Celebrated food journalist John T. Edge to discuss his Truck Food Cookbook | Food
Food
INDY Week's food blog

Archives | RSS

Friday, June 15, 2012

Celebrated food journalist John T. Edge to discuss his Truck Food Cookbook

Posted by on Fri, Jun 15, 2012 at 11:01 AM

click to enlarge John T. Edge - PHOTO © LOU WEINERT

Given his repertoire, one that includes books on fried chicken, donuts and apple pie, celebrated food journalist and Southern Foodways Alliance director John T. Edge needs no introduction to the culinary culture of the South. So when he's hanging out at a food truck and is handed a cardboard tray piled high with an unpronounceable menu item, "that's kind of a moment I long for," he says.

Edge will be at Durham's Regulator Bookshop Wednesday, June 20, at 7 p.m. to present his latest book, The Truck Food Cookbook: 150 Recipes and Ramblings from America's Best Restaurants on Wheels. OnlyBurger, one of Durham's first food trucks, will be parked outside and open for business, and Fullsteam brewery will serve their beer. OnlyBurger and DaisyCakes are featured in the book with recipes; Klausie's Pizza, Farmhand Foods and Locopops are mentioned with praise.

Edge will present a slideshow of his travels in researching the book.

"There's nothing I can tell y'all about Durham's scene," he says. "Y'all know it. You eat it."

Instead, we're promised "a portrait of truck food all across America." Edge traveled throughout the country for one year to food scenes that "felt most kinetic," from San Francisco and New York to smaller cities like Minneapolis, which had only four vendors at the time of his research. (Edge also writes a monthly New York Times column, United Tastes, exploring our country's increasingly global fare.)

The cookbook was inspired by a trip through Vietnam, where street food was "everyman's indulgence. A democratic buffet, almost," Edge says.

"A pleasure for me in researching this book was stepping up to a cart or a truck run by a recent immigrant from Vietnam or from India and not knowing how to read the menu well, but by the end learning something about that place and those people. That's one of the promises of truck food. You gain a situational passage, another longitude and latitude."

"One of the things I admire about Durham," he says, "is that it has embraced recent Mexican migration. For people of Durham, a paleta is as common a term as is popsicle. And that's important. When we talk about street food in America, we're talking also about a younger generation of folks who are really riffing on working-class taco trucks."

His book features taco trucks in Texas and Arizona. When he's in town, he gets his fix in Carrboro.

"I've eaten many times at the one that sits up at Fitch Lumber Company [Costa Sur]."

"I think one of the great things about this [food truck scene] is that these are not concepts, which usually means that someone would conceive something and exploit a business niche. [The owners of] these trucks are cooking from their hearts—like their crazy Uncle Lou's fried chicken or their favorite aunt's paratha."

For six months in Oxford, Miss., Edge and a friend had a hot dog cart and "failed miserably." Dunce Dogs ("Think Genius, Eat Dunce") sold natural-casing hot dogs slathered with pimento cheese. "We didn't realize 'Oh yeah, we have full-time jobs and children less than 4 years old.' It was completely bonkers and completely idealistic, but that's why I wrote the book."

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Food



Twitter Activity

Comments

No matter what anyone wants to think, you can't grow a business. You can grow a carrot. You can grow …

by Ron Asher on Scratch Announces It Will Close Its Original Downtown Location End of February (Food)

Emily -- we're sorry for that omission! We've added Chocolatay to the post. Thank you.

by victoria_foodeditor on Fullsteam Brewery, Escazu Chocolates, Boxcarr Cheese, Fiddlehead Farm Among N.C. Winners of 2018 Good Food Awards (Food)

Most Read

Most Recent Comments

No matter what anyone wants to think, you can't grow a business. You can grow a carrot. You can grow …

by Ron Asher on Scratch Announces It Will Close Its Original Downtown Location End of February (Food)

Emily -- we're sorry for that omission! We've added Chocolatay to the post. Thank you.

by victoria_foodeditor on Fullsteam Brewery, Escazu Chocolates, Boxcarr Cheese, Fiddlehead Farm Among N.C. Winners of 2018 Good Food Awards (Food)

Don't forget about Chocolatay Confections in Chapel Hill, they won a GFA in the confections category.

by Emily Peal Boynton on Fullsteam Brewery, Escazu Chocolates, Boxcarr Cheese, Fiddlehead Farm Among N.C. Winners of 2018 Good Food Awards (Food)

Don't forget about Chocolotay Confections from Chapel Hill!

by Emily Peal Boynton on Fullsteam Brewery, Escazu Chocolates, Boxcarr Cheese, Fiddlehead Farm Among N.C. Winners of 2018 Good Food Awards (Food)

Wahhhhh. Like you couldn't purchase it on Saturday. Better luck next year! Monday the 31st, FYI.

by Joules on Public Service Announcement: You Can’t Load Up on Booze on New Year’s Eve, Because North Carolina’s Liquor Laws Are Dumb (Food)

© 2018 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation