Mainers are a thick-skinned, quirky bunch with an awful lot of pride. We know what we do well and we’re not going to shy away from boasting about it. From unsurpassed ingenuity to amazing seafood, here are six things people from Maine have the right to be a little snobby about.
Our “Portland” may be smaller and lesser known than Oregon’s, but our roots go deeper — by over two hundred years. Portland is hailed as a food and fun destination for good reason; from James Beard finalist restaurants to secret speakeasies and locally-produced everything, Portland has it all and with a working-waterfront view.
2. Years of ingenuity
People from Maine were upcycling before it was a Pinterest trend. We pickle watermelon rinds instead of composting them and turn backyard junk into Etsy gems. This stems from our insatiable need to be self-sufficient combined with the impressions from our thrifty ancestors. We work hard and pride ourselves on our independence. Mainers find ways to “git ‘er done” on any budget, in any situation — whether it means gerry-rigging a car repair or improvising a home remodel. We come prepared, usually with duct tape and vinegar.
3. Roughing it
Mainers take a masochistic pride in roughing it, working on a tight budget, and being forced to find an original way to tackle a problem. Sure, hiring someone to dig a well would make everyday life easier, but why not see how long we can make the rain cistern/hauling in water situation work? It’s not so much a matter of finance as it is a matter of pride. Even urban Mainers are well-trained in the art of survival, and we love showing it off. So much so that adversity actually makes us giddy. We perk up when a storm hits, or when the car breaks down.
4. Our heritage
Mainers can get weirdly hung up on the “How Maine are you?” competition. Questions such as, were you actually born in Maine? And what about your parents? Grandparents? These petty distinctions even come into play on the city/town level, with community bonds passing from generation to generation as people grow up with the grandkids of their grandparents’ friends. Things can get dicey when hometown loyalties are ruffled, and locals draw an invisible line to show outsiders their place.
5. Local microbrews
While we may not have the oldest craft breweries in the US, Maine rounds out the top three states to have the most microbreweries per capita. We create clusters of tightly-knit communities which naturally help small businesses thrive, and we easily relate to the entrepreneurial spirit required for brewing. Portland alone has 17 craft breweries, and you can find them flung to the northern and eastern-most corners of the state.
6. Outstanding seafood
Lobsters, steamers, mussels, scallops, fried clams, striper — the list goes on. Whether it’s a renowned side-of-the-road shack, buying it off the boat, or catching it yourself, Mainers know where to source the best of the best. Getting hooked on world-class grub at affordable prices is very hard to give up.