Friday, March 23, 2012

Mobile Food

My last post elicited a number of anonymous impassioned comments taking me to task on my review of Alain Ducasse's Nature. I have chosen not to publish those comments here because I think they would be best read in the context of the complete review. So for a different take on M. Ducasse's book please have a look at what Nikki has to say here where you can also scroll up and read my thoughts.
And while you are over at The Gastronomer's Bookshelf have a look at my latest offering, a review of Anissa Helou's Mediterranean Street Food (here). I've mentioned her blog before where she often discusses something unusual, like a recent post on Middle Eastern sheep and their fat tails (here). One of the things I like about Mediterranean Street Food is the way it celebrates the exuberance of street life and those cultures where the preparation of food, and the sight and smell of food are a not just part of the everyday but very much part of the public domain.
Ready to go in Jame' el Fna, Marrakesh

 Snack time near the spice market in old Delhi.
For the outsider though street food carries with it that hint of danger and the prospect of holiday disaster. I have to admit that we weren't game enough to actually eat any of the food in either of the situations photographed above although we came under a lot of pressure to do so. And I am sure this is not the sort of thing that  is intended when the food trucks finally roll out on the streets of Sydney.
The concept of mobile food is not new although the food truck idea might be the latest trend. Horse-drawn tamale carts worked the streets of Los Angeles more than a century ago. New York City has long had its share of mobile food -for ice cream and hot dog carts see Edible Geography here  and for the results of last year's annual awards for street food see here.
 India is perhaps one of the most exciting places for food let alone street food. For some fabulous photos of  'bicycle based commerce' in Mumbai here and for the top ten places to eat on the street, also in Mumbai see here.
Even Paris has caught the food truck bug with the delightfully named 'Le camion qui fume' which you can read about in French here or in English, albeit with an American slant, here.
Last time I mentioned the French post office style bread box which seems like a very good idea. The cupcake ATM however (which you can read about here) does not have the same appeal.

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