A food blog from NHPR news, digital, & programming staff, exploring food & food culture around the state & the New England region. On-air features air Thursdays on All Things Considered and Saturdays during Weekend Edition.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Food trucks have been a growing culinary trend in big cities for several years now. In rural New Hampshire, the fad has been slower to catch on. But a recent food truck festival in Portsmouth may be a sign that that’s changing.

Saint-George's, Manchester, NH

This weekend is Saint-George Greek Orthodox Church’s 37th annual Glendi festival in Manchester-- the church's largest fundraiser of the year. 

Glendi is the Greek word for “celebration," and the festival, which runs from Friday through Sunday, includes live music, traditional costumed dancing, and plenty of Greek food.

Frank Comerford is the president of the church’s Board of Directors, and calls himself "the Irish president of the Greek Cathedral." If he could only get one thing at the festival all weekend, Comeford says, he would get the lamb shank.

Sean Hurley

First time visitors to the Griddle in the Middle Pancake House in Meredith often come up short at the door.  Some can’t handle it – some turn around and leave. Not NHPR’s Sean Hurley.  He marched inside, sat right down and - after a little work - ate breakfast.

The sign out front doesn’t offer any clues.  It just says Griddle in the Middle.  It looks like a completely normal breakfast place. Until you step inside…”You can see it in the person's face,” owner Kyle Goren says, “They're like "oh what am I getting myself into?"

Natasha Haverty

This week on Foodstuffs, our weekly look at food and food culture around the region, NHPR's Natasha Haverty visits Payao's Thai Cookin', a food stand at the edge of the woods in Northwood, N.H.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Thirteen years ago, Roni Vetter bought an ice-cream shop called Jake’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream. Today, Jake’s is a locally-sourced, wholesale ice cream supplier out of Vetter’s hometown of Nashua.  For this week’s installment of our weekly series “Foodstuffs,” NHPR visited Vetter’s tiny ice cream factory, and saw her process step-by-step.

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 -

  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.