Check out www.foodtruckitalia.it – the new website dedicated to providing all information on how to get your idea started.
Mobile dining is not new in Italy. I remember going to village festivals and seeing the 3-wheeled Ape trucks parked on the side selling fruits, candy, local delicacies and other treats. A food offering practiced throughout the country for generations. But the traditional 4-wheeled food truck phenomenon and the rise in traditional and modern street food has been growing increasingly.
I surmise the interest in 4-wheeled food stalls is mainly due to the fact of the increase in American food TV series airing in the country. But, the inspiration could also be coming from northern Europe. We all know the Northerners – like Denmark, Netherlands – have been offering foods in food trucks for quite some time. In addition, we know that this route is more economical than the high prices of rent for a brick and mortar, allowing the ability to offer low price foods to the public.
Street food dining is continuing to rise in Italy. With last month’s food truck festival and Chef Rubio’s ‘Unti e Bisunti’ TV series, street ‘cuisine’ is hot. Being both affordable and delicious; the fun and sometimes greasy, traditional and sometimes modern treats are hitting Italian taste buds in full force.
Italian street food is inspired by what was once considered poor people’s food: affordable and filling. Traditional Roman dishes, for example, originate from the creativity of the peasants, or other non-wealthy folk, making palatable meals with scraps. Examples include coda alla vaccinara and coratella.
And today, another new modern street food eatery has opened in Rome. As you can tell from its name, ‘Fries, Delicious Potatoes’ serves up Italian style, hand cut fries in paper cones.
‘Fries’ uses only fresh, quality ingredients: sustainable farmed potatoes, hand cut and fried in clean, clear peanut oil – intended to highlight the fresh potato flavor with a less oily taste, while minimizing cholesterol intake. The crispy treats are served in paper cones along with the option of house made ketchup or 20 more delicious dipping sauces; including curry, mayonnaise and more.
Fries, Delicious Potatoes recently opened June 2014 in Ostia (a coastal town outside of Rome) and in Rome on Porta Cavalleggeri in July. More locations to open in 2014 include: Viterbo, Avezzano and Emilia Romagna.
Fellow Food Travelers: There are a lot more of modern street food establishments around the country. I’ll try to share some with you; but in the meantime, get out there, use your nose and discover.
Sources: Italia a Tavola
Recently, Starbucks confirmed its plan to open up more shops in Europe, including Italy. Of course, this news comes with a lot of resistance by local traditionalists. The main commentaries basically all ask the same question: “Why would Starbucks try to compete in the land of espresso?” Well, let’s think about this.
What is the Starbucks product? The answer is simple: Starbucks is not going into Europe to replace the daily, morning ritual. Heck no. They are not going in to offer espresso where espresso is offered in abundance . Not at all. Wake up, peoples. Starbucks is not selling espresso. Starbucks sells iced lattes, ‘frappuccinos’ and other novelty drinks. So, yes, of course this is a smart business decision.
Starbucks has something to offer Italy – and the Italians want it. Being the American in Italy, many times friends, and friends of friends, talk about the desire to walk the streets with a large iced latte like Carrie did in ‘Sex and the City’. I don’t doubt that Starbucks will succeed in Italy – not one bit. Like McDonald’s, Starbucks will give Italians that novelty product they all seek. And, like McDonald’s, they will succeed.
Also, I think it’s time an American doughnut shop take another stab at Italy. (Dunkin’ Donuts used to have a location in Rome.) Because in addition to wanting the American iced lattes, people want a real “Homer Simpson” pink frosted doughnut with colorful sprinkles.