Food on wheels
Written by Redactie on Saturday 31 October 2015
Food trucks a new phenomenon? Mobile carriages have been defining the street scene for centuries.
If you think about it, 'food trucks' have been defining the street scene for centuries. And so Food Inspiration presents: the evolution of our food on wheels. From the baker’s cart to cheese wagons and from a riding barbecue to a gin-tonic bicycle.
17th century: Handcarts
The first meals on wheels date back to the seventeenth century. The baker, milkman and grocer use to deliver their products to people home’s using horse or dog drawn carts or bicycle-mounted carts. In tandem with increasing urbanisation, carts offering prepared food became more popular. Potato-based pancakes, sandwiches and pre-sliced fruit were sold to hungry city workers.
19th century: Chuck wagons
In 1866, American rancher Charles Goodnight converted an old military wagon to a mobile kitchen to provide cowboys – driving their cattle from Texas to New Mexico – with meals. These chuck wagons mostly prepared meals based on easily preserved ingredients like beans, pickled meats and sourdough bread. The chefs - called ‘cookies’ – were often up as early as three a.m. to stoke the fire, bake the bread and make all the necessary preparations to feed a herd of hardworking men. Aside from being used as chefs, cookies also functioned as barbers, dentists and bankers. Cook-offs using these traditional chuck wagons are still being held all over the United States.
1960s: Roach coaches, jingles and the iron hound
Now: Food truck as culinary experience
Want to read more about food trucks and casualization in food?