Street Food seems to be the “in” thing. Blogs from Thailand make me salivate……..all that wonderful, cheap street food, without having to wait for some tired waiter or grumpy chef to attend to your needs! A feast and a buffet spread before you endlessly!
And now everyone seems to be singing the praises of food trucks in the US and Canada – imagine having all that choice, without the expense, to be able to sit on a park bench or a beach and picnic and feast.
Just about anything can make my feet itch, and tales of foreign foods can do it in half the time. Street food here in the south of Tenerife is mostly limited to fiesta or Carnaval time, but when we do get it, believe me, it is to.die.for, skewers of pork with onion and peppers, chunky slabs of tortilla española, luscious slices of those Spanish staples chorizo and Serrano ham, and this mountainous and mouthwatering platter of stewed goat meat I woofed down last Sunday at the Romeria in San Cristóbal de la Laguna……oh, the plastic utensils didn’t really work, and they laughingly gave me a wad of napkins so I could eat with my hands – now that’s what I call finger food!
Yep – you noticed the wine? It was rich a smooth and perfect with the food, and came from the family vineyard. This is not so much a truck as a stall. They appear overnight whenever a celebration is due ( and, happily, there are lots of celebrations here!), and this one was a family business. This, including local potatoes and chunks of crusty bread was around 8 dollars.
The other stalls which spring up are the candy stalls. As well as the usual factory-produced stuff, those trays you can see are turrón – not quite the sweetmeats you know from Christmastime, but hard candy topped with nuts of different kinds……not exactly the kind of thing my teeth need right now!
Last Sunday, however, was an eye-opener for me and “street food” took on a whole other meaning. More about the Romeria soon, but briefly it involves blessings, a procession, the feast day of a saint whose best endeavors are entreated to protect the current crops, and thereafter much feasting and partying. I’d had a decent spot, being able to get the church into a lot of the shots, which made up for the greyish kind of day and the slight chill in the air. La Laguna is not only in the north, but is also a good bit higher than where I live. After a couple of hours my feet were beginning to get a touch weary, and so I made my way back along the procession to its endings, instead of waiting for it to pass me by, and this is where I discovered barbecues in motion!
At a Romeria food is always given away, and I’d watched potatoes, hard-boiled eggs and fruit being thrown into the crowds all afternoon, and once bocadillos (sandwiches made with crusty, chunky bread), but nothing like this. There were several of these – well, what word do I use?! A decorated vehicle in a procession in England is called “a float”, but that seems far too mild a word for these beautifully decked-out meals on wheels. Some were clearly motorized under the camouflage, trucks underneath the drapperies, and others were handcarts, what they all had was a barbecue fixed to the back, where sausages and pinchos (skewers of meat and vegetables) were sizzling merrily away.
The aroma was amazing as the flavors mingled and rose into the warm afternoon air, and crowds pressed around the vehicles eager not to miss out. Goodness knows how long it took them to complete their walk. I was long gone by then, but next year I will remember to have a bit less at the food stall so I can sample real street food!