Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 1 : Summer 2009 - Page 27

Maine’s Own Buckwheat Treats: Preserving Flavor & a Way of Life by Robin Elsbeth Jenkins It’s an early spring day in March, 2007. Janice and Joe Bouchard, wearing identical blue chambray shirts sporting the name “Bouchard Family Farms”, stand behind the table draped in white at the New England Products Trade Show in Portland, Maine. The intoxicating smell of freshly made “ployes”, Acadian-style pancakes cooked on a hot griddle, emanates from the booth as the wholesale buyers gather to sample the specialty food product. Janice looks up and smiles as she spoons the batter onto the griddle, carefully using a circular motion with the back of her spoon to spread the batter thinly. In just a minute, many little “eyes” have appeared on the surface of the pancakes, and they are ready to be removed from the griddle. “You don’t need to flip them as you do with regular pancakes”, she says. Janice removes the pancakes from the electric griddle and passes them to Joe, who spreads them with butter or jam and serves them on a napkin to the intrigued onlookers. As they savor the delicious pancakes with obvious satisfaction, the buyers begin to pepper Joe and Janice with questions about the commercial Ployes mix and the Acadian Buckwheat Flour that is packaged by the Bouchards. Joe hands out product information and sell sheets to the buyers as he answers their questions. Bouchard Family Farms, as the name suggests, is a family affair. Twenty five years ago, Joe’s mother, Rita, and his sister, Jane Crawford, began selling their Ployes mix in local grocery stores. Today, the Ployes mix and Acadian Buckwheat Flour are sold in over 200 retail stores throughout Maine and New England. The Bouchards also have a website, ployes.com, where SUMMER & FALL 09 Bouchard Family 25