Johanna is a long time food lover, home cook, and food truck chaser. She blogs about these things and others at Words By Jo and Dining At My Desk. Johanna is also the Community Manager – PR, Social Media Manager, and Blogger for NYC start-up, Betterment. In today’s post, she brings up some great points and we must say we agree with her! Enjoy.
Source: foodspotting.com via NYCFTA on Pinterest
4 Reasons Food Truck Fare Just Tastes Better
Who can we thank for the success of food trucks? Jonathan Gold, Food Writer for Smithsonian Magazine, says “food trucks are the incubators of culinary innovation”. In the pricy, risky, and competitive restaurant business, food trucks provide a platform for testing novel ideas. They can also provide a service of convenience without the tainted legacy of behemoth food chains, tapping into the locavore movement in a way that is both surprisingly traditional and satisfyingly edgy. Most importantly – they make delicious food! Here are four reasons food truck fare tastes better than a dish served in a standard brick and mortar restaurant.
Source via David Blanks on slowfoodnyc.org
I. It’s Slow Food, Fast
Gourmet food trucks combine the hallmarks of the Slow Food Movement – local, exceptionally delicious food that is sustainably grown and sourced – with the fast paced, feed-me-now culture of big city living.
Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, for example, is made using fresh hormone-and-antibiotic-free milk and cream from local farms, cane sugar and egg yolks. Rickshaw Dumplings, along with using sustainable meats and local, organic produce (whenever possible), promises that your dumplings will be ready in the same time it takes you to get your morning latte. Fresh and fast!
Food on wheels is a long-standing tradition. Loncheras (Mexican food carts) and ice cream trucks have been around for decades. Much like the slow food movement, which relies on the collective knowledge of the traditional farming community, the food truck movement looks to the wisdom of earlier cultures: “A rickshaw is one of the oldest forms of transportation that originated in Asia. The word connotes speed and efficiency” (Rickshaw Dumplings).
II. It’s Outside
According to Bee Wilson, the food historian and columnist, we enjoy dining outside because we “feel liberated from the constraints of a table.” Annalisa Barbieri, food columnist for The Guardian, believes the “experience of eating outside is colored by (many) things—smell, anticipation, context, childhood memories, even gratitude.”
Source: StreetGrubSteve via NYCFTA on Pinterest
Food truck fare is picnic-esque. Seeking and finding a food truck has the same anticipation and excitement as planning a BBQ. The sun enhances the taste of food (heat increases the concentration of gaseous molecules), making the smell – and therefore the taste – more intense.
Pleasant memories of outdoor eating play a part in the taste too. If your family vacationed in Maine for example, your fond memories would increase your eagerness for a lobster roll from Red Hook Lobster Truck.
III. It’s Exciting
The thrill of hunting down a meal is a primal instinct. We relish the taste of food we’ve worked hard to obtain — in the same way we enjoy mushrooms foraged from the forest floor or oysters harvested from a rock pool. Tracking food trucks requires experience from prior hunts, knowledge of local conditions, and anticipation of potential hazards.
Truly committed food lovers share their food truck finds as badges of pride – spending time researching when the food trucks will be running (like schools of fish) and planning the outing when conditions are optimal. It’s so more than just a meal.
If you’re lucky enough to attend a food truck rally, the feeling is akin to stumbling across a waterhole on the savannah in dry season – every species imaginable is in abundance!
Culture writer Grant McCracken says: “(customers) are prepared to embrace brands that take a little more effort, especially if that effort rewards them with something that is exciting and rare.”
IV. It’s Specialized
I always take pages-long menus as a bad sign of the meal to come. You know the ones I’m talking about – those eateries that have the laminated menus, sticky with the leftovers from the person before you, with items ranging from pesto pasta, to fish tacos, to sushi. I highly doubt the chef is expert in all of these cuisines… and I question the quality of the produce. Can you really stock all the necessary ingredients for the 42 items listed on your menu and keep it fresh?
Source: StreetGrubSteve via NYCFTA on Pinterest
Food trucks do one thing only – and they only do it well. I know that falafel from Taim Mobile is the real deal, or that my vanilla bean milkshake from The Morris Truck comes from fellow dairy connoisseurs – these people don’t muck around with milk.
And if you’re unlucky enough to have a family of fussy eaters, skip the colossal eatery in favor of a food truck rally. It’s a smörgåsbord of wholesome, delicious food, that’s fast with no fuss. There’s bound to be something for everyone.