Street Food Festivals For March 2014

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Part of the thrill of a new year is the schedule of street food events that have been planned by food experts around the country – or even elsewhere in the world.

One of the highly-awaited street food events happens in Miami during the whole month of March. The event is known as the Calle Ocho Festival with a major 24 block street carnival party with live entertainment and street dancing.

New York has several street food events throughout the month of March such as the Children’s Food Festival in Bryant Park on March 1 and 2, the Smorgasbord which is a flea food market that ends in March and features over 50 food vendors, and the NY Vegetarian Food Festival, among many other events in the Big Apple.

Houston is hosting the International Street Food Festival also on the month of March which will feature dozens of food vendors and other events

If you happen to find yourself in the north of England for the month of March, Kendal Festival of Food is a 2 day event that starts on March 29. It promises to be a weekend of non-stop food offerings with live bands, culinary experts, and art shows.

Since St. Patrick’s Day is also celebrated in the month of March, there will be several events that include street food, parades, and cultural activities in New York, and other major US cities, as well as in places like Budapest which will be held on March 17 at the Szabadsag Square.

The Appeal of Street Food Festivals Compared To Buying From Your Regular Food Trucks

It’s in the air. It’s the smell of different types of foods, the excited buzz among food vendors, and competitive pricing in street food festivals that can make a huge difference from buying from the same food truck every day.

Instead of limited choices, a street food festival will have familiar brands and new food ideas to perk up your tired taste buds. Some festivals support worthy causes so it will serve a dual purpose to patronize the events. For example, the San Francisco Street Food Festival which does not take place in March but in August supports entrepreneurs and aspiring chefs. It is organized by a non-profit group called La Cocina and this year, they plan to offer a challenge to all food vendors similar to a food competition reality TV show. Exciting? You bet!

Can Cairo Be The Next Flavor Of The Month For Street Food?

Cairo, Egypt may be in the throes of crippling political problems but their street food is something hard to turn your back on. Cairo street food is being called out by CNN as the next possible global trend for street food because Cairo street food has just received a make-over by a gourmet chef in Egypt, making it accessible, affordable, and delicious.

Chris Khalifa who owns Zooba Café started to create gourmet street food elevating it several notches above the street fare and finally getting the attention Egypt’s street food deserves. Khalifa calls his gourmet street food, “art” because ordinary food like koshari and the baladi bread are dressed up for fine dining experience. If his gourmet street food takes off, the chances are high that foreigners to Cairo will be more willing to go out and try the “authentic street food” dishes.


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Koshari is a rice meal with pasta, lentils and a tomato-based sauce topped with crispy onions. The street food version does not look very appetizing but it is vegan and very tasty. It has a long history dating back to the 19th century and can be likened to a pizza or Chinese fried rice where leftovers are mixed together to make a meal.

Falafel or Taameya

Falafel is a wrapped sandwich although it looks more like a deep fried meatball. It’s vegetarian and made with beans and chickpeas and served with flat bread. The falafel gets its flavor from the sauce dripped over it and the pickled vegetables on the side.

Baladi Bread

Baladi bread is like round, crusty pita bread and extremely delicious especially when freshly baked. It can be eaten with filling or plain. It’s called the “people’s food” and will probably be the most memorable street food you will ever taste in Cairo.

Fuul Medammis

Fuul is similar to falafel because it is also made using fava beans. The difference is found in the cooking method and because it isn’t fried, fuul is heavy on the stomach. Egyptians say that eating fuul in the morning will make you sleepy all day because it takes long for the beans to be fully digested. On the upside, you won’t feel hungry until late in the afternoon.

Sugar Cane Juice

The most wonderful refreshing drink you can find on the streets of Cairo is sugar cane drink. It isn’t as sweet as you may think and you can even dilute it with water should you find it too sweet. However, drinking sugar cane juice will give you that natural boost of energy that’s better than coffee or soda.

The best part about Egyptian street food is the allure of something mysterious, romantic, and exotic. Going to Egypt and not trying the street food would be a real shame especially since most vendors are a delight to talk to.

Finding The Best Street Food In The World

If it were possible to hold a buffet dinner with all the best street food in the world, these are the food items you should include in the menu.

The Appetizer

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For appetizers, serve a Canadian street food called Poutine. This is really a great way to present crispy French fries as it is served with brown gravy and fresh cheese curd. Canadians love to dive into this street food for their snack or midnight meal especially in places like Quebec. Canadians say that this particular street food has “day after” powers which cure you from over-drinking or too much partying.

Another appetizer could be the chili crabs from Singapore. Chili crab can be considered a staple food in this bustling city and is a great way to whet the appetite of your guests since you can play around with the spiciness of the dish.

The Main Courses

For your main courses, you must have the jerk chicken of Jamaica, pulled pork from good ol’ U.S.A., and Indonesian basko balls with noodles.

The authentic Jamaican jerk chicken is a wonderful treat that offers great flavor and food experience not likely to be easily forgotten by your guests. It is a succulent grilled dish served with tons of herbs and spices although it can also be cooked over low heat and served with rice and vegetable sidings.

Pulled pork is a favorite street food in the country and so your guests will find at least one item on your menu that looks and tastes familiar. You can serve this as a mini sandwich appetizer or as a main course. Either way, it will probably be the most popular dish of the night, so make sure you have lots.

The basko balls of Indonesia can also be served as an appetizer but is a complete meal on its own. The basko balls can be your vegetarian dish since you already have a pork and chicken dish in your menu. Basko balls can also be served as a soup with kelp noodles and fried rice. This street food burst into the international scene after U.S. President Barack Obama proclaimed it to be “a most delicious meal” during a state visit to Jakarta.


The Dessert

One of the best ways to end a meal is with something refreshing and sweet and you can have this with the Philippine’s halo-halo. This is an iced dessert with about 10 to 12 different ingredients like milk, sugar, jackfruit, red beans, gulaman (or jelly bits) of different colors, coconut bits, garbanzos, and ice cream.  Thailand has a similar dessert with baby sago, pearls, coconut syrup, and fruits that is simply divine and worth every spoonful.

Food Trucks, Food-On-The-Go, There’s Just Nothing Quite Like Street Food

seattle-street-foodAlthough we’ve been focusing on food trucks, it’s about time we expand to the larger concept of street food. The food truck is just one part of the entire spectrum of food-on-the-go. There’s a wonderful and exciting world of street food just waiting to be discovered, sampled, and enjoyed. This is one food trip you won’t regret going on as we travel to new locations and learn about street food from all around the world. Who knows? The next food truck to come your way may suddenly sound familiar because it was introduced to you right here on this site!

What Is Street Food?

Anything you can buy from the streets and eat right away is considered street food. It can come from a cart, kiosk, stall, truck, table, or even from a person walking around with a tray of succulent appetizers or finger food. Historically, they date as far back as the days of ancient Rome with food hawkers and stalls. Now, they are gleaming, glorious and tempting food fares that can make your stomach grumble from anticipation even from a distance away.

It used to be that street food didn’t need utensils. They were served on small paper plates, barbecue sticks, or napkins. With the growth of the food trucks, you now see food being served that need utensils – and that’s great because it’s a sign that street food has become acceptable and palatable to more people.

Furthermore, in many countries around the world, governments have stepped in to make sure street food areas are sanitary and clean. Whereas once street food was mainly bought by people on a budget, it is now gone upscale and fashionable to be seen buying from a trendy new food stall or cart.

The 2013 Street Food Trends

To get you excited about street food, here are some of the latest trends to pop up on street food from around the world. We can get to the traditional food on sticks and bizarre menus later on. For now, it’s time to start salivating at these delish food ideas:

The Cupcakes are Going, Going, Gone! Here Come The Friands!

A friend is a petite French cakes made from egg whites and almond flour. They’re light fluffy, moist yet chewy bite-size pastries that look like muffins. Friands are usually baked using berries but the recent offers now have amazing flavors like pistachio, chocolate, amaretto, raspberries, and even figs.

 Chinese Pancakes: Jiang Bing

A typical Chinese breakfast is either boiled egg, porridge, or noodles. Jiang Bing is common in the streets of Shanghai and is a midday snack as well as breakfast food. Cooked right in front of you, it is like a mini crepe except it’s crunchy and has soybean sauce, egg, chili paste and green onions. If you’re feeling the Monday Blues, this pancake is sure to put a kick in your step with it mild spicy and sugary flavor.

Something to Look Forward To

If you’re still not convinced that street food is doing an amazing come-back, check the Internet. There is so much information about new food ideas that have come from street food stalls and are being brought to the mainstream and even brick and mortar restaurants. Call them comfort food, unusual cheap finds, or just plain delicious, street food is here to stay.

Street Food Versus Food Trucks: Who Wins?

Food trucks have been classified as mini restaurants by customers and even city officials. The investment in a food truck is one of main factors for categorizing it as such. However, it is also considered as street food by many who resist the idea of buying food from the sidewalk. Thus, there is a blurred line between street food and food trucks.

That being said, historically street food has been around for decades while the recent upsurge of food trucks in the country only began in earnest in 2008. Prior to that, food trucks were considered the poor cousins to the kiosks and food carts. Now, if one were to compare food stands with food trucks, the roles have been reversed. Food trucks are now being called the “superheroes of fine cuisine.”

Not only are food trucks taking business away from food stands, they are also threatening to some of the restaurants they park close to. For example, early this 2012 New York’s Grandma Lee sandwich shop complained about a food truck that was taking business away because it was parked too close to the shop. The complaint was dismissed but it highlights how restaurant owners feel about food trucks.

With food stands, it’s the same scenario especially since they are limited in what they can offer their customers. While food trucks have a lot of options with their menu because they have cooking equipment, storage cabinets and a fridge, food stands have to settle for hotdogs, sandwiches, tacos, salads, and drinks.

In addition, food trucks don’t need to pay rent unless they choose to whereas a food stand is on a permanent site and required to pay rent. It also doesn’t help that food trucks are getting a lot of advertising mileage from TV cooking shows, social media sites, and the general public. Thus, there is a loud buzz about food trucks which isn’t present with any other food you can buy on the street.

One way street food stands can hold their own against the food trucks is if they maintain their low prices, quality, and quick service. With food trucks being so popular, the lines can extend far and take long before one gets to the front of the line. Hungry people and those rushing somewhere will probably decide to get a hotdog instead.