Rabbi Dolinger milked cows and hauled cheese blocks at Grafton

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This is Rabbi Barry Dolinger, who kashered all of Clover. Barry is somewhat of a trailblazer in the Jewish community. Google him if you’re interested. He leads a congregation in Rhode Island and one of his missions is to get better food for the Kosher community in the Northeast. By better he really means better. He won’t certify a restaurant whose labor practices and sourcing practices he doesn’t agree with. So we’re honored to have him as part of the Clover world. And when Barry kashered Clover, it effectively doubled the amount of Kosher food available in the Boston area.

At this point all Clover restaurants, trucks, catering, and Whole Foods food is certified Kosher. You can look at the certification letters at www.cloverfoodlab.com/kosher if you’re interested in learning more, or have a Kosher group you’re looking to feed.

One of the sticking points for some members of the Kosher community (for example: a Jewish school who was considering us as a daily catering option) is our cheese. Although it contains no animal rennet, it is not explicitly branded Kosher. So we embarked on a path to get our cheese certified Kosher. Last month Barry went up to Grafton and participated in the run of a Kosher line of cheese just for us. He milked the cows. He flipped and hauled giant blocks of cheddar. I think he had a ton of fun and may be considering a career change (just kidding). Once the cheddar is aged (1 year), it’ll go into production at Clover.

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First week of evening and weekend hours at CloverNEW

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I remember when Ayr created a fireball trying to put a heater on the first MIT truck. After that we had no heat. We froze a lot.

Our truck on Newbury Street is the first truck that has a heater. It’s awesome to have when you’re making coffee on board the truck on these cool May evenings we’ve been having. Yep, we’re expanding our hours. There will be a Clover on Newbury Street for all your late evening shopping, and twilight graduation-celebrating.

We’ll be parked at Mass Ave and Newbury Street Wednesday to Sunday, 8am-8pm starting tomorrow. You can follow @cloverfoodlab for updates, or check out the Live Menu to see what we’re serving.

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Meet Clover guides

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I think it was Sean Ryan who first expressed hatred for the name “order-taker.” We’ve been trying to come up with a better name for almost 2 years. If you’ve ever experienced a great order-taker at Clover you know that they do a lot more than just take your order.

So we have a new name for order-takers: Clover Guides. And we have a new name for lead order-takers: Store Communications Leads.

If you think you might be great at one of these roles, we’re hiring. Fill out an application here.

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3 new sandwiches testing this week

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Thanks all who joined us for the test of the Sloppy Chris at Kendall the other day. I tried a little active voting experiment and got a bunch of good feedback.

Tuesday we’ll be testing Paul’s carrot sandwich at HSQ.

If you’re a Kendall customer be sure to stop by Thursday. Craig, who runs our prep over there, invented a Ruben sandwich that we’ll be testing Thursday at lunch. And we are going to try to squeeze in a test of Alden’s Golden Oyster Mushroom Sandwich on Thursday too. Keep your eyes peeled.

 

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Potato clouds

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Nuvole di patate, purchased at a gas station in Calabria. I guess they tasted like what a cloud might taste like. Kind of like…nothing?

From this experience I might hazard a guess that processed food in Italy is worse than it is here.

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Fileja

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We are learning that every region of Italy has its own shape of pasta. We kept seeing the word Fileja in Vibo Valentia. Uncle Enzo took us to a restaurant and there were only two choices for pasta, and one was this: fileja. of

I was confused by the use of the letter J, because that letter doesn’t exist in the Italian alphabet. I didn’t even know how to pronounce it. Uncle Enzo told me it’s pronounced like a Y. The region has so many influences. Is the J Greek? Arab?

This type of pasta is made by wrapping dough around a thin stick, kind of like a corkscrew, and it’s said that it was made to resemble a plant that grows wild near Vibo Valentia.

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Uncle Enzo

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This is Uncle Enzo, Enzo’s uncle, known to us on this trip as “Zio.” He’s from Calabria, used to run a restaurant in Massachusetts when our Enzo was a teenager. It’s where our Enzo first realized that cooking could be a real career.

He’s going to be our tour guide for our first full day in Calabria.

We’re going to go the Saturday market in Vibo Valentia (pronounced valen-see-a), then we’re going to go to a traditional Calabrese restaurant, and then he’s going to take us to a town called Pizzo to eat a famed form of gelato called Tartufo.

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Hail the red onion of Tropea

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In Italy they have a concept called Sagra. My friend Francesca took me to a Sagra when I was visiting her family on the coast of Tuscany this past July. A Sagra is a festival where you go to eat one single item of food. The one I went to in Tuscany was a fundraiser for a local sports team – and a celebration of a certain type of fish stew. It was held outdoors in a town square, with tons of wooden tables lined up for you to eat at. There were middle-schoolers in sports jerseys doing volleyball and basketball demos, and Phil Collins music playing over loudspeakers, and there was a lean-to with a teenager inside selling the fish stew and a few other regional specialties.

When I was doing research for our trip to Calabria, I saw that they have a Sagra for the Red Onion of Tropea. This made me so happy. I didn’t think there were Sagre for vegetables. It was a good sign of what was to come.

In Calabria, simple reigns. And the red onion of Tropea is worshipped. There are dozens of products made using the red onion. They’re for sale by the side of the road. There are even organizations dedicated to the promotion and protection of the red onion. If you have an Instagram account and enjoy seeing red onions next to coats of arms: check this out. And the taste? It’s unlike our red onions here. When you slice into them they are white. And they are mild and sweet.

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Peak Organic and Poetry: Beer Launch, 5/5, 6pm-9pm, CloverHUB

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Join us for the launch of Peak’s Summer Session ale, and a poetry reading by Julia Shipley, who writes about farming.

Peak was the first beer we ever poured at Clover, and it’s one of the only organic breweries in the country.

Be one of the first 20 folks to sign up and you’ll get a little gift from the folks at Peak.

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CloverWST opening Weds, May 4, inside WFM Westford

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We’ve always thought that Clover should exist in lots of forms. Clover vending machines. Tiny Clover drive-thru-restaurants. And small Clovers within other operations.

We’ve been planning a little surprise with Whole Foods. As you might know, we’ve been selling grab-and-go products in 4 Whole Foods Markets around the city. The goal all along was to have a mini Clover inside a Whole Foods. A bunch of things came together and here we are, a little earlier than we expected, but ready to go…

Starting Wednesday we’re going to have a new location! It will be our second location in the suburbs, after Burlington. We’ll be open 11am-9pm inside of the brand new Whole Foods in Westford, 160 Littleton Rd. Rob, who was a team leader and lead order-taker at CloverHSQ, will be running that store. He’s great with people and cares a ton about Clover, so go introduce yourself if you’re in the area.

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