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The coolest foodie bookstore in New England


Townsend reading at Rabelais Books in Portland, Maine.

Rabelais Books in Portland, Maine is the New England epicenter for the best books about food, farming, gardening and wine.  I was invited there to give a reading from my book Lobster:  A Global History last month.

The crowd of about 30 people seemed to be mostly ardent food aficionados, with maybe a passerby or two who wandered in.  This was during the First Friday Portland Art Walk when galleries and museums are open in the early evening.  Rabelais is on Middle Street, a food lover’s favorite hangout, on the edge of Portland’s Old Port.

Certainly the food brought in for the reading was a draw–lobster crisps (like Cheetos) from the chi-chi restaurant next door, or the artisanal cheese, grapes, bread, seltzer water and sparkling wine.  All of this because owners Don Lindgren and Samantha Hoyt Lindgren, a husband and wife team, are seriously interested in food and food history.  Even though they have a delicious selection of new and used books at hand, they love to scour the world for anything you want.

So I talked about the one thing everyone asks me about–how best to kill a lobster for dinner. And does it feel any pain?  Here’s my opinion (take note Jasper White)–I think at the very least they feel discomfort, maybe even a little pain.  But I comfort myself with the thought that they are in the insect family with a decentralized nervous system–and I kill them the way I would a bug, fast and as efficiently as possible.  Wanna know how to kill a lobster?  (I’ll tell you next time.)  You can find out now by buying my book here.

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