Local NH Food for the Holidays
Fill your table and holiday parties with local food and drink
It’s not quite time to start making New Year’s resolutions, but why not get a head start and resolve to eat (and drink!) locally this holiday season? Many of these items would make great gifts, too.
Local Schmokal: Put a Taste of the World in Your Cookie Tin
Instead of the usual cookies, why not the delicious lebkuchen, German Christmas cookies made with honey and spices? Or maybe the meringue-like pfeffernüsse? You can get them at German John’s Bakery in Hillsboro. Go to Lala’s Hungarian Pastry (603-647-7100) in Manchester for the traditional Christmas kiffles made with cream cheese dough. Also in Manchester, you can find French cookies at Finesse Pastries. Want Mexican cookies? La Mexicana Bakery in Nashua.
–Tom Long and Stacy Milbouer
Feast on Local Food and Drink
You can build a holiday feast around a turkey from Mayfair Farm in Harrisville or Mountain Farm in Bradford or perhaps a venison tenderloin (see below) from Bonnie Brae Farms in Plymouth.
- Eight pounds tenderloin rubbed with a peeled garlic clove and well-larded
- Bunch of fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 400°. Roast the venison on a rack set on top of the fresh thyme sprigs for a nice aroma. Roast for 10 minutes per pound; remove and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Slice, season with salt and pepper, arrange on a platter.
For an appetizer, grab fresh Boursin or Coulommiers cheese from the Sandwich Creamery (in Sandwich, natch) and serve on craquelins, handmade artisanal crackers from Good Bread Co. in Concord. Add a bottle of blush (or the fantastic Karner Blue gin) from Flag Hill Winery in Lee or Cabernet Sauvignon from Jewell Towne Vineyards in South Hampton.
You can stock the bar with a sweet wine from LaBelle Winery in Amherst, dessert ice wine (called Ice Storm) from Candia Vineyards or a craft-brewed beer from Portsmouth Brewery or Woodstock Inn Station & Brewery in North Woodstock. If your taste runs to the more exotic, how about a flagon of honey brew from the Moonlight Meadery in Londonderry and the Sap House Meadery in Center Ossipee or a bottle of hand-crafted rum from the Sea Hagg Distillery in North Hampton?
Set the table in Colonial style with a beaker from Gibson Pewter. At his shop in Hillsborough, second-generation artisan Jonathan Gibson crafts more than 100 different lead-free pieces, including tankards, bowls, baby cups and more.
You can keep the home fires burning with a poker set crafted by blacksmith Franklin Horsley. At his Old Smithy Shop in Brookline, Horsley also fashions kitchen utensil sets. Fireplace tools, trivets and kitchen utensils he said would make great gifts.
You can get chestnuts to roast at Lull Farm in Hollis, which also sells cheeses from Boggy Meadow Farm in Walpole and other NH creameries and its year-round farmstand.
Put a sweet finish on the meal with a special Christmas torte with raspberry mascarpone and chocolate mint mousse or authentic German Christmas stollen at the Ceres Bakery in Portsmouth.
–Tom Long and Stacy Milbouer
Want more? The recommendations above from writers Tom Long and Stacy Milbouer are just the beginning. Check out the links below for even more local food and drink information.
- Local beer: Check out our extensive Beer Lovers’ Guide to NH for information on breweries, brewpubs, homebrewing supply shops and specialty beer stores from across the state.
- Local wine: We have all the wineries and meaderies covered on our Winery Guide page.
- More wine, beer and spirits: The monthly “Libations” column in the “Cuisine” section regularly covers different wines, beers and spirits from (and available in) New Hampshire.
- Tom Long and Stacy Milbouer’s Food Lovers’ Guide covers everything from where to find fresh and local produce and fish to ethnic food stores and farmstead cheese.
- A winter farmers market is a perfect place to pick up fresh and local food for the table. Click here for a list of markets happening around the state.