Little is known about these beasts, which migrate across our land in a mysterious flow of events, markets and festivals. Today we will observe the street food truck when taken out of it’s natural habitat and allowed to nest within a musical gathering.
First, we see the truck visit one of its regular feeding areas, a local market where it meets to socialise with others of the same species and share food with passers by. This ritual, performed weekly, requires only a brief, ceremonial exchange of money. Scientists believe that this exchange, normally crucial to the survival of the Beast, can be overlooked in favour of interaction with local people and other members of the hatch [noun. a group of street food vendors].
When trying to attract a customer, the menu plays a crucial role. A display of the most interesting and often pleasing sandwiches will secure the Beast a sale, allowing it to feed for another week.
Street Food Trucks at Festivals
During the season street food trucks will migrate all over the country, often joining a different hatch for different occasions. In the height of the summer they will often acquire new territory every week. This is an important time of year for the trucks: it is crucial they build up enough funds to survive the cold winter months, where trade is scarce.
Here, we witness a street food truck settling in at a festival. Much has changed since earlier in the year, and the truck is now trying to attract a greater number of customers: notice the prominent horn of a gazebo where the storage has grown.
The price of attending a music festival is staggeringly high and a huge risk, but achieving a queue here will put this street food truck in good stead and allow it to flourish. Customers at these events will choose their prey quickly, without the careful stalking characteristic of markets and street food events. They are looking for something that can be digested easily, without words that are hard to read when drunk.
The customer pounces, and a toastie is quickly consumed. The patron will then move on to shouting and jumping around with other pack members in front of the alphas on stage.
Many street food trucks will become crepuscular during this time, trading at dawn for breakfast, when the customer is hungriest, and dusk when temperatures drop and many patrons seek out the warmth of a melted cheese sandwich. During the hottest part of the day business is slow, as patrons bask in the midday sun, drink and engage in courting rituals with one-another.
At the end of the summer the surviving street food trucks will return home and begin to attend food festivals. Here cheese and ham toasties, cut into triangles, are used to feed the youngest members of the group while the adults roam the stalls, looking for smoked garlic and flavoured oils. Later the food trucks will gather to share food while agree that the weather “just about held off”.
Join us next time for the exciting journey up the M40 to new feeding grounds, in the centre of Birmingham, as we look further into the behaviour of street food trucks.