The Taco Truck:
How Mexican Street Food Is Transforming the American City,
by Robert Lemon
The taco trucks began life as small mobile food businesses, offering cheap authentic food, following Mexican immigrants around parts of America. They introduced food into American tastes with items like carne asada, chilli con carne, sour cream, guacamole, corn tortillas, maize pancakes, chili beans, and tacos. They were the cheap staple foods that Mexicans had grown up with and loved. I live in Spain and many of these dishes are some of my favorite cheap eats in street markets and tapas bars.
Historically, taco trucks served the low waged, Spanish speaking immigrants during the day at their places of work at vineyards, construction sites, and tomatoe groves. In the evenings they moved to public spaces at the Mexican barrios. They offered a culinary community where Mexicans far from home could interact with each other.
Slowly, Chicago, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Texas, California, and San Francisco became the recipients of Mexican cheap eats, during the late 19th century and early 20th century.
Today there are over 4,000 gourmet taco trucks serving the USA. Mexico and the United States will be forever conjoined. This was a pleasant read and I felt well informed about this fascinating bite of culinary history.
Robert Lemon the author has a PhD in Geography from the University of Texas and is a lecturer and teacher. The Taco Truck, is an academic work. He outlines the history of the taco truck in Mexican culture and how it’s appearance in the USA impacted on American citizens, along with health and social reforms. He took the material from his PHd dissertation “Taco Truck Urban Topographies”. The resulting book was eight years in the making.
I received this book compliments of the University of Illinois Press and Net Galley and chose to review it. The above is my own, honest opinion.