November 10, 2020

Hail King Brussels!

We wait patiently. And then we celebrate!

I look forward to this time every year. We’re about to launch the Brussels Sprout Sandwich for 2020. Yeah!!!!!

This sandwich is our best-selling seasonal sandwich of all time. Followed closely by the Japanese Sweet Potato.

Why don’t we sell it all year round? It wouldn’t taste as great. This is a subtle aspect of what we do at Clover, and one of the hardest for me to communicate clearly. Food doesn’t taste as great when it’s out of season. Why? It travels further, it’s likely to be older, it’s likely to be harvested at the wrong moment, it’s likely to be grown in a sub-optimal way, or be a varietal that emphasizes durability over tastiness. So we wait patiently. We don’t force it. Brussels sprout season was not at the end of September (despite some email marketing I received that claimed as much). The best brussels sprouts need those cold fall nights. Now is the time.

Tomorrow starting at 11, open our menu online (https://order.cloverfoodlab.com/) and you’ll find the Brussels Sprout available at all of our restaurants.

If you haven’t had the Brussels Sprout Sandwich before, you owe it to yourself to try one. Especially if you think you don’t like brussels. I feel so strongly about this that if anybody isn’t sure about it, please email me. I’ll buy your first sandwich. Make the subject line: “I hate brussels” and I’ll try to change your mind.

I created this sandwich because I’ve always loved brussels sprouts. They’ve been my favorite vegetable since I was little. When I was a kid it riled me to hear people (including our president at the time) make fun of them. President Bush (the first one) thought it was tough or macho or funny or something to talk down about Brassica. He famously “banned” broccoli from Air Force 1 and talked about hating brussels too. Before Bush, Reagan also hated brussels. The 1980s were a tough decade for the Brussels Sprout. The truth is that Brassicas are not only absolutely delicious, they are also super nutritious and make us stronger and healthier when we include them in our diet. 

You might think I’m trying to make a not so subtle political point here. I’m not. And I’m not trying to poke fun. There is a reason we say people “don’t like” or “hate” a certain vegetable. There is visceral emotion there. And most of it is fear.

The point I’m trying to make is more about leadership. I know these 2 men were afraid of those vegetables. And it’s likely because they never accustomed themselves to the taste. Maybe they didn’t have a great first experience. Or – as is this case for many with food fears – they may have learned to be fearful from studying their parents’ reactions as children. But if we’re to lead others, it shouldn’t be from a place of fear. We owe it to the future to lead from a different place, a confidence in our collective ability to improve and make things better.

So let’s celebrate! To new beginnings and to leaders who expect us to explore brussels sprouts and make a better future.

Super quick FAQ:
Q: When is Brussels launching? A: Wednesday 11am
Q: Just the sandwich? A: Also the platter
Q: Boxes? A: Yes. And we can deliver them to your house. The Meal Boxes are amazing. Try them out. Sign up for the Thanksgiving Box pre-order.
Q: What’s this “Clover Club” thing I see on the app? A: : )

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