[PLUG: COME TO DEWEY SQUARE TOMORROW, 11AM-2PM – THE CLOVER TRUCK IS GOING TOMATO CRAZY!]
I’ve been learning about tomato production. In this part of the country, we know tomatoes are not in season in winter. But most people don’t abstain from tomatoes. Instead we buy the tomatoes in the grocery store. And most of those tomatoes were grown in Latin America, California, or Florida, under horrible working conditions (some farmers have even been convicted of slavery!). The tomatoes have traveled a long way to get here, so they were picked unripe and injected with gases to ripen along the journey.
A few years ago, Backyard Farms decided to change that. They started growing hydroponic tomatoes in greenhouses in Maine. Everyone told them they were totally insane to try to grow tomatoes in a glass box in the middle of winter. We came across these tomatoes early on at Clover. I think Tony Russo told us about them. They’re the sweetest, juiciest tomatoes you can buy this time of year. For the first 5 years of Clover, we only used the cocktail tomatoes for our BBQ, BLT, and breakfast sandwich. Now we’re deepening our partnership with Backyard Farms. They’re selling us their beefsteak seconds, and we’re featuring them everywhere there’s a tomato at Clover. And you know if we have an amazing supplier, we’re going to want to create a seasonal sandwich highlighting it. This time we’re shooting for an All-Maine sandwich. Think deep-fried seaweed, a thick steak of Backyard Farms tomato, and a Sriracha mayo.
If you want to eat the brand new Maine Tomato Sandwich before it hits the menu, come to Dewey Square tomorrow for lunch, and look for the Clover truck. We’re helping out with a Backyard Farms fundraiser for the Boston Food Bank. For a $5 donation to the food bank, you get a tomato sandwich plus your choice of tomato side (soup or salad). We’ll be there 11:30am-2pm, there’ll be all kinds of other fun activities, and I may be dressed as a tomato.