I first experienced food truck fare as a kid on the island of Tahiti. My family and I were on a year-long sailing trip, and during the time we spent tied up to the wharf in Papeete, we discovered the antidote to weeks (months) of one-pot sailboat meals that relied heavily on canned goods: the Roulottes.
Meaning “caravans,” the Roulottes were food trucks that set up every evening on the wharf, offering everything from fresh fish and roasted pork to chow mein and pizza. They may not have been the food trucks we know today, with their hip vibe and innovative cuisine whipped up by talented chefs, but boy did that caravan food taste good.
Lucky for us, the Gorge is home to its own flock of “caravans.” As writer Ben Mitchell tells us in his story beginning on page 24, there are more than two-dozen licensed food trucks in Hood River and The Dalles alone. They serve up culinary dishes from around the world with fresh, local ingredients, and are perfect for grabbing a quick meal on the go or taking the whole family for a fun, summer dining experience.
Writer Kathy Watson offers a different take on eating locally with her story on the Gorge Grown Food Network’s Veggie Rx program (page 14). The program was launched last year as a way to provide those who suffer from “food insecurity” (a.k.a. hunger) with a means to get fresh produce from local farmers’ markets and grocers. As Watson details, hunger doesn’t always strike the way — or the people — we think it does.
Make room for this issue on your kitchen counter because there are many recipes here that you’ll want to try, including several from local farmer and food blogger Andrea Bemis of Tumbleweed Farm in Parkdale. Bemis is at work on her first cookbook, due out next year. Also, regular contributor and foodie Kacie McMackin shares a wonderful Posole recipe to make with kids. She also spends an evening at home with Chef John Helleberg of Solstice Woodfire Café & Bar to find out what he cooks for his family.
Join us as we celebrate fresh, local food in the Gorge, and the people who work hard to bring it to us.
— Janet Cook