Monday, October 10, 2011

Learning about Geography through Food - New Hampshire

Continuing on with learning about different states in the United States through food, Sophia and Olivia made two recipes from New Hampshire. Both recipes were from the Eating Your Way Through the U.S.A. cookbook which is part of the Cantering the Country curriculum.

The recipes they made include: Roasted Corn Chowder and Orange Cake. A third recipe - Whole Wheat Bread - is something they will make during the upcoming week.

Corn and Potatoes

According to the New Hampshire Ag in the Classroom program, one of the chief commercial crops produced in New Hampshire is sweet corn.

"Potatoes were first introduced to the New World in 1719 by colonists arriving in New Hampshire" noted Eating Your Way Through the U.S.A.

Roasted Corn Chowder with corn, potatoes, and orange peppers
in a vegetable stock seasoned with a variety of spices.
It is thickened with dairy-free milk.

Although the girls didn't care for the soup, I thought it was good, dairy-free, vegetarian soup.


When one thinks of New Hampshire, oranges and orange cake aren't typically the first things that come to mind. Why would a recipe for Orange Cake be included in Eating Your Way Around the U.S.A.?

On the website The Food Timeline it states that Orange Cake " one of the few recipes we find specifically connected with the state by title. Recipes do not adhere to political boundaries. They are more closely connected with region and culture. That explains why food historians generally group New Hampshire's foodways with those of the other New England States.

"The orange cake recipe...was enjoyed by many people of the New England region. The recipe and the ingredients were introduced to our country by early English settlers."

Orange Cake.
This simple cake with an orange glaze was enjoyed
by everyone who tasted it.

Another positive aspect of this recipe is that it is dairy-free which means that Sophia can eat it.

Wheat and Honey

New Hampshire is not known as a top producer of wheat. In terms of crops, New Hampshire receives the most revenue from greenhouse and nursery products; home and garden plants; Christmas trees; and hay (for cattle and horse feed).

From a culinary standpoint, sweet corn and potatoes represent the leading vegetable crops while apples are the leading fruit crop.

So, it's questionable why Eating Your Way Through the U.S.A. would include a recipe for whole wheat bread in the New Hampshire section as being representative of that state's food.

That being said, one of the ingredients in Whole Wheat Bread is honey. When we were in New Hampshire in early-September, we purchased some honey. The honey is very dark compared to the honey in Vermont. It will  interesting to taste the difference between the two types of honey from neighboring states.

This week we will be making Whole Wheat Bread and will post a picture here. We're looking forward to making it since we like homemade bread...especially the more "hearty" bread with whole wheat.

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