Street food is not a new phenomenon. Believe it or not the Ancient Greeks used to offer small fried fish as a tasty snack. Street vendors populate the streets of Asia and West Africa, serving almost anything from salted corn on the cob to spicy fried rice. We've taken our sweet time but finally Britain has started to embrace the art of street food dining.
We are not talking about a salty, greasy 'not sure what kid of meat this is' burger made alongside the motorway or at a local football game. No, we mean the gourmet artisan food industry which offers locally sourced ingredients and is prepared lovingly in front of your eyes with a smile and a good old conversation.
Artisan street food originated from the classic farmers market in which a few ingenious traders realised the potential profit in combining organic sausages with the stall next door selling organic buns... et voila a first class sausage bap!
Food truck vendors offer exciting global dishes at a price that won't break the bank and guarantee freshness and quality.
The street food phenomenon has taken off in London and with food festivals and markets every day - we're definitely not starved for choice. We've had our fair share of street food and definitely found our favourite. Serving not only truly delicious food, it's economically friendly, charity aware and run by the best couple around!
Rainbo was set up be Ben and Xochi, both passionate about food, who wanted to provide a healthy alternative to greasy fast street food. They chose to serve Japanese dumplings - gyozas. All their food is served from a 1948 converted Ford van, making it hard to miss.
Food for Freedom
An eclectic addition to the Rainbo brand is inspired by their time spent in Nepal with the NGO charity BASE. The focus of this organisation is to rescue children from child labour. 20p from each Rainbo meal goes to this charity. Since collaboration with this charity in 2011, they have rescued 18 children.
All produce and ingredients for Rainbo are organic, fresh and free range. The packaging is biopac and fully recyclable - we can't find anything bad about Rainbo!
They serve Japanese dumplings. Their rotating menu is vegan-friendly and offers a range of gyozas packed with delicious ingredients. It includes:
Tofu and shitake mushroom (vegan)
Tofu and sundried tomato (vegan)
Classic pork and chive
Green tea, sesame and chicken
Green chilli miso and chicken
Beef and sichuana pepper
Lamb, poached garlic and barley miso
Crunch Asian slaw with caramelised chilli peanuts and sweet lime dressing
Cured Kohlrabi with lime and sea salt
Smash cucumber and wakame with pickled walnuts
Edamame with sea salt
With the uncertainty of the recession and the expense of eating out, the street food market really does make perfect financial sense to both the customer and the owner. Starting up a new restaurant costs hundreds and thousands of pounds and most find themselves closing within the first year or two.
Food trucks and vendors allow chefs to exhibit their talent to a genuinely appreciative market for a fraction of the cost. Also arguable even more alluring, they get to engage with the customers, talk about their food and see the customers smile when they take their first bite!
So the street food market appeals to almost everyone; the busy, the foodies, the eco lovers, the healthy and the families! It's clear that Britain has revolutionised its perception of eating and that this new, social, vibrant and exciting way of dining isn't simply a fad but is here to stay!
Get Gyoza-ing down to Granary Square (Kings Cross) for lunch on a Wednesday or Bishopsgate Market (EC3) every Friday.
Guest blog brought to you by: Madeleine Neckar & Alexandra Taylor
London business students, with a love for street food, Maddie and Alex provide their thoughts on the appeal of the street food market.
Street Food.org.uk Blog
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