Ξ August 30th, 2008 | → | ∇ Uncategorized |
Despite our local taqueros’ recent court victory, street food remains under attack. Our friends in Sacramento are facing a similarly egregious ban. Even the beloved bacon-wrapped hot dog vendors in our own city have been harassed by the LAPD at the behest of business owners recently. Why do our governments insist on legislating out of existence what in nearly any culture is the cheapest, tastiest, and most communal cuisine available?
Let me use a recent trip to Spain and Morocco to illustrate. Madrileño food is terrible. Don’t get me wrong, I had some good meals there, but had to spend $40 per person to get it. Anything fast and cheap was either of the American fast food ilk, or disgusting tapas in the form of greasy fried cod or deep-fried cheese croquettes. A quick flight accross the Straight of Gilbraltar took us to an entirely different culinary culture. The highlight of Morocco was Marrakesh’s bustling Djema El Fna which filled with carts serving soups, grilled meats, teas, pastries, and even some more exotic dishes. About $7 was enough to stuff yourself, share a table with some new friends, and enjoy the scene of thousands of people out to enjoy the evening. While Madrid can provide a civic model in many ways for Los Angeles, (a highly efficient mass transit system for one) a few lonely immigrants selling prepackaged sandwiches and a few drinks on cardboard boxes late at night are a miserable expression of the culinary heritage of a country. New York has its hot dogs and pizza, and we should have our tacos.
We’ve been collecting photos of street food from Los Angeles and beyond for a few months, and will continue to do so as a celebration of world-class food. Keep emailing your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org, and don’t forget to tell us where the picture was taken and what it is you’re eating. Enjoy!
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