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The food truck craze that’s rapidly spreading across the US has ignited a similar boom in Europe. Just recently Paris, France issued licenses for about 50 food trucks in various locations around the city. Previously trucks were limited to vending at events and festivals only.
Parisians can now enjoy delicacies like tacos, pulled meats, and burgers cooked fresh on the streets of the City of Light.
PARIS — This French city is long hailed as the gastronomy capital of the world, blessed with Michelin-starred restaurants, celebrity chefs and top culinary schools where people learn to appreciate the finest delicacies since childhood.
But the notoriously food-fussy Parisians have now developed an appetite for an unlikely culinary offering — food trucks selling gourmet burgers, tacos and pulled pork — to the chagrin of French officials, who reluctantly began to sanction them.
It’s more than a fad or unfair competition for traditional cafes.
“Food trucks are a new culinary trend and must get real recognition as part of French gastronomy,” Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said.
Authorities this year gave the green light to a select number of food trucks to trade regularly at 40 designated areas of Paris for one year beginning in July. The successful 56 trucks were chosen from 158 applications, based on food quality, respect for the environment, looks, plus the potential to create jobs.
That’s good news for the hungry and patient customers of Californian Kristin Frederick, 34, credited with starting the trend here.
Four years ago, the graduate of the prestigious culinary school Ferrandi in Paris began selling gourmet burgers — such as the “Bleu” with Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese, caramelized onions and port wine sauce — from her itinerant Camion Qui Fume (Smoking Truck), inspired by the thriving food truck scene in her native Los Angeles.
“I knew I wanted to do a food truck, but I had never cooked a burger in a professional setting,” she said. “And at the time, there was no restaurant specialized in gourmet burgers in Paris.”
At the time, municipal laws restricted such food trucks to special events, such as concerts, fairs, street markets and privately owned spaces. That made truck owners rely on social media and food bloggers to advertise their next stop to the growing crowd of curious Parisian street-food fans.
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