So maybe food trucks aren’t exactly French. Most people will tell you that Parisians rarely eat “on the go,” which is in many ways true, in many ways outdated, and in many ways a flat out lie.
The Art of the Sit Down
The French love their 2 hour lunches: multiple courses, multiple drinks, lots of lounging. You get it – eating in France is an experience meant to be savored. The time in between bites is just as much a part of the event as the food itself. You eat slowly, people-watch, enjoy.
One for the Road Less Traveled
While long sit-down lunches are maybe more “traditional” in French culture, the outdoor marketplace has also long been a staple in the Parisian lifestyle. More recently, street-side crêpes and “un sandwich à porter” (a sandwich to-go) have become popular lunch options for busy city slickers along the cobblestones.
The difference is that a Parisian taking their dish à porter (ah-por-TAY) will typically find a place to eat it without wheels or headlights. Often this place is public seating in an outdoor market, park, or courtyard.
Even with the fast-food invasion, I’ve yet to see a “drive-thru” in Paris.
American (Food) in Paris
Inspired by the rise of French fascination with elevating American cuisine, food trucks have started to make their mark on the city.
“Younger Parisians are really into the New York food scene and the California lifestyle,”
said Jordan Feilders, founder of Cantine California (a popular food truck in Paris), in a recent chat with the NY Times.
A few food trucks have started to pop up around the city of lights – and they’re drawing big crowds. Anything but “fast” food, Parisians are waiting in long lines to get a little taste of the American classics.
So How Do You “Food Truck” Like the French?
No “fast food”
A food truck brings restaurant quality food to a street near you. This is not an excuse to eat MacDo (that’s the French slang for McDonald’s).
Seek out authentic or interesting cuisines
The French adore American food trucks because they promise an authentic “New York” or “California” experience that is otherwise rare in France. Seek out the uncommon in your area to experience food-trucking like the French.
Find a place to sit and eat your food truck treats
Your car doesn’t count. Go enjoy the outside. Denver has many public parks and pedestrian streets with public seating in which to enjoy your meal à porter.
Savor the experience
Harking back to the golden rule: a meal is an experience. Whether your in a restaurant, at home, or at a park, the same sentiment applies. Remember to eat slowly, people-watch, and enjoy.
How do you like to “food-truck?” Do you have some local favorites? Let me know in the comments!