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The Parading Pies of Rockland Maine
By Marcia Passos Duffy

Few people could think of one good reason to travel over 200 miles in winter
weather (a four-hour-plus car trip from my hometown in New Hampshire) up
the coast of Maine to a little town 80 miles outside of Portland in the middle of

Unless, of course, if there was a promise of something out of the ordinary and
wonderful to cheer up a dreary winter weekend.  That special something could
be the promise of tasting dozens of homemade sweet and savory gourmet pies.
That certainly was the case for my husband and I, along with several hundred
other pie-lovers who braved the elements to experience Rockland, Maine’s
third annual “Pies on Parade” Tour.

Rockland is actually better known for its Windjammer ships, lighthouses and
lobsters than its pies, but its inn-to-inn pie-tasting tour is quickly putting this
artsy come-back town on the map for its creative savory pies:  lobster breakfast
pie, goat cheese pie, egg & chili pie, and every other type of sweet pie you can
imagine – including the staple apple and blueberry pie (a la mode of course).

The Pies on Parade Tour  is put on by the Historic Inns of Rockland, a group of
five inns each with a distinctive architecture and history.  We stayed at one of
the inns, the
LimeRock Inn, a charming turreted Victorian mansion originally
built in 1890 for a U.S. Congressman.  The inns on the “parade” tour were all
within walking distance of each other (except for one inn, three miles outside
of town), which welcomed pie-paraders with not only generous samples, but a
roaring fire to warm up, a guided tour of the inn, plus coffee, tea, and pie-
making demonstrations.  (We now hold the secrets to making fool-proof lattice
crusts and the art of making a chiffon sweet potato pie).

I had never ventured into Rockland before the tour, and was pleasantly
surprised by its walkable Main Street, with interesting shops and gourmet (but
affordable) restaurants.  For dinner we walked to little jewel of a restaurant
called In Good Company right in town; it had an impressive wine list of 300
varieties and a weekly rotating menu. (In case you are wondering, we did not
order anything that even resembled pie: I had the smoked salmon draped over
new potatoes with a dollop of crème fraiche and capers for $12 -- the salmon,
the owner pointed out, was smoked right in town; my husband chose the lamb
kebabs on a bed of barley pilaf for $16 – and it all tasted as good as it sounds).  

We also tore ourselves away from food and pies long enough to visit the
Farnsworth Museum and Wyeth Center before we left town, an impressive
collection of over 10,000 pieces from 18th and 19th century Maine artists,
including three generations of Wyeths.

While this year’s Pies on Parade may have come and gone, you can always
book your weekend package for next January.  You’ll not only come back
thoroughly stuffed with pies, but will get a copy of your own original Maine
pie recipes and bring back a complimentary pie (we took home a box of
raspberry mini pie tarts, which were devoured within seconds by our kids).  
Weekend packages are about $160-$225 per couple and include overnight
accommodations at one of the historic inns, pie tour tickets and breakfast.  For
more information visit

Our Favorite "Pies on Parade" Recipes:

Raspberry Tart May
Key LimeRock Pie
Sweet Potato Pie, Chiffon or Custard Style
Savory Breakfast Pies (Four Varieties including Lobster Pie)

For more information about Rockland, Maine, click here

About the author:
Marcia Passos Duffy is a freelance writer and publisher of The Heart of New
England online magazine.  Subscribe today -- its FREE!  
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The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
Photo by Marcia Passos Duffy
Pies on Parade in Maine

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