What’s On – Ballina Street Food Fest

June 13, 2018

“Food is our common ground, a universal experience.” James Beard

Head over to Cherry Street Sports Club this Sunday for the Ballina Street Food Fest!

Relax on the grass under the winters sunshine and enjoy a scrumptious feast from your favourite food trucks + some NEW foodies.

There’ll be live music pumping all day, a jumping castle for the kids and veggie, vegan and gluten free options.

Entry is FREE and the fest goes from 11am to 4pm.

For more info visit their Facebook Events Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1051259508345884/

How It All Started – The History Of Street Food

Small fried fish were a street food in ancient Greece; however, Theophrastus held the custom of street food in low regard. Evidence of a large number of street food vendors was discovered during the excavation of Pompeii. Street food was widely consumed by poor urban residents of ancient Rome whose tenement homes did not have ovens or hearths. Here, chickpea soup with bread and grain paste were common meals. In ancient China, street food generally catered to the poor, however, wealthy residents would send servants to buy street food and bring it back for them to eat in their homes.

A traveling Florentine reported in the late 14th century that in Cairo, people brought picnic cloths made of rawhide to spread on the streets and sit on while they ate their meals of lamb kebabs, rice, and fritters that they had purchased from street vendors. In Renaissance Turkey, many crossroads had vendors selling “fragrant bites of hot meat”, including chicken and lamb that had been spit-roasted. In 1502, Ottoman Turkey became the first country to legislate and standardize street food.

Aztec marketplaces had vendors who sold beverages such as atolli (“a gruel made from maize dough”), almost 50 types of tamales (with ingredients that ranged from the meat of turkey, rabbit, gopher, frog and fish to fruits, eggs and maize flowers), as well as insects and stews. Spanish colonization brought European food stocks like wheat, sugarcane and livestock to Peru, however, most commoners continued to primarily eat their traditional diets. Imports were only accepted at the margins of their diet, for example, grilled beef hearts sold by street vendors. Some of Lima’s 19th-century street vendors such as “Erasmo, the ‘negro’ sango vendor” and Na Aguedita are still remembered today.

During the American Colonial period, “street vendors sold oysters, roasted corn ears, fruit, and sweets at low prices to all classes.” Oysters, in particular, were a cheap and popular street food until around 1910 when overfishing and pollution caused prices to rise. Street vendors in New York City faced a lot of opposition. After previous restrictions had limited their operating hours, street food vendors were completely banned in New York City by 1707. Many women of African descent made their living selling street foods in America in the 18th and 19th centuries, with products ranging from fruit, cakes, and nuts in Savannah, to coffee, biscuits, pralines, and other sweets in New Orleans. Cracker Jack started as one of many street food exhibits at the Columbian Exposition.

In the 19th century, street food vendors in Transylvania sold gingerbread-nuts, cream mixed with corn, as well as bacon and other meat fried on top of ceramic vessels with hot coals inside. French fries, consisting of fried strips of potato, probably originated as a street food in Paris in the 1840s. Street foods in Victorian London included tripe, pea soup, pea pods in butter, whelk, prawns, and jellied eels.

A whole street taken up by street food vendors during the Yasothon Rocket Festival in Thailand.

Ramen, originally brought to Japan by Chinese immigrants about 100 years ago, began as a street food for laborers and students. However, it soon became a “national dish” and even acquired regional variations. The street food culture of Southeast Asia today was heavily influenced by coolie workers imported from China during the late 19th century.

In Thailand, although street food did not become popular among native Thai people until the early 1960s, because of rapid urban population growth, by the 1970s it had “displaced home cooking.” The rise of the country’s tourism industry is also contributed to the popularity of Thai street food.

In Indonesia — especially Java, travelling food and drink vendor has a long history, as they were described in temples bas reliefs dated from 9th century, as well as mentioned in 14th century inscription as a line of work. During colonial Dutch East Indies period circa 19th century, several street food were developed and documented, including satay and dawet (cendol) street vendors. The current proliferation of Indonesia’s vigorous street food culture is contributed by the massive urbanization in recent decades that has opened opportunities in food service sectors. This took place in the country’s rapidly expanding urban agglomerations, especially in Greater Jakarta, Bandung and Surabaya.

*History source Wikipedia*


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