Foodstuffs Small Plates: Hello To The Cold-Hardy Kiwi

Jun 15, 2015

  Small Plates is a roundup of New Hampshire food news.

Kiwis are hairy and fuzzy and have to be peeled. Unless they’re cold-hardy kiwis, which may make their way to New Hampshire. Scientists at the University of New Hampshire are doing a breeding project for a kind of plant which produces “hairless, grape-sized kiwi-like berries that can be eaten whole, without peeling.” The UNH Agricultural Experiment Station does a lot of research aimed at either extending or finding ways around New Hampshire’s relatively short growing season, from growing plants in hydroponic greenhouses to adding entirely new plants to the state’s local food mix.  This is long-term research, so we won’t end up with these berries in the near term. But we do at least have a neat new phrase to practice pronouncing in the interim: “hardy kiwifruit germplasm”

Bill on labels far from tabled

New Hampshire law prohibits any mention of minors in advertising – at least for now. House Bill 122 would undo that restriction; it’s now one State Senate vote away from passage.

Manchester state representative Keith Murphy sponsored the bill; he owns a bar and had hoped to sell a Michigan beer called Founders Breakfast Stout. But that brew would have run afoul of the state law, because its label includes a drawing of a baby slurping breakfast out of a bowl.

While the bill passed both chambers of the legislature, Governor Maggie Hassan chose to veto it, citing concerns that it could “undermine our efforts to prevent underage drinking” or “potentially lead to greater inconsistencies in how our marketing regulations are applied.”

The House has already voted to override the veto; if the Senate does the same, patrons in Rep. Murphy’s bar might start to see those Founders Breakfast Stout labels sometime down the road.

The most important question of the week

Who among us can eat a 2 pound burrito in 71 seconds in 2015?  Such is the challenge demanded of us by the Bike Week Downtown Burrito Eating contest in Laconia. The defending three-time champion is Jon Churchill, who told the Laconia Daily Sun last year that “controlling your gag reflex is the most difficult part.” If inhaling burritos isn’t your thing, take heart that Bike Week’s food offerings are varied and many, including a weekend pig roast prepared by a former White House chef at which there was not a stopwatch in sight.

This week: Best of NH Party in Manchester (Tuesday); Barley House Burgerfest in Concord (through Saturday); Dover Dines (starting Friday);  Wild Imbibe-ables Workshop in Exeter (Saturday);

Links to take home: New coffee bar coming to Portsmouth. New truck for the New Hampshire Food Bank. Have you appreciated your pollinators today?