Food

Leila Goldstein/NHPR

Imane Naji Amrani is in total party planner mode. She wears a pink dress and matching pink headscarf. Focused and firm, she tells a group of teenage helpers where food should go and hurries to get everything done before sunset.

Every night for the month of Ramadan, families at the mosque in Manchester take turns cooking for the Iftar, the evening meal where Muslims break their fast each night during Ramadan. Tonight is Naji Amrani’s night to cook.

Jimmy Gutierrez for NHPR

Matthew Jones from Hudson and I share a common beef with New Hampshire: a serious lack of great pizza. Matthew reached out to us through our Only in New Hampshire project, in which we do our best to answer listener questions about quirks of the Granite State.

He wrote to us with a question (or three) about New Hampshire pizza:

Why does every town have a House of Pizza? And why is every House of Pizza exclusively the Greek style of pizza? And why is the Greek pizza so popular here?

As the farm-to-table movement caught on nation-wide, a cohort of farmers, chefs, and organizers put in the legwork to make local food possible here in New Hampshire. 

This week on Word of Mouth, we trace the history of local food in the state, and we address a listener's question: How can you distinguish real, authentic local food from the dizzying display of marketing gimmicks? 

We also hang out with a local arts collective on the seacoast, and we sit down with National Book Award-winning poet Frank Bidart. 

wine4food.com

It is that time of year when Honeycrisp apples are abundant, orchards are packed with families, and the leaves are just starting to turn. And one of the best ways to celebrate the onset of fall is indulging in New England’s seasonal food traditions.

But when it comes to regional foods, what is quintessentially New Hampshire, and what’s just New England-y? 

Roychan Kruawan / Unsplash

Tomatoes: from your garden, they are full of flavor. They even smell good. Tomatoes from the grocery store, however, might lack that same intense taste. Depending on what variety you buy, the tomato may have been engineered or sprayed to be heavy, not flavorful. Tomatoes are sold by the pound, after all.

A new bit of technology may help some farmers create a tastier tomato. Granite Geek David Brooks has been writing about this tech for The Concord Monitor and spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about it. 

Robert Taylor via Flickr

You may be familiar with hoarders (not the TV show, but same idea).  In nature, a hoarder will hide food in one place.  Everything it gathers will be stored in a single tree or den.  But for some animals one food cache isn't enough.  We call them scatter hoarders.

Behind a cracked parking lot and below a yellowed sign sits the Hill Village Store. It’s right off the single road that cuts through Hill, New Hampshire, and it's the only store in town that sells food.

This week, after 17 years under one owner, it's closing and going up for sale. For Foodstuffs, our regular look at food and food culture in New Hampshire, NHPR’s Ben Henry went to Hill to find out what the loss of the store means for the town.

7thsettlement.com

A New Hampshire restaurant is banning tips in favor of raising menu prices, saying it will give its staff a salary of $45,000 to $50,000 a year. Owners of 7th Settlement Brewery in Dover say they will no longer accept tips starting Labor Day.

The restaurant's co-founder, David Boynton, spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about the new policy.

Courtesy Robert Granoff

For more than 50 years, Beatrice Trum Hunter wrote about food and nutrition. Before there was Diet for a Small Planet, or Moosewood cookbooks; and long before supermarkets carries organic foods, Trum Hunter was an advocate of natural food and healthy living. Author of nearly 40 books including The Natural Foods Cookbook, Gardening without Poisons and The Great Nutrition Robbery

From Investment Banker to Head Baker

May 18, 2017
Hannah McCarthy for NHPR

As head baker at King Arthur Flour, Martin Phillip makes hundreds of loaves of bread a week. But just over a decade ago, Martin was working in the frenzied world of investment banking in New York City. Virginia and producer Hannah McCarthy visited Martin to get the story behind his rise to head baker.

Julie Jablonski via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pXPSV5

On today's show:

  • Feather is the complicated, feisty central character in a new YA novel called Wishbones, the third novel by Virginia MacGregor, who now lives in New Hampshire. You can join her for the Wishbones launch party on May 23rd at Gibson's Bookstore
  • "The Working Tapes: Taxi Driver" is a raw recording of Studs Terkel's field interviews, conducted while researching what would become his seminal book Working. You can listen to this interview again at PRX.org
  • As head baker at King Arthur Flour, Martin Philip makes hundreds of loaves of bread a week. But just over a decade ago, Martin was working in the frenzied world of investment banking in New York City. Virginia and producer Hannah McCarthy visited Martin to get the story behind his rise to head baker. He’ll be sharing life stories and playing the banjo at the Capital Center for the Arts Salon Series this Saturday, May 20.
  • 10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Anita Shreve

5.1.17: The Cabinet, CSI: Walmart, & Three Squares

May 1, 2017
University of Michigan via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/bzSKmc

On today's show:

Kent Kanouse via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/82awPB

On today's show: 

https://giphy.com/gifs/wvpublic-O2iMIrNhYCs9O/

On today's show:

Foodstuffs: A Mud Season Meal

Apr 6, 2017
Virginia Prescott

I’m in a food rut. I really do love to cook, and love the idea of eating locally-sourced food, but by mud season my culinary motivation—and taste for squash and potatoes—grows stale.

Andy Field via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/c7VEL

On today's show:

Courtesy

The best weather in all of New England right now is inside LEF Farms new $10 million greenhouse. It’s 75-degrees, August-level humid, with fans pushing out a soft breeze.

Operations manager Bob LaDue points out the beneficiaries of this artificial climate.

“That’s mezuna and cress,” he says, naming two of LEF Farms seven varieties of baby greens. “This is part of our spice mix.”

healthline.com

There are many foods you can consume to set yourself on the right course for 2017.  Most do not require cooking.  Perhaps your good fortune will multiply if you combine a few.  Here are some suggestions for twenty-four hours of charm-laden eating.

The New Year is a time to look ahead, but this week we’re looking back. Today a selection of our favorite stories and interviews of 2016. First up, we revisit a conversation about the global disappearance industry that plots, facilitates and documents fake deaths - and the investigators who track them down. 

Then, we'll reminisce about some of the strangest school assemblies we endured growing up.

And  Roman Mars of 99% Invisible looks into the origins of those inflatable tube men you see outside of car washes.

U.S. Department of Agriculture; Flickr

It seems more Americans than ever have food allergies these days, especially kids. However,  a recent report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says questions persist about whether food allergies are really on the rise. For example, the report cites a lot of confusion about what's truly a potentially life-threatening "allergy," which is triggered by the immune system, and what might be an intolerance or a sensitivity, triggered by the digestive system, instead. Meanwhile, new advances in food allergy treatment include patches and oral therapy. 

Writers on a New England Stage: Mario Batali

Nov 30, 2016
David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Today, NHPR and the music hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Mario Batali recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Batali is a celebrity chef, entrepreneur, restaurateur, television star and passionate advocate for simple, regional food. He is author, or co-author, of 7 cookbooks on Italian food, wine and culture, one on Spanish specialties, and three of American recipes, including his most recent Big American Cookbook.

11.27.16: Lots of Leftovers

Nov 25, 2016
Ginny via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4Jo3Sb

Now that the long, stressful, divisive election season is behind us, maybe it's time to talk about something that unites us in pleasure: food. Now, a cultural history of one food that makes everything a little bit better: butter. 

Plus, the resurgence of rainbow sprinkles. Whether you call them jimmies, funfetti or unicorn food, those brightly colored sugary bits that top cupcakes, cookies & ice cream sundaes, are having a bit of a moment. We’ll talk to a food writer from the New York Times about the current funfetti explosion.

"Birds of America," by John James Audubon / Wikipedia

Although it is only, technically, the middle of the month, Thanksgiving is quickly bearing down upon us.  If you have been too caught up in the news to make a grocery list or crack a cookbook, here are some ways to get your head in the game this weekend.

Neogene / Creative Commons/flickr

In the U.S., about a third of all food produced is never eaten.  Yet, one in eight Americans struggle to put food on the table. And it's not just the leftovers in the back of the refrigerator; it happens at every point along the supply chain. We'll hear about a growing anti-waste movement and delve into the environmental consequences of food waste as well possible solutions that may help address issues of scarcity. 


Potluck? Meh. Try a 'Soup Swap' Instead!

Nov 15, 2016
Yvonne Duivenvoorden via Chronicle Books

Winter is coming. It's getting steadily colder and darker, and the nation is still reeling from a presidential election that pretty well split voters down the middle. It may be a good time for a healing bowl of soup, or better yet, a soup swap. 

Politics in Hip Hop, Sleepover Podcast, & Twinkies

Jul 22, 2016
Jenn Durfey via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8VUiJf

Since it's early days, hip hop have critiqued oppressions both political and economic - while flashing their own wealth and bravado. Donald Trump became a symbol of the latter, but recent mentions of him in hip hop have become much less positive during his campaign for president in the 2016 election. 

Plus, a few years ago, one of America's most beloved snack cakes was in danger of disappearing forever - until investors swooped in and saved the day. What started out as a rescue mission quickly evolved into a business strategy, and resulted in substantial changes to the brand. How are we preserving the mythical, magical Twinkie.

Billy Brown / Flickr

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have found more than half of families eligible for a federal nutrition program are not enrolled. 

Roadsidepictures via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8bhv7m

A few years ago, one of America's most beloved snack cakes was in danger of disappearing forever - until investors swooped in and saved the day. What started out as a rescue mission quickly evolved into a business strategy, and resulted in substantial changes to the brand. Today, preserving the mythical, magical Twinkie.

Plus, awareness of mental health issues is on the rise, but it's not limited to people. We'll speak with an expert working with animals to resolve their mental health issues and better understand the inner lives of creatures who don't have the words to express it.

Kate Ter Haar via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8dSmPK

In 2014, Southeast Asian was the new "it" cuisine. Then it was southern Mediterranean, then Peruvian... Now simple, "back to the land" cooking is decidedly on-trend. So why aren't locavores swarming around Native American cuisine? Today on the show, the challenges of branding America's truly native food.

Then, in some of its darkest hours, America has turned to superhero comics for an escape - so have the nation's citizens. We speak to the editor of an anthology exploring the relationship between writers and the heroes who inspired them.  

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.

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