The Special on the Menu: Mom & Dad


Any day it would sound silly to send a mass txt to your entire phone book asking if anyone can mentor you into creating a food truck menu. But, having some of my surroundings heading to futures I had never foreseen them in and others following anything that will make them happy I’m a tad bit curious of the responses I’d receive. It’s the night before my meeting with a potential investor that might love my food truck idea and suddenly I can’t find them (the ideas; I can’t find my ideas). It’s not that I don’t have them written down or I’ve misplaced them but usually when I remind myself of how brilliant I am I am also starving and right now all I’m craving is my lover and a foam roller.

Will my menu be good enough?
Have I included dishes for all types of eaters?
Screw the special eaters, Peruvian food is amazing!
Am I seriously attempting to have a food truck?!
My mom’s gonna cry that I got my diploma for no reason.

My reason behind this unique food truck is that it’s not original at all. Well, to me. I’ve grown up in Paterson in a very Peruvian environment where my weekends consisted of running around in playgrounds and eating out of food trucks while my dad played soccer. For typical Americans a food truck sells hot dogs, breakfast sandwiches, sodas, Snapple, and chips. For this American (me) the food truck sells, Peruvian Breakfast (that are mainly sandwiches with fried pork and sweet potatoes or a strips of delicious steak and onions), along with the most common or uncommon Peruvian dishes as a special, and of course IncaKola.

Peruvian cuisine is exquisite and although I love pizza there is nothing like Peruvian food. When my dad was younger these soccer leagues filled with Peruvians were a big thing and they were always happening but now that soccer is a lot more common in the states their kids are joining different leagues and their families are Americanizing which means … the food trucks are slowly disappearing. You now find one food truck survivor in the summer time just like the one league out of so many that once existed that consist of the original players that I grew up watching (like my dad) and it gets me a little emotional. Ok, it gets me very emotional. So much so, that I have gone crazy enough to really attempt having a Peruvian Food Truck that will travel to share with the public, great food. Luckily for me food trucks are in! The good and at the same time bad thing is there are all types of food trucks but I haven’t come across one that serves recipes from Peru. Is this a good sign? Or is this a huge message indicating that it won’t sell? That’s impossible. I have never heard anyone ever say that they disliked our food except, your typical Ecuadorian who swears their ceviche is better, or a Chilean who claims they made the pisco sour first; but they don’t count. (Just kidding) A Peruvian food truck is a hidden treasure and I have to make it shine for many reasons that all lead back to my parents.

I wasn’t forbidden speaking English at home for no reason. I wasn’t in charge of cooking at 14 just because my mom hated me (although I still think she may have a little). I didn’t go through years of waking up to my dad blasting old school salsa, Peruvian folklore, and the Beatles for pure torture. There was a reason behind my parent’s madness and I appreciate them more than anything for it today. They left their country for a better life with more opportunities for them, their family, and us, they’re children. They left without looking back, just them two, hoping that they could one day bring everyone with them even though there was no guarantee. I may be wrong, but the message I see today is that although they may have been ready to leave they’re country they were even more prepared to bring their country with them and they silently taught me customs and traditions that could be passed on and wouldn’t get lost. So, that my children’s children’s children don’t one day claim their ancestors to be Peruvian; they’ll say they are Peruvian as well.

This Food Truck idea will work, not for me and the earnings I’ll make from it, but for my parents. I can be an engineer any day and spoil them with my income but there’s one thing bigger that I feel I can give back to them with this silly idea; their country.

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