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Culinary trivia: Clover’s new ‘conversation cards’ test customers’ gastronomic knowledge

Clover recently debuted “conversation cards” on tables at its fine-dining restaurant in Spokane’s University District. (Adriana Janovich)
Clover recently debuted “conversation cards” on tables at its fine-dining restaurant in Spokane’s University District. (Adriana Janovich)

How much of a foodie do you think you are?

Next time you dine at Clover, you can put your culinary knowledge to the test.

The fine-dining restaurant in Spokane’s University District recently debuted a collection of “conversation cards” to get people talking.

Aims are also to challenge customers’ food-related vocabulary and help them expand their knowledge.

“You’ve got to understand what it is” you’re ordering and eating – and what the restaurant is all about, said owner Scott McCandless. “That’s what we’re trying to do: be approachable and educate.”

To that end, he’s been offering classes on salad dressings, soup-making, cocktails and marinades, brines and rubs. Check Clover’s events calendar for upcoming classes at cloverspokane.com/event_calendar (there, you’ll also find info about special beer and wine dinners by executive chef Travis Dickinson).

The trivia cards pose questions such as:

What is gremolata? (An Italian condiment)

What is bagna cauda? (A “hot bath” in Italian, the dish is similar to fondue.)

What is confit? (A French technique for preserving meat in fat.)

What is scrapple? (Pork scraps combined with cornmeal and formed into a loaf.)

Questions correspond with menu items at Clover. They discuss the use of fresh juice in cocktails and when to shake versus stir a libation. They also explain Clover’s peppercorn melange and why the restaurant prefers to use grass-fed beef.

Another card simply lists Clover’s purveyors, including farms and ranches from Washington, Idaho and California.

According to McCandless, they’ve been a hit. In fact, he said, they’ve struck so much of a cord with customers that Clover can’t seem to keep them on that tables.

“People keep taking them,” he said.

Clover is 913 E. Sharp Ave. (509) 487-2937. cloverspokane.com