Food on Wheels AZ is an initiative to educate people about the food trucks around the Phoenix valley.
From hot dogs and fries to Korean BBQ, food trucks offer a variety of cuisines for all types of foodies. In the past few years, food trucks have become the new craze, but they have been around longer than one would think.
They date back to the 17th century, but at that time they were called “Chuck Wagons.” These wagons supplied cowboys with food like dried beans, salted meat and biscuits while they were on the road.
Similar to the idea of the Chuck Wagon, “pushcarts” popped up around U.S. cities in the 1600s. These carts sold cheap and filling lunch items, including sandwiches and fruit, to the working class in New York, Chicago and other large cities.
By the 1950s, pushcarts and lunch wagons were evolving and growing in popularity. In the 1960s, more food truck businesses hit the roads and became what we know as food trucks today. However, due to the lack of standard health practices and the locations these trucks sold from (alleys and construction lots) they became known as “roach coaches.”
Now, almost 60 years later, food trucks have said goodbye to the stereotype of grime and grit and hello to the craze of luxury food. They are not seen as gross and insect-infested, but as delicious and even gourmet.
Food trucks are not only staying in business, but new ones are popping up left and right. Today there are even festivals dedicated to promoting food trucks and the “food truck experience.” Check out some of the food trucks in your area — you never know what truck might steal your heart right from your stomach.
Story by Ashley Sutherland and Anya Magnuson