“Sugar, spice, salt: The sugar wars in America”
On a recent morning in New York City, I walked up a short walk to the corner of 34th and Lexington streets, where the neon signs of a popular food truck were displayed in a display case.
The food truck, named Sugar, Spice and Salt, had its first pop-up in the city just two years ago, but was recently relocated to a storefront in the Financial District.
The name Sugar, spice and salt were a nod to the spices in sugar and the salt in salt.
The truck, which operates from a warehouse at the corner, is a small business that sells “artisanal” snacks like the Bacon Waffle and Cinnamon Roll Sandwiches.
It has a limited menu that includes bread, muffins, pretzels and cookies.
I ordered the Bacon, the sweetbread cookie with bacon, vanilla bean and blueberry.
The flavor of the cookie was the first thing that struck me.
I liked the way the texture of the batter was so soft and fluffy.
The cookie had a sweet, nutty flavor, but also a strong hint of spice.
“The spices, the maple syrup, the vanilla, the cinnamon,” says chef Daniel Ponce de Leon, who has worked in the food truck business for four years.
The spices, Ponce says, are a part of the experience.
When he was growing up in Spain, Pase de Leon was a student at the prestigious Instituto de Cultura y Salud y Prohibido (ICSP), an educational institution in the southern city of Seville that teaches cooking in a Spanish-speaking culture.
When he got the job as the chef at Sugar, he quickly discovered that he wanted to do something different and different-ish.
The team is now expanding its menu to include traditional and regional dishes from the Mexican region of the world.
As the truck moved from Seville to the Financial Center, Pone de Leon says he wanted a place to expand to cater to a broader audience.
He also wanted to add a local element to the experience for customers who had never had Mexican food before.
Ponce says he and the team learned from local and regional traditions, like the use of ground meat and fresh herbs in recipes.
The trucks goal is to “make a product that people want to come back to again and again,” he says.
With the move to the financial district, Pones food truck was forced to make a difficult decision.
Ponce believes the financial community would not be interested in the idea of opening a food truck in the financial center.
But the city’s reputation as a destination for artisans and small businesses is also on the line, he says, because of the citywide economic crisis.
On the way to the office, Pino De Leon, the truck’s owner, showed me the kitchen, which was filled with everything from flour to eggs to meats.
He told me the company is not trying to change the way Americans eat, just add a little bit more spice to the mix.
Pones culinary philosophy is to keep the spices and spices alone, Potez says.
The restaurant serves food that is prepared using traditional methods.
He explains that his goal is not to replace traditional cuisines with something that is trendy.
Instead, the menu will include a blend of traditional Mexican cuisine with the newest American foods.
Pone says he does not want to be the taco restaurant.
For now, he plans to keep opening restaurants in other places around the city, like Brooklyn, Queens and Washington, D.C. The business plan includes expanding to a second location in Manhattan.
Potezes current restaurant, located in a shopping center near the Financial City, has become a popular stop for tourists.
Pesez, who is a certified food stylist, says that people come in to order their food and get a personalized meal.
This is the same thing that happens in the truck,” he said.
Sugar is not the only truck that has recently expanded.
In September, Pesezes food truck expanded to the Washington, DC area.
The first location opened in the Capital Beltway in September of this year, and Poteza says he plans on expanding to other major cities in the future.
I was excited to find a new place to do my work and create something different, he said, noting that the customers appreciate the fact that the truck is not a restaurant.
The reason I do this is because I love the people and I love food.
Pamez is not planning to open a new location anytime soon.