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'Food Coma' guides Mainers to good food, drinks

Customers will want to visit one of the many outposts of the Food Coma empire.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Joe Ricchio, who has been writing about food in Maine for more than a decade, is not one to stand still. During that time he created a Food Coma blog; Food Coma TV web series; how-to cooking show, "Food Coma TV: My Seventies Kitchen"; Food Coma On the Road, a Food Coma podcast; and, most recently, a longer-form web series, "Food Coma The Hell Out of Dodge."

If the workload seems a tad excessive, there’s a reason.

“The cause for [my] most self-destructive periods is idle time,” Ricchio said while shooting a recent Food Coma episode in South Portland. “I do not handle idle time well at all.”

Food Coma is a labor of love. It has not sent torrents of cash flowing into Ricchio’s bank account, and he’s OK with that. He does it because he enjoys the whole process—traveling to every corner of the state, talking with chefs, eating good food, and then telling stories.

While his Food Coma empire has made him one of the best-known people in the ever-expanding Maine food scene, some criticism, and social media snark, inevitably come Ricchio’s way. Surprisingly, they leave him unruffled. 

“There’s always people who say negative things on YouTube,” he acknowledged. “I actually find that just as flattering as positive things because somebody took the time. And I’m like, 'Thank you.'”

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