November 20, 2018

FOLK/Food Tastes of cultures near and far spice up the experiences at the 64th National Folk Festival

French Acadian Buckwheat Pancakes

Bouchard Family Farm

Fort Kent, Maine

The Bouchard Family Farm has been producing a French Acadian buckwheat pancake-flatbread called ployes for nearly 20 years. It was a way to diversify the potato farm operation and helped to save the farm when farms were going under throughout northern Maine. The family takes pride in knowing that it is helping to preserve an important part of our culture and heritage, which will guarantee future generations the opportunity to savor this unique buckwheat pancake-flatbread.

Finnish Pulla Rolls

Analee Korsman Libby

Old Town and Monson, Maine

Analee Libby grew up on Monson, the oldest of nine children. She’s the secretary of the Finnish Farmers Club in Monson which opened in 1935 to promote the Finnish culture. The club serves Finnish foods and crafts and holds traditional Finnish dances with live accordian accompaniment in the fall and winter months. Many immigrants from Finland were farmers or woodsmen, but, like the Swedes, they came to Monson primarily to work in the slate quarries. Pulla (pronounced “bulla”) are traditional Finnish coffee rolls made of a yeast-raised dough flavored with cardamom, almonds and sugar.

Lobster Bisque

Wendy Polstein/River

Driver’s Restaurant

Millinocket, Maine

Lobster bisque is year-round, traditional fare in the state of Maine, and Wendy Polstein and the River Driver’s Restaurant have created a hearty, delectable bisque with fresh cream, sherry and whole lobster claws, served with homemade bread. The River Driver’s, located on the banks of the Penobscot River in Millinocket, is an American bistro-style restaurant. Guests are encouraged to sit on the wraparound deck and view where log drivers originally began their river route. Numerous seafood and other dishes are served using fresh, locally grown ingredients. The River Driver’s Restaurant is especially known for its breads and desserts. The restaurant is adjacent to the New England Outdoor Center where visitors can try whitewater rafting trips on the Kennebec, Dead and Penobscot rivers, as well as canoeing, kayaking, hiking, golf, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Visitors to both places may spot two sets of nesting bald eagles that have taken up residence on the property. The New England Outdoor Center and River Driver’s Restaurant’s Web site,, contains information on outdoor activities as well as discussion of the restaurant with recipes online.

Vietnamese Foods

Bich Nga Burrill

Winterport, Maine

Bich Nga Burrill of Winterport has been cooking Vietnamese-style foods for over 40 years. She has a thriving catering business. She also works out of the European Farmers Market, open Saturdays, located across from Bangor Auditorium. She is interested in authentic Vietnamese cuisine and will be demonstrating authentic Vietnamese recipes at the Folk Festival. Visitors will be able to see how she makes fast, spicy recipes. Through her extensive knowledge and promotion of this healthy cuisine, Bich Nga Burrill makes this unique cooking experience available to a wide audience. Cooking, says Bich Nga Burrill, allows her to save and remember some of her native land and culture.

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