A modern-day food truck is not merely an ordinary taco truck one might find at a construction site. In 2009, New York magazine noted that the food truck had transcended into a proper venue for aspiring chefs to launch their career.
The gourmet food trucks’ today offer a variety of foods to suit everyone’s taste buds.
Often focusing on limited but creative dishes at reasonable prices, they offer customers a chance to experience food they otherwise may not.
Finding a niche seems to be a path to success for most food trucks. While one truck may specialize in outlandish burgers, another may serve only lobster rolls. Food trucks are now even Zagat rated.
Tracking food trucks has been made easy with social media like Facebook and Twitter, where a favorite gourmet truck can be located at any moment, with updates on specials, new menu items, and location changes. In fact, it could be argued that social media was the most significant contributing factor to the breakthrough success of the gourmet food truck.
In the United States, the Texas chuckwagon is a precursor to the American food truck.
In the later 1800s, herding cattle from the Southwest to markets in the North and East kept cowhands on the trail for months at a time. In 1866, the “father of the Texas Panhandle,” Charles Goodnight, a Texas cattle rancher, fitted a sturdy old United States Army wagon with interior shelving and drawers and stocked it with kitchenware, food and medical supplies.
Food consisted of dried beans, coffee, cornmeal, greasy cloth-wrapped bacon, salt pork, beef, usually dried or salted or smoked, and other easy to preserve foodstuffs. The wagon was also stocked with a water barrel and a sling to kindle wood to heat and cook food.
Another early relative of the modern food truck is the lunch wagon, as conceived by food vendor Walter Scott in 1872. Scott cut windows in a small covered wagon, parked it in front of a newspaper office in Providence Rhode Island, and sold sandwiches, pies, and coffee to pressmen and journalists. By the 1880s, former lunch-counter boy, Thomas H. Buckley, was manufacturing lunch wagons in Worcester, Massachusetts. He introduced various models, like the Owl and the White House Cafe, with features that included sinks, refrigerators, and cooking stoves, also colored windows and other ornamentation.
Later versions of the food truck were mobile canteens, which were created in the late 1950s. These mobile canteens were authorized by the U.S. Army and operated on stateside army bases.
Mobile food trucks, nicknamed “roach coaches” or “gut trucks,” have been around for years, serving construction sites, factories, and other blue-collar locations. In big cities of the U.S., the food truck traditionally provided a means for the on-the-go person to grab a quick bite at a low cost. Food trucks are not only sought out for their affordability but as well for their nostalgia, and their popularity continues to rise.
When the construction business drying up, that lead to a surplus of food trucks for sale. Chefs from high-end restaurants were being laid off due to the recession. Experienced cooks were being let go from restaurants, and the food truck seemed a clear choice to continue with their profession.
Food truck cooks are being hired for special events, like weddings, anniversaries, birthday parties, and even corporate events.
Food truck rallies and food truck parks are also growing in popularity in the United States. At rallies, people can find their favorite trucks all in one place and as well provide a means for a variety of diverse cultures to come together and find common ground over a love for food.
On August 31, 2013, Tampa hosted the world’s largest food truck rally, with 99 food trucks attending.
In the 2014 American comedy-drama, Chef, a high-end chef has a kitchen meltdown and rediscovers his passion for cooking while driving and operating a simple food truck across America.
The popularity of food trucks leads to the creation of associations that protect and support their business and rights.
Content provided by Wikipedia.
Photos provided by Mobile Cuisine