The kids are all-write

Telling Room young authors take on Portland's food scene
By BRIAN DUFF  |  August 11, 2010

food_youngwriters_main
CHOICE WORDS A word-cloud of the young writers’ reviews.

Recently I spoke to a group of aspiring food writers attending the Young Authors camp at the Telling Room. I don't know about them, but I learned some things. For example, if someone speaks past your snack time you can simply slump off your chair and lie listlessly on the floor and they will stop. I told them that the best way to write about food was to frame each review in some pseudo-profound malarkey that is both ridiculous and quite possibly true. They wanted to know if I had tried things they had tried. Mostly I had.

The kids seemed touched by the suffering of a Brunswick man whose dissatisfaction with Maine burritos is destroying his ability to take pleasure in other aspects of life. They said he should go to Bruce's in Yarmouth, and ask for kidney beans. We discussed Freud's concept of thanatos, and the debilitatingly endless cycle of eat-poop-eat that contributes to it. I told them the hardest thing in writing is making yourself write. Several proved me wrong by writing short reviews of their favorites. The results are encouraging for the future of food writing.

MILENA, 10, has a charmingly jumpy style: "FLATBREAD PIZZA is not your normal pizza. Its perfect location, right next to the water where the boats leave, probably helps its business, because, if you're lucky, you get to either sit on the outside deck, or the special couch near the big window. But back to the food . . . the best is the cheese pizza. Not too gooey, not too-hard cheese, mouthwatering sauce that's always evenly spread, soft, crunchy-ish crust, topped with a spice that gives it better flavor, washed down with a nice glass of ginger ale (or water). Definitely the best pizza I've ever had!"

JOY, 10, has a future in PR: "Head on down to Willard Square to the greatest ice cream shop (WILLARD SCOOPS) for the greatest sundae ever! The sundae has a yummy, fluffy pile of whipped cream with nuts scattered all throughout the sundae. Then there is the delicious, warm, smooth, hot fudge. But then below the whipped cream, nuts, and hot fudge is any homemade flavor of ice cream you want."

THEO, 10, rejects food-snobbery to exclaim! his love for a chain: "BUGABOO CREEK is probably my favorite restaurant . . . their mashed potatoes are superb! They're juicy but not soaked, and perfectly cooked. I don't think I have enjoyed my squash more! The squash, if you've ever imagined being in Wonderland, is just like that. They are from another world — amazing delicious and always warm. And yes there is a long wait to let your mouth water before whatever your amazing meal might be, but that doesn't mean they don't have entertainment! There's a fish that sings, a small trash can with a raccoon inside and much more, but don't let me spoil the surprise. Check it out on your own."

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