The Taco Truck: How Mexican Street Food Is Transforming the American City

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Manage episode 294158680 series 2359032
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The Taco Truck: How Mexican Street Food Is Transforming the American City Robert Lemon PhD Author, Geographer, Documentary Film Maker Icons of Mexican cultural identity and America’s melting pot ideal, taco trucks have transformed cityscapes from coast to coast. The taco truck radiates Mexican culture within non-Mexican spaces with a presence—sometimes desired, sometimes resented—that turns a public street corner into a bustling business. Drawing on interviews with taco truck workers and his own skills as a geographer, Robert Lemon illuminates new truths about foodways, community, and the unexpected places where ethnicity, class, and culture meet. Lemon focuses on the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and Columbus, Ohio, to show how the arrival of taco trucks challenge preconceived ideas of urban planning even as cities use them to reinvent whole neighborhoods. As Lemon charts the relationships between food practices and city spaces, he uncovers the many ways residents and politicians alike contest, celebrate, and influence not only where your favorite truck parks, but what’s on the menu. Robert Lemon is an urban and social researcher in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas Austin, and an urban and social researcher and documentary filmmaker. His films include Transfusión. Recorded via Zoom on June 2, 2021 www,CulinaryHistorians.org

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