Foodstuffs

Hannah McCarthy

If you know what to look for, a hike in the New Hampshire woods can be a harvest. At least it is for one Henniker man who has started a business selling foraged herbal tinctures.  

Rob Wolfe leads the way through an overgrown field toward a tangle of bushes and tall grass. Just down the street from his home, he knows where to look for wild foods in season. Wolfe pauses on his way to inspect a small tree.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

A local brewery in Portsmouth launched a new beer this week called Unity. The beer aims to inspire national unity after this summer’s array of deadly mass shootings.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Alcohol is big business in New Hampshire. Last year, profits from state-owned liquor stores added about 150 million dollars to the general fund. But it’s rare that this important industry meets together as a whole.

You might think with an industry so important to public and private interests; the different players would get together every once in a while to chat.

Elodie Reed / Concord Monitor

Concord Monitor reporter Elodie Reed has been following the life of a pig at a New Hampshire farm from its birth to death for the newspaper’s Ag and Eats blog. It’s an attempt to understand what goes into the creation of the meat many of us consume. NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Elodie when she began this project, and now it’s drawing to a close. She joined Peter another time to talk about what she’s learned.

Peter Biello

 

 Spinach, kale, and tomatoes are foods you'll have no trouble finding this time of year in New Hampshire gardens. But take a turn down a little road in Bedford and you’ll find a farm growing plants you may have never seen before, unless you’ve been to Bhutan, or parts of Africa. At Common Earth Farms, refugee families grow vegetables from around the world.

On a day that's expected to be hot, Bhutanese Refugee Dhele Niroula provides a little liquid relief to a row of plants baking in the morning sun. His father and fellow gardener, Khada Niroula, names these plants.

Faith Meixell / NHPR

Peach lovers are in for a bit of disappointment this summer, with New Hampshire’s crop of the fuzzy fruit almost entirely wiped out. In this week's installment of Foodstuffs, we'll find out what's behind the shortage.

At Carter Hill Orchard in Concord, visitors this time of year typically find acres and acres of apples, peaches, and other tree fruits growing among the rolling hills.

Sean Hurley

Getting into the food delivery business can be tough - especially when you don’t know how to cook.  But as NHPR’s Sean Hurley tells us, Kasia Lojko and Sonia Farris of All Real Meal in Derry say not knowing what they’re doing has been a key to their success.

They have green backs, pink bellies and are only about 2 inches in diameter. The invasive green crab has been destroying clam and scallop populations from South Carolina to Maine, since they were introduced here two centuries ago.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

In this week's installment of Foodstuffs, our weekly look at food culture in the Granite State, we visit Aissa Sweets — a burgeoning pastry business based in Concord, whose owner draws upon his Syrian heritage to craft homemade sweets sold at stores across New England.

How New Hampshire's Local Food Economy is Evolving

Jun 6, 2016
Je Suis Charlie / Morguefile

This warm weather means farmers markets are moving outdoors again, offering up all kinds of products grown and made here in New Hampshire. Jim Ramenack of Warner River Organics has been participating in a variety of farmers markets around Merrimack County. He talks with All Things Considered Host Peter Biello about how New Hampshire farmers markets have changed over the years.

Who knows where the world’s first farmers market was?

Historians point to ancient Egypt and American foodies note an 18th century operation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, that’s still in operation. 

But in New Hampshire, you may need look no further than Warner, the small on the fringe of Lake Sunapee region that's probably best known for it's share of Mount Kearsarge.

Jason Moon for NHPR

If you’re on the road, looking for a place to stop and get a cup of coffee in New Hampshire, you’ve got plenty of options: Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, every single gas station.

For this week’s Foodstuffs, we visit a tiny, drive-thru coffee shop in Newmarket that's managed to carve out a niche despite this crowded field.

Natasha Haverty

Brothers Donuts in Franklin has some pretty odd hours of operation: 3 am to noon, Mondays through Friday, with a 2 am opening on Saturdays.

But it’s worked. The donut shop has been open for the past 35 years. And for 33 of those, it's just been one brother in the kitchen. 

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Running a restaurant is a risky business. Many owners don’t figure out all the angles and are out of business the first year or so. But in the North Country, the family that owns Grandma’s Kitchen figured it out more than 30 years ago.

Dennis Streeter and his wife, Linda, have owned Grandma’s Kitchen since 1994.

Linda’s parents owned it for a decade before that.

As a kid, Dennis used to buy ice cream cones here.

So, the couple understands what works in Whitefield and the North Country.

Sean Hurley

Every week or so someone stops by Brookford Farm in Canterbury and finds the little building near the chicken coop where Dane Percy makes bread and asks him if he’ll teach them how to do it.  

“Which just has a romance variable in it,” Percy says, “that  I try to extinguish it as soon as possible by saying,  ‘Well, can you use a chainsaw?’”

Emily Corwin / NHPR

If you move from Korea, Pakistan, or Senegal to New York City, you’ll find a whole neighborhood of shops with foods from home. Move to New Hampshire from just about anywhere else -- and there’s pretty much just Saigon Market.

Saigon Market opened twelve years ago in Manchester, but had to close in 2013 after owner Thanh Ho’s lease was not renewed.

Jack Rodolico

Odds are at some point, you've paid good money for a really bad cup of coffee. But a cup of coffee is really just ground up beans plus water plus time. And in cold brewing, you just add a lot more time.

"It’s this movement away from your classic World-War-II Folgers," says Connor Roelke, owner of Nobl Coffee.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

To hear 45 year old ex-restaurant chef Dave Valicenti tell it, making a living selling food at farmer’s markets was far from a master plan.

“In fact I didn’t even want to do farmers markets at all. My mother was like, ‘you know that’s how Stonewall Kitchen started,’ and so I’m like yeah, I don’t want to be one of those carny-weirdos who goes around to farmers markets.”

Mary via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/ZnDmU

  What happens when a school takes one of those lunchroom staples off the menu?

Something big – at least if you look at recent events at schools in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

When you imagine the daily tasks of a farmer in New Hampshire, scheduling Facebook posts probably doesn’t come to mind. But it turns out that social media skills have become an important part of the modern farmer’s resume.

Inside a large reception hall at Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, about fifty farmers from around the Monadnock Region gather for a meeting of the minds. But they’re not here to talk about the growing season, the price of grain, or animal husbandry -- though that sort of thing does come up.

A&E Coffee

That cup of coffee you had this morning came a long way before you poured it.

Certified coffee taster Emeran Langmaid has spent the past 15 years getting to know coffee growers in Latin America, and mastering the art of roasting coffee here in New Hampshire. She owns A&E Coffee in Amherst, and Manchester New Hampshire. 

Langmaid flies to Honduras to judge a coffee competition in a couple of weeks, but NHPR's Natasha Haverty caught up with her right here in New Hampshire as she sampled her latest batch.

Elodie Reed / Courtesy of The Concord Monitor

When you’re about to sit down to a meal, and that meal involves a piece of meat—a steak, some chicken, or pork chops, for example—how much do you think about the animal it came from? We all bring a different level of awareness to the dinner table, and it can be uncomfortable for some people to think deeply about the chicken, cow, or pig that was killed to become someone’s food. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Summer may be a ways off yet, but in Portsmouth, restaurant owners Matt Louis and Jay McSharry are already anxious about staffing their kitchens. That's because there’s a shortage of line cooks in restaurants all across the country, especially on the Seacoast, where unemployment is particularly low.

“Come May when the beaches open, it’s a mad sprint to make sure you have enough staff to be ready for summer,” McSharry says.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

You can only buy Canterbury Aleworks beer in one place – at the brewery in the woods.

"I like the little saying, a little out of the way, a lot out of the ordinary. But you could swap those off one way or the other. Some people say, 'Oh it’s a lot out of the way.'"

That’s Steve Allman, brewer and owner of Canterbury Aleworks. He’s behind the bar in his taproom. And he doesn’t look like a bartender – no crisp white shirt and pressed black pants. He looks like a carpenter. Which he is.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

For more than a year one of the most-visited stops on the New Hampshire primary trail has been closed. But this old-time shop may have some new life in it after all. 

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Creating a food co-op is a labor of love.

“It’s your neighbor who’s the farmer. It's your community, you own it,” says Sarah-Marie Cole, president of the Manchester Food Co-op's board, “It's all the good feel-good things about the community.”

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

When you walk into Willows on South Main Street in downtown Concord, you are greeted by the vibrant purple walls and bright artwork that fills the dining room.

Willows opened up in April and its menu is entirely vegan and organic.

The Littleton Co-op: Buying Where It Sells

Dec 31, 2015
Chris Jensen for NHPR

In 2008, when some North Country residents were trying to start a food co-op in Littleton, one of the goals was to support the region’s economy by buying as much locally as possible.

Six years later, the co-op is buying about $1.7 million a year in the area, says the Co-op’s general manager, Ed King.

“The local food and producer business is probably 25 percent of our business. That is a pretty good chunk of money going back into the local economy," he said.

That money goes to producers like Tim Wennrich.

It all started with a question about food labeling at the Iowa Agriculture Summit earlier this year and Jeb Bush's not-so-humble brag:

"When I go to Publix in Coral Gables after church to go prepare for Sunday Funday in my house ... I'll probably make a really good guacamole and I want to know where that avocado is from and I want to know where the onions are from and the cilantro and all the secret stuff I put in it."

Sean Hurley

Up in Jackson around this time of year you can climb aboard a horse drawn Austrian sleigh and ride through town collecting handmade chocolates from local merchants.  NHPR's Sean Hurley went along on the Jingle Bell Chocolate Tour and sends us this.

Even though Kathleen Driscoll has to sit all day in a gazebo beside a roaring fire she says she has no trouble resisting the bowl of handmade chocolates before her.  "I don't like chocolate," she says, "I'm not a chocolate fan. If it was birthday cake I'd eat it!"

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