What comes to mind when you think of sweaty vendors,tiny carts, newspaper wrapped packets, steal tumblers attached to a rope, people talking all at once, ridiculously catchy slogans ,sticky fingers and that tempting aroma of calories??
There is something about street food that cancels out good judgement. Be it “pani puri” , “99 variety dosa” ,hot dogs, tacos or kebabs. That taste just cannot be replicated in a four walled surrounding! It’s a wonderful concept which provides a means of income to hundreds of people and secretly brings people together. Untouched by social classification, you can be rich or poor, black or white, you are powerless to the grasp of this sinful indulgence.
With our lives getting faster and faster, street food outlets are booming. The idea is timeless but the industry is changing everyday.
Why the makers love it: With more and more entrepreneurs going mobile to reduce their overhead costs, innovation is all around. Mobile restaurants take the business to the consumer. It gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to experiment with location without the fear of permanent losses. Opens up a wider consumer base and ability to get first hand feedback. Flexibility to change menu and reach a wider audience faster. The options have expanded from the traditional rolls and such to items like pizza.
Why the consumers love it : Choices! Economical, flexible portions, Ability to try exotic food or varieties in small portions, Time saving, An excuse to get out in the open and breathe fresh air.
Looks like a win-win but.. This is also becoming a pressing issue for the Health and safety regulators. It is hard to keep a count and ensure the quality of the food. There is a need to find some common ground between encouraging this wonderful culture and ensuring it doesn’t lead to health disaster.
If you’ve been to India or the middle east ; You haven’t really eaten if you haven’t licked your fingers after indulging in:
1. Pani puri ( always end with a sukha and if its not in a tiny leaf bowl served to you with the stuffing covered hands of a local vendor, its not right!)
2. Cheese palak dosa
3. Vada pav
5. Steamed chicken and prawn momos
6. Shawarma with garlic mayonnaise (If you didn’t get it from a fat Arab guy, with a side of salted pickle, while you drooled staring at the large stand he was cutting the chicken from, its just a roll)
7. Saruk (Apologies if that’s not the way its spelt)
8. Fire roasted peanuts
9. Mutton Kababs
I have to stop because its late and I’m hungry.
Ps: Even though Bangalore doesn’t have great street food culture compared to Delhi and Mumbai, I would recommend the pani puri guy in Indranagar right next to Calafornia Pizza Kitchen, Right across the road is a Nandini milk stand and since you have gone all the way, do try the dosa guy next to it, walk ahead , buy yourself some peanuts and acknowledge how right I was !