April 5, 2016

Death to the chickpea fritter as you know it

Ayr had an idea early this year to tear up some of our core items (Chickpea Fritter, Egg and Eggplant, BBQ Seitan). Take the chickpea fritter, our version of falafel. You might think it’s perfect. And you would be kind of right. We have improved almost every aspect of the sandwich over time. The bread is now baked in house using local grain, the pickled veg brine has changed, the falafel recipe has changed, the hummus recipe has changed. Our sourcing has improved too. We use organic Montana chickpeas for the hummus and falafel, local organic carrots (when we can get them), local organic cabbage (when we can get them), red onions (hardly ever local), local pickles. Our cucumber-tomato salad is made of local cucumbers (when we can get them, other times they’re from CA or South America), and local tomatoes year-round (Maine greenhouses during the winter, Massachusetts field tomatoes in the summer).

But the components (hummus, falafel, pickled cabbage, carrots, onions, tahini) are the same year-round. What if the chickpea fritter changed several times per year based on stuff coming out of our Massachusetts farms?

Andrea from Valley Malt in Hadley called us up to let us know she had a big harvest of black beans (you might remember her – she grew 9,000 pounds of black beans a few years ago and inspired Enzo to create the Venezuelan Plantain Sandwich.) Chris worked on developing some black bean fritters and a black bean spread. He made a cilantro sauce instead of tahini. And instead of the “pickle surprise” at the bottom of the sandwich (our two Royal Crown pickles) there are two pickled jalapeños (not local or in season, sorry). We’re calling it the Hadley falafel in honor of the land where the beans were grown.

We’re sending a test batch to Kendall tomorrow for lunch. If you’re one of the ones to try it, tell us should this sandwich exist? Did you finish it? Would you pay money for it? Would you eat it instead of the current chickpea fritter? Would you enjoy it enough to tell a friend about it?

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