October 24, 2013

PAW PAWs invade Cambridge and Somerville


Lucia keeps calling the Paw Paw an alien. And I guess it’s sort of alien-y. Custard-y. Mango-y. Avocado-y.

Those are all descriptions I’ve heard in the past few days. As you may know if you’ve been following us recently, I’m really fired up about the Paw Paw. I don’t know if there is a single person who has run into me who hasn’t had a ripe (ready-soft and browning) Paw Paw thrust into their hand.

Today I kicked things off by giving a Paw Paw to George Howell, one of the world masters of coffee who was giving a talk at our Burlington restaurant. It was great with the cider donuts Michael had made, and the exquisite coffees George was sharing.

I made the good folks from Whole Foods taste our Paw Paws at the HUB. We’re working on some fun stuff together.

There were some folks from another fast food chain in town. Yup, “taste the Paw Paw!”

Then I went on a Paw Paw mission this afternoon. I dropped some for Ana Sortun (Oleana), but she wasn’t home. Then some for Jason Bond, who also wasn’t home. But his Sous Chef is from Ohio, and he was in the know. I hit East by Northeast and thrust some on Philip. (If you don’t know ExNE go now, it’s one of my favorite restaurants in the city, a little underrated secret of East Cambridge/ Inman Square).

I stopped by Backbar and met Sam. Michael Sutton, our Manager of Clover BUR (Burlington) told me to stop in and say hi. Sam was really excited, so I gave him 3. He asked if I had time for a drink. Who doesn’t have time for a drink when it’s at backbar? So I had a 4pm Paw Paw cocktail. It was awesome. Sort of thick mouthfeel. Sam made up a Daquiri with it. He wasn’t sure about how it showcased the flavor, and for Paw Paws 2 and 3 (I gave him some extra) he went to the blender to work a syrup. But I liked the Daquiri. It was sort of dry, in contrast to everything else Paw Paw I’ve had which is sweet. And the lime was great with the Paw Paw, if masking the flavor slightly. The texture was awesome.

I saved a couple for Keith, at Bergamot. We’ve gotten to know Keith and Servio over the past few months and they’ve become some of my favorite restaurateurs. Keith’s reaction was awesome. He smelled it, touched it, tasted it, and tasted it. And then wanted to share it with everybody in his kitchen.

On my way out I had a quick thought: Tony Maws just opened a place around the corner. I’d never met him, but I just know that anybody who loves food is going to be excited to try a new taste. How often does this happen in our lives? And this flavor is native to our land. It’s like this amazing mythical thing.

There was a guy coming out and I asked if Tony was around, and it was Tony. He was in a hurry heading out with his family. I introduced myself quickly and shoved a Paw Paw in his hand. Hope you and your family enjoy it Tony!

This year I bought the last 60lbs from a Massachusetts Paw Paw farmer. I’m going to try to work with him next year to plan ahead. We’re going to have to have a Paw Paws all October next year.

If you haven’t gotten in on the Paw Paw excitement yet you can try it in the form of a soda at Clover restaurants, $2. Now until they’re all gone.


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