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A fries jumble, frosty treat, spicy pate, and 2 kinds of pie

Email|Print| Text size + By Tom Long
Globe Correspondent / October 29, 2006

We asked some of our Explore New England contributors for their take on the unique tastes of New Hampshire.

POUTINE

In this nation of chain restaurants, where a hamburger in Bangor looks and tastes just like a hamburger in Perth Amboy , N.J., it's great to know that there are dishes that are über-regional. Such is the case with the Franco-American delicacy known as poutine, which can be found in certain locations in New Hampshire, but especially in Nashua, which has a rich history of French-speaking Canadian immigrants. Jackie's Diner on Main Street offers the dish, which is an amalgam of french fries topped with melted Canadian curd cheese and brown gravy. Trust us. It tastes a lot better than it sounds. A family-sized serving is $4.50.

Jackie's Diner

168 Main St. , Nashua

603-889-4957

Monday-Friday 6:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 6:30-1.

TOM LONG

MAPLE FRAPPE

Check this out -- an amazing, frosty drink that tastes like New Hampshire in a tumbler. No kidding, the maple frappes at Parker's Maple Barn are all that. This creamy concoction, this New England ambrosia, is made with fresh milk, vanilla ice cream, and real maple syrup tapped and processed on site at Parker's, a restaurant/maple house situated in a 19th-century dairy barn. The frappe costs $4.25 and is a great companion to Parker's maple baked beans and maple barbecued ribs.

Parker's Maple Barn

1316 Brookline Road, Mason

603-878-2308

parkersmaplebarn.com

Weekdays 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 7-4. TOM LONG GORTON

In Quebec, it's "cretons" or "creton," but by the time it reached New Hampshire in the family recipe books of many farmers and mill workers, it had morphed into "gorton" or "gourton. " No matter what you call it, this savory "poor man's pate" made with long-boiled pork butt or ground pork and spices is "tres bon" and still available in some corner stores, restaurants, and in this case, bakeries, in the state. It's yummy with eggs in the morning -- a kind of New England version of Philadelphia Scrapple -- or spread on bread with mustard for lunch. Think foie gras sandwich , only pig not goose and a lot less expensive. At Crosby Bakery in Nashua they spell it "gorton" (pronounced gaw taw) and sell it by the half pint for $2.95 alongside other local Franco favorites "tourtiere," or meat pie, and salmon pie.

Crosby Bakery

51 East Pearl St., Nashua

603-882-1851

Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m-6 p.m. Saturday 7:30-5. Closed Sunday.

TOM LONG APPLE PIE

What's more New Hampshire than a trip to an apple orchard in the fall? We know a place that has it all: pick-your-own apples, hot cider, tractor rides, gourds, pumpkins, jams, penny candy, candied apples, cornstalks, even fire wood. But the apple of our eye is the pie. Up here, the place to go is Apple Acres. Sam Nassar and his wife , Jean , run the orchard, and Jean makes the pies daily, in two sizes and in many varieties. The crust is just right, and the filling a perfect texture, not too sweet and with just the right amount of cinnamon. A small pie is $8.50, a large one is $12.75. (Trust us: Go for the large.)

Apple Acres

52 Searles Road, Windham

603-893-8596

appleacres.com

Daily until Thanksgiving, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and then again Christmas week. CHRIS MORRIS TURKEY PIE

It's the ultimate comfort food on a cold New Hampshire night: turkey pie, hot out of the oven, served at home but labored over somewhere else, and plucked from a grocer's freezer. Blake's Turkey Pie -- not to be confused with Blake's Turkey Pot Pie, which has vegetables -- is all gravy and white meat and golden crust, not a pea in sight to distract us as we gobble down our all-natural, filling feast. Blake's pies are made by Blake's Turkey Farm in Concord, N.H., and cost about $5 or $6 at many local grocery stores.

Blake's Turkey Farm

178 Silk Farm Road, Concord

603-225-3532

blakesallnatural.com

CHRIS MORRIS

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