#foodstreet looks so much better in landscape, why not give it a try?
Poffertjes, pronounced (POH-fur-tjes), are mini pancakes that are central to festivals and celebrations in Holland. Cooked in a dimpled cast iron pan, these treats have a distinctive shape and are served with icing sugar, butter, and many other toppings!
The recipe for these miniature sweet bites first appeared in a cookbook in the mid 1700s and was seen as a poor workman’s meal due to its basic ingredients of buckwheat flour, water and yeast. Over the years, milk and eggs have been added, and the pancakes can now be found in cafes and on stalls all over the world.
The grilled cheese sandwich in its most basic form was rumoured to have been a snack in Ancient Rome, however this street food as we know it today first appeared in the US during the 1920s when cheap bread and cheese became available to families.
The first grilled cheese sandwiches were cooked open before a lid was introduced as a cheap way to feel fuller for longer. Today every type of cheese and bread has been stuck together and munched on the street.
The story of the burrito’s birth takes us back to the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua during the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). A man named Juan Mendez was selling tacos from a street stand and using a donkey (burro) as transport for himself and his food.
To keep the food warm, Jose started to wrap the food in large flour tortillas, before wrapping this in individual napkins. He transported these packages on a little burro, or burrito - and voila, the burrito was born!
Falafel has its roots in Ancient Egypt and its name most likely originates from the Arabic word for spicy, mefelfel. The tale goes that it was invented in the port of Alexandria and then taken all over the Middle East by the sailors passing through this port.
In the 1950s, Yemenite immigrants in Israel began to make falafel according to a chickpea based recipe to earn a living; the ancient snack was placed in pita bread and traditionally served with hummus and salads, it quickly became the Israeli national street food.
Did you know that there are at least 3 falafel shops on rue des Rosiers in Paris?
This renowned soup and noodles dish was born in China and was introduced to Japan at some point between the 17th and 20th centuries. There are a number of theories about how it got there.
A likely story is that ramen was introduced to Japan with the opening of the Rai-Rai Ken restaurant in Tokyo, which employed Chinese cooks and served a Chinese influenced menu, including shina soba, meaning Chinese noodle.
The introduction of instant ramen in 1958 signalled a new era for the dish, and the next decade saw the arrival of ‘ramen celebrities’. Today Japan has a museum dedicated to this dish and its influence on culture, and ramen has a global following.
After many years of war between China and Japan the Japanese were exposed to the Chinese Jiaozi dumpling. This is said to have been created by the founder of herbal medicine, Zhang Zhongjing, as a way of raising people’s body temperature through food to help them survive cold temperatures.
While at war, Japanese soldiers learnt how to make these ear-shaped dumplings, adapted them to their tastes and brought them back to Japan: the Gyoza was born.
The word empanada comes from the Spanish verb of empanar, meaning to wrap or coat in bread - and this street food snack does exactly what it says on the tin! An empanada is made by folding dough or bread around a stuffing of meats, vegetables or even fruits.
Empanadas originated in Galicia, Spain, and Portugal. Spanish colonists carried these little parcels to Latin America and the Philippines, where they remain popular today.
These thin, boneless cutlets of veal, pork, beef or chicken are either breaded, deep fried or pan fried, and are traditionally served with a lemon and German potato salad, or parsley potatoes, and sometimes lingonberry jam.
During the Middle Ages, the dish became popular in Northern Italy and Austria, with the most common meat being veal, which remains the centre of the most traditional dish, wiener schnitzel.
Churros are well known as a street snack, but they are also eaten as a breakfast food, dipped into fresh hot chocolate or a milky coffee.
History is divided on how the churro came to be. Were they invented by nomadic Spanish shepherds who cooked churros over a fire high up in the mountains? Were they brought to Portugal by Portuguese sailors who discovered a similar food in Northern China and then reshaped by the Spanish?
The origin of the doughnut, or donut, is a hotly debated topic!
Many countries and cultures across the globe have their own fried-dough food and so it’s impossible to pinpoint who got there first! We do know… that the Dutch were making “oil cakes” in the mid 19th century and that Dutch immigrants introduced this food to the United States. It is thought that the hole in the middle was first punched by an American ship captain in 1847, who wanted to solve the problem of the gooey, uncooked center!
The roots of the woodfired pizza are firmly set in Naples, Italy during the 1800s. This dish was a cheap way to feed the poor and the locals would combine dough with local produce, such as tomatoes from Mount Vesuvius, fresh basil and buffalo mozzarella. Hundreds of years later, Naples still has a type of pizza police, who work to enforce a set of laws about how a Neapolitan pizza should be made!
Did you know it all only takes 60-90 seconds to cook a pizza in a woodfired oven, which reaches a heat of 500 degrees celsius?!