March 24, 2010

French fries nutritionals

I still owe you all the nutritionals on the Egg and Eggplant and the soy BLT. I’ll get those up soon, but to tide you over, here are the french fries.

We sent out a couple samples of our fries, cut, soaked, drained, fried, salted just as we always do. Besides being cut on the truck, our fries have a few other unusual qualities. When Rolando and I got started trying to figure out how to make french fries we knew they weren’t going to be frozen. Most fries are called “Sysco fries” in the industry, Sysco is a large foodservice supplier.

We started with the methods most folks use (think Five Guys, good French Bistros). This involves par cooking the potato. We’d heard certain people spend a lot of time bragging about their oil, so we thought that cracking this thing was going to be all about finding the right oil.

We found instead that, like almost everything, it’s about the starting ingredients. In this case: the potato. In my opinion oil matters very little. First you need to get the best potato, then the question is how fresh/ how do you cut, after that temperature and time, finally, very last on the list is oil.

I remembered some of my favorite fries of all time were from a street vendor in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The funny thing was, as I thought about it, he cut them there and didn’t par cook the fries. Par cooking means cooking at a lower temperature before a later cooking phase. In the case of fries potatoes are often par cooked with a low temperature oil. After this phase they are cooked through and limp and oily. Then later (sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes an hour) they are cooked at a higher temperature. This results in a well cooked potato that is very crispy on the outside.

We followed the lead of the Halifax street vendor. Our fries are not par cooked. We cook them once at a high temperature. I suspected this meant that the fries would have less oil in them at the end, and the tests prove that out. Theory holds that the steam coming out of the potatoes holds the oil at bay. In N Out also cooks once, but they cook at a very low temperature for a very long time. This has the opposite effect. Their fries are saturated with oil.

Clover fries:

400 kcal

19 g fat

6 g protein

50 g carbohydrates

UPDATE: I was getting a ton of flak for the graph format. For the record, It’s not “wrong” to show a graph with a Y-axis minimum other than zero. It’s not super common in engineering etc., but in the business world it’s very common when differences between measurements vary by less than 10 or 20% of the total (making it hard to see the difference on a zero axis).

That said, I can see that the previous chart was misleading. In my defense, I wasn’t meaning to mislead anybody! I was giving this new graphing software: OmniGraphSketcher a spin. If you can get past the name it’s pretty cool software. Basically does everything I always wanted graphing software to do, except that it doesn’t support a bunch of advanced stuff I’d like. I went with their default representation of the data. Changed now for clarity.

Recent Posts

May 14, 2024
About a year and a half ago, at an open-to-the-public food development meeting at Clover, we blind taste-tested a new plant-based pulled pork. This wasn’t a totally new thing for us to do—as a company with a climate mission, we tend to get a lot of samples of plant-based everything, and we love trying all of them. We’ve tried mycelium-based mushroom meats, wheat-and-soy nuggets, and burgers made from kelp. One bite in, and it was clear this pulled pork was special.
May 8, 2024
Squeaky paneer, mint cilantro chutney, chaat, and our first-ever collab with a local chef. Remember when Pushpir came into the kitchen and schooled us on Northern Indian food? That was 2013. A different CloverHSQ than the one you visit today (back then we were at 7 Holyoke St, across the street from where Kevin and his team now serve you). I still remember the smell of the cilantro, mint, jalapeños, and orange juice Pushpir was blending in the Vitamix. We hadn’t smelled that exact combo before…
April 16, 2024
This week has been a flurry of preparations as we kick off the 2024 food truck season. We did an event at Tufts over the weekend, in a few days we’ll be selling breakfast and lunch at a conference at the Media Lab at MIT, and this weekend we’ll be pulling up to a private party with sandwiches and appetizers.
March 27, 2024
Every year, just after Valentine’s Day, we start getting the same question in from customers: Will there be a Passover Box this year? Sometimes the pleas are more direct, sometimes more colorful. The glories of the vegetarian Chopped Liver are a common theme. This year, Sarah, an NYC-based friend of mine said she’s spent so much time thinking about the emails describing last year’s box that she’s DRIVING UP TO BOSTON to claim one!
February 15, 2024
We have a new sandwich out everywhere today. It’s a take on a Buffalo Chicken sandwich. We use celery root, aka celeriac, this nobbly, gnarled joy of a winter vegetable. We cut it into planks, batter it with panko, and fry it. We’re getting ours from Norwich Meadows Farm, a farm in NY state that’s known for creating really flavorful organic veggies using a cool irrigation system. 
February 7, 2024
For the week of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be delivering these Making Whoopie (Pie) Kits 😉. They have everything you need to make whoopie pies — more specifically, Chris’ favorite oatmeal cakes with beet buttercream frosting. You’ll also get a scoop for making the perfect size pie, and a roll of sugar cookie dough for more sweet fun.
January 18, 2024
Pull out your plaid and cue up the bagpipes because it’s Clover’s third-ever celebration of Burns Night, an introduction to Scottish food/drink/music/poetry and a reason to raise a glass during this dark and cold month! You may be asking yourself, what is Burns Night?
January 17, 2024
Chances are you’ve tried the new Clover Bowls. We’ve been running them since the Spring. After a few tweaks, we landed on a roster we love: the Mediterranean Bowl, the Verde Rice and Bean Bowl, and a Rotating Seasonal Bowl. The bowls have transformed our menu – Josh, a Kendall customer, recently wrote to us, “The beet poke bowl is the best new item I’ve tried at Clover in years. I love the freshness and bite of the mix of flavors.” We’ve also heard some very good suggestions about how to make them even better…
January 3, 2024
Meet the Veggie Monster Meal Box! Some of you are subscribers to our Friday newsletter about plant-based cooking. Now… that newsletter has spawned a meal box! Pack your fridge with everything you need to make an entire week of vegetable-based meals. Think hearty pot pies; sweet and spicy maple-roasted squash tacos; bowls packed with…
December 20, 2023
New Year’s Eve is no time to be buried in the kitchen, so we pack our NYE Box with Clover fan favorites that come together fast and encourage a night of Finger-Food Feasting. Can you think of anything better than digging into bubbling hot Brussels Sprout Cheese dip on a freezing cold Boston night? Or scooping up our bright nutty Romesco sauce as the clock ticks to midnight?  And our breakthrough Carrot Lox (probably the best thing to come out of our food dev in 2023) will have you resolving to spare more salmon in the year ahead.
December 19, 2023
Stop by Clover today (Tuesday 12/19) and when you order a Brussels Sandwich on the app, we’ll give you $1 off our new chocolate chip cookie! It’s a gift from King Brussels, on his final day in the Clover Kingdom. Use this link to get yours!
December 16, 2023
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a friend who loves Clover? We have online gift cards! You can specify a time that you’d like the card to hit their inbox – and there’s a new feature that lets multiple people pool money to send a card to one person. Pretty cool!