The current street food trend in the States is a double-edged sword. The hipster trucks tend to raise the average price of street food, but at the same time, the mind-spinning variety of cuisines and creations offered by new trucks has enrichened the street life experience. On the whole, I’d say we’re much better off than before.
In many cities in Latin America, street food never needed a trend to fuel its existence. This is not that surprising. Street food is cheap. Also, public space such as plazas–bountiful throughout Latin America–lend themselves to street food set-ups more easily than the mostly car-centric city layouts of America. It’s all about the interaction.
And in Cartagena’s Plaza de la Trinidad, host to an inviting mixture of musicians, street performers, food carts, and friendly stray dogs, I recently tried one of the popular offerings: the patacon con todo. My debut piece for Vice Munchies narrates my experience, in which I tap my inner geologist and stumble upon a connection between Colombian street food and Dr. Seuss.