Covid hasn’t been the best customer for the restaurant trade, but you can’t keep the French from their repas for long, and a surprise new movement has taken off in the wake of le confinement. Food trucks were making a mark before 2020, but lockdown has seen their popularity rocket – even in the middle of nowhere.
Janine Marsh, editor of My Good Life in France and author of the book My Four Seasons in France, lives in a tiny village in the rural Seven Valleys, Hauts-de-France. “I’m used to no shops, no bars and no restaurants within several miles,” she says.
The days of takeaways were a distant memory until a local couple started a food truck business, supported by the mayor, who gave them a pitch outside the town hall.
“On their first night in our village they ran out of burgers,” says Janine. “With lockdown ongoing, their weekly visit to our village has become increasingly important. It gives us something to look forward to, a night off from cooking, and Caroline and Damian, the food truckers, give us news and gossip from around the valleys.”
British expats Sam and Angus Mclelland, who are based in Ernée in the Mayenne département, run The Hungry Cow food truck.
Sam says: “We concentrate on street food from all corners of the world. We change the menu every week and offer a meat dish, a veggie dish and a dessert. People love the fact that every week is different. And now due to Covid people can’t travel to different countries so we are offering them flavours from all over the world in France! Covid has shown that food trucks are here for good. In a lot of remote villages in France the weekly pizza van or crêpe van has been people’s only chance to get a take away. The French are becoming much more open to global cuisine and have welcomed us with open arms.”
From France Today magazine
Sam and Angus Mclelland serve their local community an ever-changing menu from their food truck, The Hungry Cow
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