Discover the new way to promote Peruvian Food. Peru Flavors on Wheels !! Peruvian Food trucks with Peruvian Heart.05/29/2017 • By Peruvian Food
Peruvian Food Trucks : The Beginning
It was a normal Sunday and I found myself resting after a very busy weekend.
Then, as it is common for me on Sunday nights, I turned on the TV to be updated with the news of my country.
I was not going to tell you that I was surprised with the things I saw because I was really expecting that something like this would happen sooner or later.
Then I told myself: “We finally realized the real potential of our Peruvian food“.
A report on the massive proliferation of carritos de comida or food trucks, as they are known in USA, was being presented.
Lima city was the center of all attention and above all I remained perplexed by the creative ways of the owners of these food trucks to highlight the flavors, smells and diversity of our Peruvian food.
It was an economic boom!!
An awesome idea: an explosion of flavors!
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Hundreds of people crowding these fast food restaurants… people did not care about waiting in long lines. Everybody was excited to try the variety of dishes they offered that went from the traditional dishes such as Lomo Saltado [stir fried strips of sirloin combined with onions, french fries, tomatoes, etc] to the Peruvian style hamburgers and some other Peruvian cuisine creations that broke the schemes extensively.
Then I thought: How would it be to have that passion fever in the United States?
Would it be possible?
I imagined myself going out to walk down the streets on any weekend and felt the smell of an exquisite Tallarín Saltado [Stir-fried noodles with chicken] or the dressing of Ají de gallina [A spicy creamed chicken].
The smell of Ají Amarillo [A Peruvian yellow chili pepper paste], el haucatay [A Peruvian green sauce] or maybe the distinct anticucho [Cow´s heart kebabs] and its Ají panca [Smoky spicy chili paste].
Well, I told myself: it costs nothing to dream “…..
The following day, I was talking to a friend about the report I had watched on TV and I was telling him how delighted I was with the things they had presented.
I was expecting from him the same reaction I had had but he suddenly told me:
Where are you living? This had already come to the USA……. “
It can´t be…..!!! How would it be that I have never heard anything about that?… or even worse how would it be that I have never seen any of these food trucks selling Peruvian dishes in my city?
So, in order to dissipate doubts, I did my research to see if it was really true that there were risky Peruvian people decided to place their food where it deserves to be worldwide.
After a long research ….
I first felt satisfied but at the same time I felt worried of only finding three Peruvian food trucks (Yes, only three!!!… please if there are more let me know your comments on this..)
This is about entrepreneurs who have risked everything they have to follow a dream and to have the conviction that Peruvian food is good-quality enough to satisfy even the taste of the most demanding person and also to make its own way in this difficult market (where there are thousands of options when it comes to fast food restaurant choices).
The first successful story that I found is located in New York streets, specifically in Union square.
It is the story of two brothers Miguel and Rafael Samanez.
One has more than 15 years of experience as a chef working with recognized chefs such as Gaston Acurio.
The other one has been focused in helping people to start business with his association called Vamos Unidos (An association of street vendors). They started up the first Peruvian food truck in New York.
El Morocho The Peruvian Fusion. In spite of all problems that this business might have posed in New York, an area of too much market competition.
This Peruvian food truck competed with thousands of businesses which were next to each other.
They struggled to get a business license of twenty thousand dollars fee.
Now tell me if this not a way of having faith in an idea? in a concept? in a dream?.
Thanks to the persistence and wishes to make Peruvian food the most recognized cuisine worldwide, it is possible to enjoy the flavors of an exquisite Lomo Saltado [stir fried strips of sirloin], some smoking Anticuchos [Cow´s heart kebabs] or maybe the tasty and spicy Ají de gallina [A spicy creamed chicken] at the foot of the Statue of George Washington or Abraham Lincoln.
If you are interested in visiting El Morocho The Peruvian Fusion and verify this by yourself please follow them on twitter at @NYCmorocho.
The other two men that also risked to achieve their goals in spite of the difficulties and complexity of the situation, are located in Washington D.C and Virginia.
Los Hermanos Peruanos [The Peruvian brothers] Mario and Guiseppe Lanzone created their own food truck so their clients could enjoy the flavors of those dishes that they used to taste in their childhood with their families in a Peruvian neighborhood called La Punta, Callao.
They always had the idea of working together.
An idea that did not come true but thirteen years later. Mario worked as a chef and Giuseppe was focused in Olympic rowing competitions (he also participated in the Olympic games of Beijing and London).
They are working now in what it really inspires them: Peruvian Food.
The Peruvian brothers have been considered the best food truck in Washington D.C.
They also provided food to the White House during Barack Obama´s Government (Barack´s family is a Peruvian food fan if you don´t know this… well, we can´t blame them!!!).
If you are interested in knowing more about them, please follow them on twitter at @perubrothers.
Now, this last story is somehow particular.
Who will consider that a foreigner could not sleep for dreaming of starting a Peruvian food business?
Well, this is the story of Manuel Alfaro, born in Puerto Rico but married to a girl from Trujillo (Obviously, the way to a man´s heart is through his stomach).
Manuel is always in love with Peruvian food. (Peruvian Food in Puerto Rico is becoming very popular after his story).. He is a chef but decided to add a Peruvian chef to his team (Omar Rodriguez, a man native of Trujillo, it might seem that his wife has a big influence on his decisions).
Omar is in charge of preparing all dishes in the truck (the person who cooks is a very important issue for the business and obviously, Manuel is very good at it… he wants to learn all tricks and secrets of the most tasty dishes of Peruvian food).
Manuel knew that Peruvian food had a lot of potential, this is why he invested seventeen thousand dollars purchasing a fire truck from a retired fire captain which was later converted into a food truck for an investment of thirty thousand dollars.
For this reason, he decided to name his food truck El Fuego” [The Fire].
Nowadays, It is in charge of extinguishing the hunger of all its clients and it´s well known as the first Peruvian food truck in Washington D.C. Besides this, It has been featured in Washington Post newspaper several times (The most important newspaper of the city) as a must place to eat if you want to try the real taste of Peruvian food.
If you want to know more about The Fire … follow it on twitter at @ElFuego
These are some of the three successful stories. We are completely sure that there will be more stories to tell over time.
We hope that in a near future … there would be a Peruvian food truck in each city of the United States.
We hope that the reality of the gastronomic passion for these dishes in Perú would be soon reflected in this side of the world. We have to work harder.. we know.. but we are sure that our cuisine is better than others… quality is always present.
Recognition is where our food has just arrived. But we still have to think bigger if we want to place our Peruvian food where it deserves to be.
This would be achieved only with high quality products, excellent food service specially if we know that we can do it because we are capable enough.
Do not expect less than this. Perú deserves more than that.
Let us learn from these successful stories. They were persons like you and me. It´s time to change and to give ourselves the place where we deserve to be.
Please send us your comments and tell us how we can do to make our Peruvian food one of the most recognized cuisine in every part of the world and above all that we can enjoy it in every corner, in every city and in every country.
Thanks for your unconditional support to our Peruvian food.