While many people believe that food trucks are relatively new to American culture, “street food” dates back to the 17th century!
In the past, pushcart vendors provided affordable meals, such as hot dogs, sandwiches, pretzels, and meat pies, to urban blue collar workers and businessmen while chuckwagons delivered tasty food to cowboys and miners in the American prairies. While these small carts were often pushed by their chefs, Walter Scott had a brilliant idea in 1872 to transform his covered wagon into a lunch wagon. This revolutionary thinking, along with a recession for sit-down restaurants, kickstarted the food truck business, and when automobiles were invented, ice cream trucks became the common food truck.
Today, a combination of the mobile food industry and food truck vendors help Americans access delicious, safe, gourmet meals amid the coronavirus pandemic. Thank you to all food truck vendors for being part of our American culture!
Photographs from https://ephemeralnewyork.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/new-yorks-old-school-food-trucks-and-carts/