There is more to Indian street food than chaat and golgappas – it is a cultural mixture of emotions, and childhood experiences that are not restricted to any specific income level. It is important to note that while street food is consumed by the majority as snacks, for those from lower-income groups, street foods are consumed as a source of sustenance.
People in the unorganized sector, laborers and wage earners, who cannot afford to eat at dhabas, are the primary consumers of street food. To keep costs low, the cleanliness factor is often overlooked. But now India’s progressive growth in hygiene has also increased. Street vendors are more cautious about cleanliness, especially in the kitchen. At the same time, the restaurants take it on a very lighter note. But not anymore! Because of the downfall of the business and reputation, the restaurants have also started looking after the kitchen cleanliness too. They have started conducting regular cleaning services to make things end up in the proper place. But even after many tries why is street food taking place of these restaurants?
Have a look at some common facts about people choosing street foods over posh restaurant cuisine.
- Cheapest food option: Every individual has access to cheap, safe, and tasty food through street food. Starting from travelers to working professionals everyone depend heavily on street food carts and stalls as they lack time. While n restaurant the food costs increase as it includes tax and GST separately. So it is the cheapest food option one can opt for.
- Food for the masses: Because people have grown up eating street food, it has become their identity and is associated with many cherished memories. Regardless of one’s financial situation, everyone enjoys it. Nobody can get enough of it, no matter how rich or poor they are. It’s no secret that street food markets and hubs are thriving with food lovers every day, and they get to enjoy heavenly food at affordable prices, too. You don’t need a lot of money or a huge appetite to eat street food, as it is a universal delight.
- Brings different cultures altogether: In sharing and allowing people of all cultures and races to enjoy food on the street, street foods communicate that there is nothing wrong with being different because food, at its core, is the same for everyone. Food is cherished by every culture and is meant to bring joy to everyone. As well as blending different cultures, street food culture offers everyone a unique array of food that appeals to all!
- Helps local vendors to run their families: Local people who run street food stalls often have no other means of earning a living or aren’t making enough from their small jobs. Almost every business of this type has a struggle story to tell. Street food carts and stalls provide many families with a means to earn a living and make ends meet while satisfying hunger and saving money.
- Saviour for working professionals and young lovers: Due to time issues or lack of someone to cook for them, hundreds of thousands of office workers miss breakfast or lunch otherwise. Lunch and dinner can be had at street food carts for a reasonable price in the morning or if you stop by for a quick bite after work in the afternoon or evening. Well, when it comes to young lovers, there is just not enough pocket money to support eating out at expensive restaurants or cafes for the young crowd, especially those in college or new working interns. However, many love stories have been born and grown at street food stalls, and they continue to be so.
- Encourages to try something new: Well, you are often more selective when spending your money these days due to tight budgets. However, the lower costs of street food allow you to try the new dishes you have been eyeing at the restaurant but do not want to break the bank. Isn’t it?
- Prepared right in front of the customer:
In addition to being made in front of you, street food has the benefits of being clean. You can see how the food is being prepared and cooked. However, this transparency gives many people added peace of mind. And it further helps to raise the standard of food safety and hygiene.
Last but not least, street foods are not just cheap but healthy too. This is why people prefer street foods over restaurants. Keeping the cleanliness factor in mind, street food vendors have become more cautious now. Many people around the world find inspiration in street food every day!
Street food is a two-way relationship where you benefit by getting cheap and good food on your plate and in return, help put food on the plates of many such people who run street food businesses.
So you see, eating at a street food cart is also some form of social work on a local level.