Couple launches Portland food tours with an educational twist

Lunch while you learn? That's the aim of an educational tasting tour offered by a Portland start-up on a mission to tell — and show — the story of Maine's food.

Maine Food for Thought, launched by Bryce and Sarah Hach, takes visitors on a three-hour walking tour to six restaurants in the Old Port, each chef serving a locally, responsibly and sustainably sourced dish with an insight into where the ingredients come from.

"Food tourism was not really the end game we had in mind," but rather a means to tap into broader narratives about how food is sourced, Bryce said in an interview a few days before giving the first tour this week.

"A restaurant menu can't tell you that story, and the wait staff can't tell that story," he adds, "but we can provide that context, the human interest stories and the information about the journey from the ocean or the land to the actual plate, and what it means to the community and its implications."

Citing one example, he says: "Sure we love Maine lobster, but the lobster tells us these really interesting stories about climate change and its impact on the Gulf of Maine, and about economics in our state."