have been heavy with meat and seafood. For example, Grace Restaurant is offering a “mushroom mac and peas featuring cauliflower puree, wild mushrooms, black truffles, and snow peas.”  

In a recent post, I wrote about how my husband and I had switched to a mostly vegetarian diet and how meat and fish would be saved for eating out or for special occasions. We are doing this for ethical reasons—it simply takes too much energy to produce meat. I also admitted that we would be keeping eggs, butter, and milk in our diet, that we wouldn’t be going completely vegan. But, fruit, grains, and vegetables would form the bulk of what we eat. 

Therefore, I am encouraged by this recent vegan trend in Portland restaurants, and I hope it’s not a fad that will just fizzle out. A lot of it will depend on how the food actually tastes. It’s all very well and good to be ethical, but if the meal isn’t tasty as well, then ethics will only go so far.  

However, I expect that Maine chefs will rise to the challenge of cooking vegan dishes that are both good for the planet and pleasing to the palate.