Saturday, March 21, 2009
Invasion of the Roach Coach
Food trucks (roach coaches?) are part and parcel of daily life in the US. The closest equivalent of those were roadside street vendors with pushcarts or small stalls that sold beverages such as tea, coffee, fruit juices to snacks like chaat etc. With a growing workforce that is dealing with increasing mobility, long commutes, extended working hours, it was simply a matter of time before the "mobile" food stall became part of the Indian daily life as well.
Last week, as I was driving to work, I realized that I had never noticed the number of mobile food stalls that were all around. Small vans with mobile kitchens are out in the morning churning out hot masala chai and south Indian coffee along with a full south indian breakfast. The vans are back during lunch with an assortment of snacks and full meals and catering to the hundreds of thousands of office workers.
The concept is pretty much similar between the Indian and the US roadside food services. The big difference is the highly discernible palate of an Indian. Indians are very choosy and selective about their meals and it is interesting to see the mobile food industry evolve to cater to the Indian market - with all the flavors and choices that a typical consumer might want!!