Food trucks are currently a popular form of providing the public with a variety of meal choices. If you have ever visited a food truck fair or event, you will understand exactly what this means. Whether you live in California or Florida, Main or Texas, you are sure to find a food truck that caters to your taste in food. From mainstream American meals to Jewish, Mexican and everything in between, food trucks have it all and serve it up in unique combinations and variations.
In the Beginning: Early Food Trucks
The modern food truck is a progeny of the 21st century. Yet, it does have roots in an America of an earlier age. In the late 19th and early 20th century, street food was served up to immigrants who came to America to make a new life for themselves. Instead of food trucks, the sellers hawked their wares out of food carts. They sold bagels, knishes and savory pastries to workers as they made their way to and from their jobs.
Such food carts were hardly glamorous. They were basic wood and metal structures. No promos or glossy and colorful signs graced their sides. In general, they were small wheelbarrows that peddlers pushed in their neighborhood or those near workplaces, factories and sweatshops. Beside fast lunches for workers to take with them, they also sold various ingredients to Jewish families.
Street food became an acceptable part of the immigrant experience. They remained a cultural matter. Some fed the Irish immigrants; others catered to the interests of the Jewish who arrived. Those who lived on Manhattan’s Lower East Side enjoyed the exchange as well as the adorable and quick meals.
Street Food in the 20th Century
Over the years, street food gained a somewhat unsavory reputation. Some push carts and wheelbarrows evolved into more traditional venues such as diners, delis and cafés. They remained places, however, where people could grab a fast lunch. Some retained their Jewish roots along with the cultural dietary restrictions.
By the late 20th century, the wheelbarrows became food trucks. Some were not as appealing as others. However, many, such as those operated in Florida by Moty’s Grill, provided food that was more than just edible and fast. It was more than deli. It was real food prepared with speed. Yet, it was also healthy. The ingredients were fresh.
Food Trucks in the 21st Century
In the 21st century, street food has emerged as a staple of American culinary culture. The food, including kosher, Mediterranean, Mexican, Asian and those of other cultures, is now available in ways that does their ethnicity proud. At Moty’s Grill and other food trucks, the best is still to come as the food truck culture continues to make its presence and quality known across the entire United States.