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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.