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.
With pumpkin season in full swing, many Granite Staters are enjoying baked goods, snacks, and beverages flavored with this signature fall fruit. And then, of course, there's the annual rite of pumpkin carving. Weekend Edition host Amanda Loder talked with TheHeart of New England e-magazine's Marcia Passos Duffy about how to wring pumpkin flavor out of post-Halloween jack-o-lantern remains.
The scoville scale is used to measure how spicy as pepper or chili is. The jalapeno can have a rating as high as 8,000 units, and for many sensitive palates, that’s plenty. The world’s hottest peppers approach an incredible 1.5 million scoville units – so hot, a tribe in northeast India consumes them for sport. Best-selling science writer Mary Roach visited the Naga tribes to observe their competitive and cultural history with the scorching Naga King Chili. Roach is author of many books – most recently is Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal… and she wrote about the Naga King Chili for Smithsonian magazine.
New Hampshire food has been moving in plenty of new directions lately, but some old traditions are carrying on in this part of the country too, including the church bean supper.
Susan Laughlin is food editor for New Hampshire Magazine; she took part in a supper in Boscawen and wrote about the experience in the October issue. She talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about what she expected to see at the dinner and what she found instead.
Fall in New Hampshire means fairs, foliage – and getting out to one of the state's 300-odd apple orchards to pick your own. Elaine Starkey is out at Butternut Farm in Farmington, with her sons and grandkids, to do just that.
"They usually have donuts, but we got here a little late."
'Pick Your Own Apples' now means not just picking the fruit, but also hay rides, corn mazes, petting animals, And enjoying other seasonal products, like cider, pies, and yes, donuts.
Organizers expected a nice, somewhat modest turnout for the first try at a New Hampshire Coffee Festival. But then, putting a sign out on Main Street that essentially says “free coffee” has a tendency to over-deliver.
“I literally cried in awe of the turnout and the people coming downtown to celebrate the Coffee Festival with us," promotions committee member Lori Chandler said.
If you think there are too many food deserts in cities across the United States, try finding some fresh produce in outer space. Naturally, NASA makes sure astronauts living on the International Space Station don’t go hungry, but since it costs about $10,000 to send a single pound of food to the I.S.S., you can bet they don’t see a lot of leafy greens.
That cost is just one reason growing fresh food in outer space is a crucial step in the future of manned space exploration. Jesse Hirsch is a staff writer for Modern Farmer, where you can find his article, “Space Farming: The Final Frontier”.
When it comes to food I can be a bit of a cheapskate. If I can’t tell the difference between two similar products, the first thing I look at to determine which to buy is the price tag. But sometimes, being a frugal shopper means more than picking the right brand – sometimes it’s about getting your hands dirty.
Take pistachios for example. I always buy them with the shells on. Why? Because they’re cheaper. Presumably, consumers are paying extra for the privilege of not having to split a thumbnail cracking them open. But when we asked around the office at our Concord studios, it turned out there were lots of reasons people choose to buy whole pistachios.
My toddler, Owen, and I agree on most things when we go out for breakfast. We prefer booth seats over chairs, sharing is always encouraged at the table, and we always go for crayons and coloring books when they're offered.
The one difference? He, being two years old, prizes consistency in his breakfasts - the more similar they are to the last breakfast outing, the better. In fact, he doesn't use the word "breakfast" for these trips - "I wanna go out for pancakes," he says.
Part of the effort to curb child obesity in the US has been to rethink vending machines – in particular, those offering sugary drinks at schools. The theory is that students make healthier choices when they have healthier options in front of them.
And new research from Dartmouth College shows the contents of those machines are changing – less sugar, more bottled water. But not every school is changing in the same way.
As the summer winds down, so will demand for lobster and its market price. Maine lobstermen are bemoaning low wholesale prices, but far from shore, say New York City’s Lobster Joint, market price today for a roll is $19…a boiled lobster will cost your $34. Today, the crustaceans are coveted, and symbolic of wealth, class, and extravagant living. Not so long ago, lobster was considered lower than the ocean floor on which it dwells. Here to trace its climb up the social ladder from grub for the poor to high-class delicacy is Daniel Luzer, Web Editor at the Washington Monthly. We found his article, “Low Lobster Got Fancy,” in Pacific Standard.