From scrunchy scorpions in Bangkok to grilled fish sandwiches in Istanbul, savour an al pavement treat.
The apparently grubby veil has been lifted on the ubiquitous food trucks of New York. A freedom of information request by the New York Post has revealed thousands of hygiene violations by street vendors across the city, from the use of mystery meats to systematic disregard for hand soap. A total of 2,517 transgressions have been recorded this year, with one vendor clocking up 14 health offences in two months. When the newspaper tracked him down, he was ripping into an orange “with dirt-caked fingernails”.
In other news, a bear was seen shiftily exiting a wooded area on the outskirts of the city.
As any street food connoisseur will tell you, a hearty al pavement meal always involves taking your stomach into your own hands, hopefully not literally. “I’m pretty certain people know the risks associated with street meat,” says Amanda Kludt, editor of New York-based food site Eater.com. “Will you have some bad apples? Of course. Just pay attention to where and what you’re eating.”
Quite so. Yah boo to the hygiene nitpickers! Ignorance is bliss! Want chefs in clinical whites and dripping in certificates? Then go to a restaurant. But you’d be missing out . . .
A steaming pad thai concocted in under a minute on a street-side hot plate is a culinary must. Watch as the hawker grabs handfuls of bean sprouts and noodles, a scoop of sugar, a pinch of peanuts and squidge of lime and flings them together in a near frenzy. Accompany with a skewer of crunchy scorpions.
Make a beeline for The King of Falafel & Shawarma, a Queens favourite on the corner of 30th Street and Broadway, current holder of the Vendy Cup, a prestigious annual competition honouring the best of the city’s street eats.
Join the local throng at Eminonu port, in the shadow of the Galata Bridge on the southern shores of the Golden Horn, where a small flotilla of bobbing boats (below left) sit moored to the dock, flogging succulent fresh fish sandwiches hot from grills on the deck.
Hunt down The Meatwagon, a cult burger van that has had in-the-know Londoners drooling for the past few years. The van has led a nomadic existence but is now berthed in Peckham Rye.
The home to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temples is also the place for eye-popping street fare. Look out for balut – partially fertilised duck eggs – and various stalls selling smoked snake and satay frogs.
Via The Guardian