The so-called Food Truck Movement presents me with a personal contradiction. I’m not in love with the dining experience – outside at any time of day or night, in any weather, with limited access to tables, places to sit or the simplest form of utensils. But I AM totally in love with food truck flavors, especially what may be the ultimate fusion brewing for decades, between Latin and Asian foods. Anybody or anything that pulls that off will have my loyalty forever.
Especially once they found a welcome in certain demographic hotbeds like Los Angeles, Portland and Austin, food trucks have changed the face and flavor of dining in America. First and foremost, with a much smaller investment required than opening a “brick and mortar” restaurant, they have invited many new players into the game. And these have been able to do what players do best – play. Cooks have embarked on food journeys (on wheels, naturally) that would have scared the dickens out of the restaurant industry’s traditional base of doctor-lawyer-oilman-dotcom “money guys.” Simply, food trucks can try more daring things than anyone in their right mind would build a brick and mortar menu around.
In response to all this excitement, the company I work for – Fischer & Wieser right here in Fredericksburg – has just developed a very exciting (I mean it!) line of FOOD TRK FUSION sauces for our friends at HEB’S Cooking Connection – the place I already stop for a taste every time I’m grocery shopping. Appropriately, the five initial sauces carry clever, suggestive, pun-driven names that, no, I didn’t think of: Yo Soy La Sriracha Sauce, Katy’s Peri Peri Sauce, Gochujang Unchained Glaze, Knock U on Your Asphalt Sauce and Dang ‘Jang BBQ Sauce.
As you can see, several of these reflect the food truck world’s love affair with Asian flavors, making Korean “gochujang” (a savory condiment traditionally made from red chile, glutinous rice, soybeans and salt that’s allowed to ferment in earthen jars outdoors) as close to a household word as it’s likely to ever become. If nothing else, the rise of gochujang allows me to cook some great stuff and talk about “Seoul Food” with a semi-straight face.
Story by John DeMers