Food trucks: Concept of mobile street vendors comes to Saudi Arabia

Author: Shaistha KhanFri, 2017-03-24ID: 1490298885783945800Food and eating out are popular entertainment options in Saudi Arabia. People are always on the lookout to try the latest concept restaurant in town or the newest franchise chain. Thanks to Vision 2030’s focus on the opportunities for entertainment, event companies are now organizing and hosting family carnivals, bazars and festivals.These carnivals are typically held in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dhahran, and in wide, open spaces that accommodate large crowds and families. Home-based businesses and commercial vendors sell a variety of things like local produce, personalized gift items, knick-knacks, jewelry, handicrafts and several different types of food.Another trend that is making its presence felt in Saudi Arabia are food trucks. Although the concept of food trucks is the norm in the US (think the Halal Food Guys) and other countries, there has been an increase in the number of food trucks in carnivals at Saudi Arabia. At the Al-Janadriyah festival last month, for example, food trucks definitely won attention.We give you a roundup of five festival foods and food truck specialties, so that the next time you’re thinking of a fun, family day at your local bazaar you know what to head for!Ice-cream rolls: Borrowing the concept from street-food in Thailand, many vendors now offer ice-cream rolls. Milk and flavoring are used on an iced plate to “create” ice-cream, shaped into rolls with a spatula, and served in a cup with assorted toppings — definitely a winner with the kids!Mutabbaq: Food trucks offer everything from fast-food to regional food, sometimes even preparing the food in front of you, to entertain the hungry with their food theatrics. Vendors sometimes put on a show by flipping the dough, adding meat and cheese, cutting it up, and serving it with a flourish. Pancake creations: Funnel cakes and cotton candy are synonymous with carnivals in the US, but prepare to be wooed by different pancake creations in Saudi Arabia. Waffles are served on a stick, with a generous heaping of chocolate sauce and sprinkles. There are also tiny pancakes with caramel sauce and even cute, little panda pancakes!Luqaimat: This Ramadan classic is a perfect snack for the cold weather. Soft, fluffy balls of dough are deep-fried and served with the traditional sugar syrup, or date and chocolate sauce. Served right out of the pan, this warm delight is a perfect accompaniment to a cup of karak chai or gahwa.Chai Karak: Ditch your regular cup of coffee for a cup of authentic, milky, aromatic and refreshing chai karak. The chai karak is a popular attraction at festivals, especially during the cooler seasons, and you may have to brave long queues to get your hands on a cup of chai karak.• life.style@arabnews.com
Main category: Food & Health

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