Sunday, September 8, 2013

Food trucks

In many cities around the world, people eat food from trucks because it's cheap and convenient. In white Melbourne, food from trucks is considered a delicacy. Food trucks are so popular you actually have to queue before you can place an order. But the longer you have to wait the more enriching your experience becomes. Because then everyone will not only get to see you eat truck food, but they'll also see you attempting to buy it. The next steps are to (1) talk about your truck food experience to people who weren't there; (2) check in to the food truck you're eating at; (3) update your status about how you're eating truck food comparing it to other truck food you've had in the recent past; (4) tweet about your truck food dining experience; (5) photograph your truck food and upload.

Food truck websites want you to believe their food is the most authentic, genuine, real, pristine, original, natural, traditional food anyone has ever eaten. Online you can read about how the truck in question was inspired by journeys to eastern Europe or Mexico and other countries that aren't Australia. This type of promotional strategy draws on an aspect of broader Australian culture to its advantage, which is the idea that the best way to succeed in this country is to leave it. Then you come back and talk about how you did all of the stuff you normally do in Australia except you did them overseas. This equals instant Australian success. We can't take anyone seriously until they have been validated for us by Europeans or Americans (and maybe the Japanese).

So when white Melburnians eat truck food, they are not just consuming the food itself. They are consuming the experience of consuming food purchased from trucks. This distinction is critical because it means eating truck food isn't about eating truck food. It's really about your choice of clothes, the way you've brushed your hair, and how you sit on the kerb while eating than the flavours, textures and aromas of the food. There are at least two levels of consumption here, and you'd rarely be wrong in assuming that to be the case whenever white Melburnians consume anything. Since the quality of the meal is insignificant compared to the experience of openly consuming it, when asking someone what they thought of the food they'll say "it was alright".


  1. This is all true, but holy shit the shrimp po-boys from the Gumbo truck will blow your fucking mind.

  2. My friend just started working in a taco truck. He says they all go back to a warehouse at the end of the day, park their trucks, smoke big spliffs, talk about the insomniac who runs the business and is never actually around and compare beard sizes.