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gourmet food vans

Gourmet meals on wheels

There’s a revolution on the go in British street food. Alongside the gourmet farmers’ markets that populate the weekends, the food truck offers a whole new way to enjoy eating on the go. And they’re not alone in their adventures; a growing community of mobile street vendors is carving out its place on the British culinary landscape.

“It is a slow-burning movement,” agrees Petra Barran. “It’s a natural progression really – it has been bubbling away for some time.” An early adopter of the trend, Barran’s own truck, the Choc Star Van, specialises in all things cacao. Making the most of her mobility, she rarely stays in one place for long, moving from one town to the next – frequently staying with fellow chocolate lovers met through her blog or Facebook page. Last year she set up the Eat Street website, connecting the country’s food trucks with one another – and with their customers. Here are mobile foodies selling everything from gluten-free tagine to omelettes and, of course, ice-cream. “One of the best things about the whole thing is the variety. The vans aren’t just white boxes dishing out grease – they have personalities,” Barran says.

Perhaps we should have seen this coming. After all, with every other aspect of British dining – the pub lunch, the street-side café, the market stall – having undergone a steady foodie-fication over the past decade, the lunch van was the next logical step.

In the United States, food trucks have been selling high-quality meals for some time. In Philadelphia, options range from fresh fruit salads at breakfast time to Carribean food at lunch to spit-roast pork for dinner. Los Angeles and New York have seen the trend taken further: trucks specialise in everything from Korean barbecue, sushi and dim sum to buttermilk and shaved ice. And then there are the manifold coffee carts that have established themselves outside train and subway stations. Offering decent espresso and a selection of café-quality pastries, they have pioneered the mobile market.

The Independent: Read more

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