World Street Foods

Street food is a term that describes a vast array of wholesome and conveniently eaten or readily drunk foods and beverages offered by vendors at street level, footpath, roadside, market as well as various other public outdoor settings. These dishes are typically simple and showcase the freshest ingredients and the long-held culinary traditions from the direct area of origin.

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Common examples of street food include:

1. Snacks: For instance, samosas, pakoras, roll springs kebab, and dumplings as well as falafel are some of them.

2. Sandwiches and wraps: They all are as important among flavours of the world, such as gyros, banh mi, tortas, and shawarma.

3. Grilled and skewered foods: Such as chicken skewers, Japanese skewers, grilled corn, and meat skewers.

4. Fried foods: It represents Japanese Niku-doru, British Fish and Chips, Spanish Churros, and American Fried Chicken.

5. Noodles and rice dishes: As pad thai, yakisoba, paella, Manchurian, and biryani, the food items were birthed from a fusion of cultures.

6. Seafood: Such as ceviche, fish tacos, shrimp on a stick and oysters.

7. Desserts and sweets: For example, offering different types of ice cream, crepes, waffles, pastries, jalebi and mixed fruits.

8. Beverages: For example, such are fresh juices, smoothies, bubble tea, coconut water, and hot drinks like chai tea and coffee. 

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Here are just some of the many dishes street food can serve up as these items taste great and are very much influenced by the local culture. The reason all the street foods have so much attraction is that they are easily accessible, inexpensive and most of all they let you go through the local specialities in an informal and friendly atmosphere.

Precautions  as a consumer -

Just as we check Google reviews or reviews from our friends and family about restaurants and eating places, we should choose a street vendor carefully. I am very careful while choosing to eat on the street, more so in hot weather as food spoils faster in hot weather and is not easy to find out in the early stage. 

I have never eaten panipuri or golgappas or puchkas (different names for that tiny favourite) for many decades now after watching a news report on a popular Hindi news channel where a vendor was caught on camera adding his urine to the flavoured water. Whenever I feel like eating panipuri, I make my own masala water and potato filling and get a bag of ready-to-eat small puri, which are easily available in the market. 

Just now as I searched for the news, I can see many similar news. You can check them here

When choosing a street food vendor, it is important to be aware of some safety concerns and of course your pleasure from eating. Here are some tips to consider:

1. Observation: Ponder the stall for a minute; the seller’s shop. Check with an eagle's eye for neat and clean areas, e.g. a tidy kitchen, clean utensils and if hygiene is practised there. This is because the preparedness of the warehouse for the food safety practices that are pertinent is a pointer to an organized vendor who follows proper food safety practices.

2. Popularity: Try to select a vendor with a good reputation frequented by real people in the area. A line of waiting customers points out that vendors care about fresh and palatable food with high food safety. Yet, avoid sellers that are popular only because of the low price policy. They may compromise on the quality of goods or services that are not safe. It could be a compromise in quality.

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3. Freshness: For this purpose, you could select those vendors who make the food fresh and deliver it on the spot. Rather, the foods being kept out for the time and which appear to have been reheated a couple of times must be avoided. Freshness is paramount in achieving high quality and ensuring a lower risk of contamination.

4. Food Handling: Try to notice how the sellers prepare their food items. Check if they are using different utensils for raw and cooked foods. This way they will mostly avoid cross-contamination. Another thing is to check if they wear gloves and use tongs, which is necessary to maintain sanitization while handling food. I as a customer always check the hand movements of the cooking and serving staff. I think I need not elaborate on it, with little common sense, everyone will know what I am pointing out. 

5. Clean Water: Be sure that if the vendor is offering water services, these services are based on clean water. He might be using it for making drinks and ice, as well as for washing utensils. Try to steer clear of the consumption of beverages made with ice from water sources thought to be contaminated as it can escalate the risks of water-borne ailments. eg . Always ask for sugarcane juice without ice.

6. Communication: In case there is a hindrance of language, point to the gestures or point him to what according to you is the food that you like. It is important to make sure you devote enough time to communicate and verify any dietary objections or allergies to the vendor ahead of time is crucial thus guaranteeing your food is prepared safely.

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7. Trust Your Instincts: One should not ignore certain signs that do not feel right to be sold by such kinds of vendors whose source of food spectacles their integrity. Believe your gut feeling!

It is possible to relish the numerous food items that are prepared on hired carts and lessen the risk of getting sick through the use of precautions and common sense. I hope it will keep you safe as a customer. Here I am not trying to doubt the integrity of  all the street food vendors but highlighting a checklist is for the safety of the customers. 

Stay tuned for 25 more posts on "World Street Food" 

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Happy eating!

Neerja Bhatnagar


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  1. Nowadays I'm wary of eating street food.

    1. Even me..more in summers. As I had mentioned, I do my own checks only then.

  2. I think desi pizza is my fav street food. Also vada pav!

    1. Nothing can beat vada-pav! These days, I see many pizza carts too. Time for Dominos to move on!


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