Food trucks battle for Feast of the Brave culinary competition
Posted on Thursday 03 May 2012
in United States of America, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami
By Dylan Thomas
In honour of the 150th anniversary of the first Cinco de Mayo, taco food trucks across the United States are vying for the title of the bravest Mexican food vendors, offering Kiwis the chance to sample strange delicacies like wild boar, crickets and shark. Dozens of popular food trucks have popped up in six cities - Los Angeles, Austin, Houston, Dallas, Chicago and Miami - before and during the Mexican holiday that has become a staple among Americans. This culinary experience is a perfect opportunity for vacationers to embark on adventure travel for their taste buds, and while they're at it, they can explore the states from coast to coast, beginning with flights to Los Angeles.
Originally a commemoration of the Mexican army's defeat of French forces on May 5, 1862, the holiday has dramatically evolved over the centuries and is now a universal excuse to drink tequila and play mariachi music all across the U.S. Along the southern border between the states and Mexico, communities celebrate the fiesta culture in a variety of ways, whether by hosting street festivals or holding culinary competitions like Feast of the Brave.
Presented by Mexican brewery Dos Equis, the competition will span for 10 days, and judges will critique the daredevil food on a point scale, providing ample palate challenges for even the bravest Kiwi foodie.
"To mark this year's special 150th anniversary of Cinco de Mayo, we wanted to partner with some great local chefs and provide consumers the opportunity to test their taste-bud boundaries, and have a memorable Cinco de Mayo experience," said Paul Smailes, the senior brand director for Dos Equis.
Hog ears and bird gizzards in Los Angeles
Among the more mild offerings at the Don Chow Tacos food truck in Los Angeles is hog ear, which will win eaters a mere 10 points. True to the Asian and Mexican influences in this cultural melting pot, chefs Dominic Lau and Lawrence Lie have created a unique Chinese-Mexican menu with wild boar and bird gizzard, which are common throughout the Asian country but rare in Mexican cuisine. For a staggering 100 points on the bravery scale, Kiwis can try one of the "mystery" offerings, which have already included tongue, cricket and caterpillar.
Get a taste for Cajun-Mexican eats in Houston, Texas
After disembarking from one of the United flights between Auckland and Houston, travellers can grab a bite at H-Town StrEATS, which offers bizarre cuisine throughout the year. During Cinco de Mayo celebrations, however, their grilled shark and alligator tacos will score 30 points during the Feast of the Brave competition. Headed by Jason Hill and Matt Opaleski, this food truck changes locations throughout the day, so Kiwis hoping to sample Cajun-inspired Mexican tacos should stay connected through Twitter and Facebook. Along with fried scorpion and tender gator, StrEATS offers regional bites for the less brave diner.
Luxury holidays in Miami get slimy with frog legs and snails
Jefe's fish taco lunch wagon, owned by Jack Garabedian, will offer a volatile combination of goat, corn fungus and snail during the Cinco de Mayo food truck battle. Alligators and caterpillars are dull to the eccentric chef, whose personality makes the visit worth the price of admission, which, during the Feast of the Brave, is a healthy portion of goat legs.
Miami eaters are currently in the lead for the title of the bravest of the brave, which will end on the festive holiday on Saturday, May 5.
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