New South Wales' Contemporary Cuisine:
Food culture in Sydney and New South Wales has seen some dramatic changes over the last few years. Now, one of the most tempting ways to enjoy a meal is by tucking into some freshly cooked street food, lovingly made by vendors which can be found across the state.
Ameer El-issa, co-founder and creative director of Jerusalem food vendor Knafeh, believes the street food culture has rapidly grown because 'diners are now looking for a point of difference'. They want their food 'fast, they want it cheap, but they still want it to be good quality, and a great experience that they can share with friends and family'. Street food is able to bring all of these qualities to the table, with its authentic tastes and accessible vendors.
Discover the story of the people behind New South Wales' tasty street food trucks:
There's something unassuming about street food which makes it so appealing. Christina Murrell, Marketing Director at Roll'd, describes it as being 'able to ignite all of your senses directly - from seeing the flames, the choking smoke from the open grill and the hypnotic smell of food being cooked.' It's about 'standing inches away from the vendor, the hustle and bustle of street life and unpretentious grazing with your fingers out in the open air.'
When in New South Wales, you'll find yourself spoilt for choice with the eclectic mix of cuisines on offer. Billy Law, food blogger for A Table for Two, explains that the food is 'heavily influenced by the nearby Asian countries, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Taiwan and Vietnam in particular. There has also been a surge in the popularity of Middle Eastern and Greek street food recently.' It's safe to say that thanks to Sydney's geographic location and multicultural population, you won't be in danger of trying the same dish twice.
So, there's only one question left to ask: What's the best way to enjoy your street food? According to Murrell, the answer is by 'eating it immediately and unapologetically! Be loud, lick your fingers and enjoy it with someone'. Posh dining is out - street food is in.
Sydney is leading the way for the street food scene, with its continually expanding Food Trucks programme. Lana Zegura, Project Manager for Sydney Food Trucks, explains that the project 'emerged as a direct result of the City of Sydney's OPEN Sydney Discussion Paper through public consultations in late 2011.' Zegura tells us that 'the objective was to create a vibrant late night economy', offering a more diverse alternative to pubs and clubs. This has undoubtedly created a more exciting after-dark environment, which brings together locals and visitors from around the world.
After a two year trial, the now fully-fledged food truck programme, which currently includes 20 trucks, has had a very positive impact on the city of Sydney. Designed to help support and encourage local businesses, Zegura also reveals that 'a survey of food truck customers conducted found that 92 per cent of people thought the trucks made the area feel more welcoming'. When trying street food, it's obvious that these small, friendly vendors are genuinely passionate about the food that they are sourcing, cooking and serving. This seems to be the perfect recipe for making their dishes even more enticing, and their food even more delicious. Download the Sydney Food Trucks app to satisfy your street food craving.
If you're looking to check out Sydney and New South Wales' street food, why not come along to one of the many events dotted around DNSW. Rootstock Sydney is a festival which celebrates sustainable food and wine from around New South Wales. Having started in 2013 Rootstock has become hugely popular and successful with backing and input from winemakers, sommeliers, writers, chefs and foodies from all over the region. If you're after something a little different there's the Blues and BBQ festival in Port Macquarie. This festival marries the art of jazz with bbq food, a unique way to enjoy the produce NSW has to offer.