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.

2013 A Big Year For Small N.H. Brewers

Jul 6, 2013
Beer Goggles
Adam Fagen / Flickr Creative Commons

Although New Hampshire has slipped to the number-two spot nationally in beer sales, it's been a good year for the state's small brewers.  New Hampshire Brewers Guild Kevin Bloom discussed these developments with Weekend Edition host Amanda Loder.

David Clow via Flickr Creative Commons

A study released Tuesday by the Beer Institute showed the Granite State dropped to second in the nation in beer consumption per capita, after taking the top spot in 2011.

North Dakota took the top spot in 2012.

Montana, South Dakota and Wisconsin rounded out the top five, in that order.

New Hampshire's Backyard Hen Boom

Jun 27, 2013
Michael Samuels

The roadside signs are everywhere: “Fresh Eggs,” “Local Eggs,” “Farm Fresh Fggs,” “Fresh Local Eggs”...

A Taste of Bike Week

Jun 14, 2013
Abby Kessler / NHPR

The 90th annual Laconia Motorcycle Week has a distinct sound that revs and rattles throughout the Granite State during the nine day rally, but over the years “bike week” has also become known for its unique taste.

“We do a lot of eating at bike week,” Jennifer Anderson, director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, said laughing.

During the event, vendors set up temporary stands along the Loudon racetrack, selling chicken tenders, soft pretzels, fried dough, sizzling pizza and seafood to patrons who watch sports bikes orbit the track.  

harald walker via Flickr/Creative Commons

Last week we looked at what to do with rhubarb beyond the traditional (yet incredibly delicious) pie, and we asked for your favorite rhubarb recipes. And did you ever send us some good ones!

Amanda Loder, NHPR

This week some NHPR staffers got their first weekly share of veggies from a nearby CSA – which stands for community supported agriculture.

The idea is that consumers buy a share of the year’s crops in advance – that gives them a weekly supply of produce, while farmers get a more stable income stream than what they might have selling just through farmers markets or farmstands.

Maple syrup production returned to normal levels in the Granite State this year.

That’s according to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday.

The report shows that 124 thousand gallons of maple syrup were produced in New Hampshire this year.

Last year, the state produced only 76 thousand gallons, due to the unusually warm weather.

The yield per tap also more than doubled in New Hampshire this year.

harald walker via Flickr/Creative Commons

There are two things we all seem to know about rhubarb – it grows and grows, and you can make pies with it. But there's a world of rhubarb that goes beyond the (admittedly delicious) pie - in fact, it's a hot commodity among bartenders, who are mixing up cocktails and other tangy rhubarb-based beverages. And bakers might like to try a rhubarb upside-down cake.

New Hampshire's growing season traditionally begins Memorial Day weekend, but if you haven't gotten many plants into your garden this year, it's not too late to start.

That's according to Henry Homeyer, and he should know - he's a longtime gardener who's written newspaper columns and numerous books on the subject. His latest book is Organic Gardening (Not Just) In The Northeast: A Hands-On Month-to-Month Guide.

Sarah VanHorn, Manager of NH Community Seafood / N.H. Sea Grant

  When we talk about local food in New Hampshire, most of us think of fruits and vegetables. But with our 18 miles of coastline, seafood has the potential to be a local food as well. This year’s big cuts to catch limits for fish like cod and haddock herald a rough year for New Hampshire ground fishermen. So they’re finding new ways to connect with local consumers to help them stay afloat. And their approach may be the first of its kind.

Chowder Festival Boasts Zero Waste, New Trophies

Jun 5, 2013
Ella Nilsen

On Saturday, June 1, the 29th Annual WOKQ Chowder Festival took place at Portsmouth’s Prescott Park.  The festival was zero-waste, courtesy of the partnership between the Prescott Park Arts Festival and seacoast business Eco-Movement.

“It’s a well-loved tradition,” said festival coordinator Ben Anderson.  “People come from all over.  The restaurants take it very seriously.”

Seacoast restaurants including Bob’s Clam Hut, Warren’s Restaurant, Newick’s Lobster House, and The Portsmouth Brewery competed with chowders of every type, including seafood, clam, scallop, and veggie.

It’s the table farthest from the door at the Contoocook winter farmer’s market, but it's the one that catches my eye: asparagus stalks so big, you could play the drums with them.

The man who brought them, Jim Ramenack of Warner River Organics, says he's seen nothing but growth lately in local food.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

So what is the real Taste of Milford?

Sean Trombly of Trombly Gardens believes he’s found it.

“I always tell people this is the true taste of Milford,” he said, as he served up a beef slider along Middle Street. “This is Milford-raised beef.”

What Is N.H. Food?

Jun 3, 2013
Brady Carlson / NHPR

This week on All Things Considered we’re kicking off a feature on local food, which we’re calling Foodstuffs.

Local food is growing in New Hampshire – both in its size and its popularity. But it can be difficult to explain just what makes our state's food unique. NHPR's Brady Carlson takes us on a quest to find the answer.

Rebecca Zeiber / N.H. Sea Grant

We don’t often hear about seafood in our beer but it’s actually not new. Oyster stout was the traditional seafood beer in the 18th century when regular stouts were accompanied by oysters in local taverns and pubs. Later, oysters were incorporated into the brewing process which was first documented in the 1930s. That’s what we call “oyster stout” today. It fell out of fashion for a few decades but as craft beers become increasingly popular in New England, several brands are coming out with their own take. Harpoon did an oyster stout a few years ago and, last year, Dogfish Head made a very bitter chocolate lobster beer.

Lost Albatross via Flickr Creative Commons

Backyard chicken raising is one of the fastest-growing facets of the local food movement. Cities and towns have been reforming land-use and health policies to accommodate raising chickens…a hobby many picked up after the 2010 outbreak of salmonella that led to the recall of 500 million eggs.

Emily Cavalier via Flickr/Creative Commons -

Friday is day one of Restaurant Week New Hampshire, aimed at showcasing Granite State cuisine and the people who produce it.

Amy Traverso is Senior Lifestyle Editor at Yankee Magazine. She joins All Things Considered host Brady Carlson with a preview of the event.

elmachuca via Flickr Creative Commons

You know those individually wrapped chocolates that you find in office candy jars and Halloween sacks ?  Turns out, the troublesome need to unwrap chocolates makes them hard to eat in certain settings, like the car, which is why some years back, Hershey released Reese’s Minis, small, resealable bags of candy designed to be snarfed on the go.

<Autumn> via Flickr Creative Commons

Impaired sight often requires glasses – impaired hearing, a hearing aid.  But what about people who suffer from an impaired sense of smell or taste?  Depending on the source, somewhere between two and five million people suffer in varying degrees from anosmia, the loss of the sense of smell.  Here to tell us more is rhinologist Dr. Carl Philpott – Director of the Smell and Taste Clinic at James Paget University in Norfolk,  the only clinic devoted to smell and taste disorders in the United Kingdom. 

We read about his work in New Scientist, and invited him on the program to tell us more.

What's For Dinner?

May 6, 2013

My mother loves to cook, and as a result she raised an entire family of food obsessed children who also love to cook. My father rarely cooked but was a big fan of eating and proclaimed after every meal, “Dear, this is the best [insert main course here] I’ve EVER had!” She would roll her eyes at his genuine but exaggerated praise and I would chime in with, “Mom, this was the worst dinner ever.” A big grin would spread across her face as she leaned over to pat my head; my mom gets me. Because she cooked an amazing, well-balanced meal nearly every night, my siblings and I were consistently robbed of what we felt was the holy grail of eating: the frozen TV dinner.

Image via

Wander the aisles of your favorite grocery store and you’re likely to see produce marked as locally grown, meat that is trumpeted as grass fed and hormone-free, and canning kits to help you preserve your own garden’s bounty. The explosion of these products has largely been credited to the femivore movement, which has many women returning to the kitchen.


For most of the twentieth century, Americans got between a quarter and a half of their daily calories from uniform loaves of factory baked white bread. It was a symbol of an industrial food revolution that inspired national pride; a dough so emblematic of a successful democracy that the book White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf was written not by a baker, but a professor of politics; the author, Aaron Bobrow-Strain, teaches politics at Whitman College in Washington. He also wrote about his own attempt to prepare the perfectly rectangular cloud-like loaf in The Believer magazine.  We spoke to Aaron when his book was first published about the deeply symbolic place of white bread in American identity; the book is now out in paperback.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Recently Bon Appetit magazine posted a list of its 10 Favorite US nanobreweries – those are very small-scale commercial breweries that produce fewer than 2000 barrels a year.

On that top 10 list? Throwback Brewery in North Hampton, New Hampshire.

It’s yet another sign that the Granite State is a big player in the small brewery movement.