A few years ago I spotted a micro "foodie" trend in Germany and today it's slowly starting to take off - food trucks! Today I have a book to share with you all about them and where you can find the best ones in the country. As an American, food trucks are as common to me as the corner coffee shop and went from trend to a staple in mainstream American culture many years ago. It never dawned on me when I moved to Germany that, outside of festivals and Christmas markets, food trucks run by creative cooks were not common at farmers' markets and rare sights in cities. The food trucks at events were (and largely still are) very typical serving beer, bratwurst, pommes and the typical German festival foods which are great but offer little to those longing for a culinary adventure.
Germany is slowly but surely becoming a big foodie culture, especially among young people with the over 35 crowd also catching on. I'm starting to see food trucks pop up in my city and even the typical fests with the typical foods are slowly starting to change with new foods being offered that cater to vegans and others who are just looking to have their tastebuds tickled. That's why I was so excited when my contact at Prestel, a German book publisher, sent me a copy of their newest book called Food Trucks highlighting some of the best of Germany. I think they'll need to do several follow-ups very soon, because we have some great food trucks popping up in Hannover and I hope many more. These mobile kitchens offer a chance for locals to meet cooks, experience the process, meet people, explore different recipes and venture outside of the typical ingredients and the more traditional foods.
In Hannover, we have a food truck called Food Lovers with a couple who have grandchildren running it - she is Japanese and he is Jewish. Together, they fuse their two cultures into their recipes (I snapped a photo on IG here). Each week when I visit, they offer me something new they've just experimented with. Last week it was a new rice pilaf and the week before, a seaweed-flavored salad made only with carrots! Food trucks offer a wonderful way for cooks to do what they love without the overhead and the sheer time commitment of running a restaurant full-time. They also make for great test kitchens for exploring new recipes. Another food truck we have that I love is called Soup Sisters. In fact, their truck has become so popular that they have opened a brick-and-mortar cafe downtown with two more in the work.
On of the sad things about Hannover is our decision-makers over at city hall are not innovative or fresh and are seriously boring. They sink a lot of money into things that are standard and cater to their age group (50+) but little goes to the rest of us, and not into fresh new ideas. For instance, they make it very hard for food trucks to obtain licensing and have a bunch of guidelines that really hold back a lot of people from starting their own food truck business here. I hope that this changes because, as this book clearly shows, the food truck culture in other cities (especially Berlin where I will be traveling to next week with a blog post about my finds), is growing and will quickly leave Hannover in the dust yet there is so much potential in our city as our creative scene is starting to really expand and experiment with new things.
I really like the Food Trucks book because it shows some of the best food trucks currently in Germany with a bio of each along with plenty of mouth-watering photos. It's great to have a book like this in Germany because it sheds light on the food truck industry in general because so many people living here aren't really in tune with this culture of meals on wheels. I also like seeing the trucks bustling with people and conversation throughout the book, it makes me long to be a part of the atmosphere since I find it so inspirational to be around people who love what they are cooking and eating, and sharing meals together. One of my great passions is to come together with those I love to share food, wine and laughter in a relaxed casual environment sans attitude and overly decorated tabletops.
By the way, did you watch the film Chef? It's great, I highly suggest it!
(images: Book cover on table: Holly Becker, all others: Toby Binder, Henning Kreitel, Birgit von Bally, Richard Pflaume)