It’s a random summer day and the schedule says the truck will be parked in the middle of the UND campus. The day before, it was parked near LM Wind Power. The day before that, near the Lyons garage in the heart of downtown Grand Forks. According to the schedule, the truck is usually in a different spot every day. As we walk onto the campus street, it is clear the schedule was right. From a block away, the yellow hue that’s made the truck easily recognizable, is glossy and bright in the sun. The large logo on the side of the vehicle indicates that we—and the line of people already standing outside it—are there just in time.
For the past few summers, a team of community leaders working to provide New Americans with a chance to showcase their culinary skills while connecting the chefs to the foodies and residents of the region (and vice-versa) has helped operate the New Flavors Food Truck.
Each day, different chefs with different backgrounds from different cultures than those typically found in the region, can utilize the truck and sell their version of a home-cooked meal to the masses. The line of hungry patrons waiting to put in an order as we approached the truck shows the original goal of the truck was, and has been, fully realized. In the front of the line, a male patron that was clearly in the construction trade, leaned into the ordering window laughing and smiling while he asked the chef what a fried plantain was. He could have passed for a Viking, wearing a construction hat and protective eye wear. After learning what they were, he stroked his grey mustache and then put in a full order, along with an order of several other items. After he was done, two women of a completely different ethnicity put in an order. Behind them, a completely different set of people placed their order. It was a melting pot of food truck foodies ordering tastes of Liberia, the home region of the chefs using the truck that day. Rhode Mah and her mother, Emilia, both from Liberia in Africa, were busy cooking. In the hour we spent chatting with them and others about the truck, the experience, and how amazing the food was, (the Mah’s can cook) the line never got smaller. G
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PHOTOS BY: MANSTROM PHOTOGRAPHY
From Issue 4, 2019