As a New Yorker, I have been exposed to food trucks a long time ago. We have had everything in trucks. According to some internet historians, New York City started having food trucks way back in 1691.
Well, they were really push carts. But you get the gist. Back in 2004, The Street Vendor Project created the Vendy Awards where New York City’s best street food vendors were identified and given their kudos. In New York, we love street food. Do you know that there are foodtruck tours in New York City? I encourage you to check them out when you go to NY as New York isn’t just about nightclubs, 24-hour everything and museums. One reason we do is because we are working all the time and need food quickly. Often we go from one meeting to another across town, while we eat a hotdog. To some this may sound like a strange way of living. But I love it. Loved it, rather. While there are a ton of food trucks in Los Angeles, you don’t see many people eating and walking. Am I strange that I miss a little bit the hustle and bustle of New York. I miss complaining about the lack of time to eat. But I digress, as my fondness and love of New York is a whole other topic onto itself.
Let’s talk about taco trucks and taco Tuesdays. In 1974, Raul Martinez converted an old ice cream truck into our first taco truck in the United States and parked it outside of an East Los Angeles bar. Apparently his friends thought he was crazy. Yup. He went on to found King Taco and the rest is history. Taco trucks are somewhat ubiquitous now. So much so that it has entered the Presidential election discussions as a point of contention for some weird people. This one individual noted that if Hilary Clinton wins there will be a taco truck on every street corner in the US. I personally do not know anybody that would have a problem with that. But then again, I am a New Yorker who likes having readily accessible, and available quick food around so that I can work myself to death. A funny side anecdote to this, is that in Houston, people can now register to vote at their local taco truck.
The odd thing for me is that tacos have been so politicized. Its a food. Its fast and simple. When I lived in San Francisco, the local taco truck in my neighborhood was actually the best tasting “restaurant” there hands down. I actually miss it as I have not found such a great taco truck in Los Angeles. I know. I need to get around more. Perhaps this individual was thinking that tacos should just exist on Tuesdays. Which is why I also am slightly annoyed at the moniker of taco Tuesdays. Why Tuesdays? Because it is alliterative?
Also, I get annoyed that any food truck event on a Tuesday is referred to as Taco Tuesday. In my building in Los Angeles, we have a food truck every Tuesday that stations itself at our entrance. Each week it is a different truck with different foods. It can be Korean burritos. It can be Cajun hotdogs. However, not matter what it is many will refer to it as Tacotuesday. Huh? My other pet peeve is that grocery stores now serve “street” tacos. How is that street? Because they are tiny? Tacos have always been tiny. Anyway, this is just another illustration of how our language is morphing. Is Taco Tuesday or street tacos already in the dictionary?
Despite my annoyance with the verbiage, I am happy that food trucks exist and find them comforting. If there is street food, there is bound to be a celebratory nature to food in the local community.