Morse Sauerkraut was our intended destination. I’d never been there before even though over 172 stores in Maine carry their sauerkraut and I’d heard about it for years. It took a stranger on the golf course, who told my mom his life story and without taking a breath espoused the virtues of the store and restaurant, to get us there. Off we went, winding down Rt. 220, discovering, again, how beautiful Maine back roads can be in the summer, the land quilted with green and brown farm plots and the cows contentedly chewing the green to nubs.
The store is a fabulous, eclectic mix of all things European, especially those German and Scandinavian. The deli case is a sausage heaven and the bakery produces the dense, rye breads that is emblematic of the two cultures in addition to poppy seed, apricot or prune flavored pastries.
I met Dave, the owner, and he commented on all of the press the store has received, saying that all it requires is “being a little peculiar.” Yes, but delightfully so.
My mom and I had beef goulash which ended up being a paprika flavored beef stew with onions, sauerkraut and sour cream over spaetzle and my dad had a liverwurst sandwich. And on our way out, our shopping bags were filled with fun things to try including an elderberry preserve and real brown bread – the kind made with rye bread and steamed in a can. I think the bread might be an acquired taste. But it sure was fun to taste!
I then came home to find that the most recent issue of Maine Food and Lifestyle has an article on Morse. Coincidence everywhere!
With a happy belly