Slow Food Truck Vendor Defends His Mission (Well Deserved)

Miami's "Slow Food Truck"
Miami's "Slow Food Truck"

By Lee Klein | Miami New Times

Oren Bass, who launched the Slow Food Truck with Zachary Schwartz just over a month ago, wasn’t pleased with yesterday’s post regarding their menu. I had questioned the accuracy of the “Slow Food” part of the truck moniker; Oren politely disagreed over the phone, and told me why. Because the business is so new, he wanted readers to have a clearer impression of what Slow Food Truck is about.

I already stated what I thought yesterday, so I’m posting Oren’s comments uninterrupted by my own. I still have serious qualms over the word usage of Slow Food as it relates to the genre of cuisine being sold (seems to me to be “fast food with integrity”), but I did come away from the talk impressed with the duos efforts to present a fresh, quality product. Here is Slow Food Truck’s mission statement, so to speak, in one of the owner’s own (condensed) words:

We try to support the local community — all our bread is from a local bakery here in Ft. Lauderdale (where the truck is based). When anyone asks, we tell them all the local ingredients we’re using are listed on the back side of the board, so everyone knows what we’ve got in for the day. Our purveyors are mostly in Florida — Florida arugula, Florida tomatoes..some of the produce we’re using is not possible to get local. Potatoes have to come from Georgia because that’s the closest place to get the type we need for our uses. Even environmentally, we’re conscious of our emissions and use E85 flex fuel for the truck.

What you saw was a sample menu card, and since then several items have been removed. We don’t do the fried dessert of the day anymore, or the bacon burger, because that wasn’t the healthiest item. The fried pickles are no longer done. Our sweet potato fries are actually baked as opposed to being fried. French fries are really the only fried item we have going out of our truck right now.

We don’t preach that everything we do is slow food. We do what we call ‘slow food inspired culinary creations’. You’re right, we can’t really do slow food burgers. We’re taking it (the meaning of Slow Food) as handling the product from start to finish. When we get meats in from Buckhead Beef from Auburndale, Florida (main branch in Atlanta), we grind it into burgers. We also get our boneless pork butt from there. We’re not getting the individually-wrapped short ribs, we’re getting them fresh and fabricating them. You regarded the healthy factor as a big thing, and…last night we didn’t have any really healthy items on the menu. But we really try as much as possible to use fresh, local, and seasonal.

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