Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Food for the Road - São Paulo
Surprisingly (at least to me), the sale of street food from food trucks was prohibited in São Paulo until just last week. The only exception to the rule were hot dog vendors and the pastel vendors at the local farmers' markets. And even for those two groups, there hadn't been a new license emitted since 2007. In 2010, the calabresa (sausage) vendors at stadiums were shut down. Of course, that little thing called the law stopped no churrasquinho de gato (see post) ever.
For years, chefs have been going around the rules by selling "food from the window". The closest real translation would be a take-out window. But recently a street food fair in Vila Madalena, a hippie/fun neighborhood in the city, re-started the interest of both chefs and consumers in having legal street food of a larger variety--churros, yakisoba, acarajé (a yummy dried shrimp treat from the northeast), tapioca, hamburger, barbecue (and not just of cats).
As of last week, food trucks were ready and legal to hit the streets again. Everyone from the restaurant Oba to Alex Atala (he of D.O.M. fame) will be on board, so to speak. All the food vendors will be licensed through the sub-mayoralities depending on neighborhood. Ah, but no alcoholic beverages you baddies.
Two events, one happening right now, and one this Saturday at the Jardim Botanico mark the return of the chefs in the street. Welcome back!