Written by Kon-Tiki Taco
The fact that traditions across time and across the globe mark the longest, brightest days means something: Summer is a time to eat, drink and celebrate.
In the summer – particularly in the time of the summer solstice – the foods we eat and how we celebrate take on a very celebratory cast. Who doesn’t love this time of year? Who doesn’t want to eat the special foods that are in great abundance when the weather is warmer?
In Southern California, it might seem like the climate precludes this, as it’s possible to grow some foods 12 months of the year. But still, from San Diego through Santa Barbara and all points in between, any party, indoors and out, should include the fresher, lighter tastes that keep us satisfied and yet swimsuit-ready.
And true to this point in culinary history, the food trucks, taco cart caterers, and five-star restaurants all include extraordinary mashups of cultures, crops, herbs and spices. Want to know where some of the best traditions for a solstice-season celebration originate? Think about the following cultures that understand long, hot days and sultry nights:
Sweden – Their 23+ hour summer days after long winter nights mean the Nordic folk really know how to enjoy a warm-weather party. They like strawberries, shrimp, new potatoes and salads. So consider your shrimp tacos, with spices and mixed vegetables – or seasoned and grilled potatoes – suitable homage to your inner Viking.
Ancient Rome – The festival of Litha, a pagan tradition, lends itself to barbecues in a modern interpretation (technically, they were into bonfires) featuring watermelons, strawberries and fresh green salads. We can derive from this that a margarita bar in the watermelon version would be the good start to a meal provided by a mobile taco catering company. The pagans also stressed “doing good for others” at this time of year, so why not invite over 50 people who might doff a toga as an act of giving?
21st Century San Diego – OK, so this is a more recent invention but the San Diego Fair has a certain delicacy with a national reputation: the Krispy Kreme Sloppy Joe. The mix of savory and sweet is a sexy mix with summer music and skimpy clothes – and similar to what you might get from a taco caterer who offers a signature mango salsa.
From China to Canada to Australia, there are other ideas for how to mark the warm seasons. Of note, almost summer-celebration parties worth attending are held outside. But this can be a logistical challenge for party hosts because not all types of food service is amenable to the great outdoors. This is where mobile taco caterers provide a distinct advantage: just about anywhere a truck can pull a cart is where you can have a party. The taco service vehicle is a self-contained kitchen/service area. And given the hand-held nature of tacos, service ware and even tables aren’t really needed.
So whether you celebrate the solstice right on June 21 or anytime the feeling is right, feel free to borrow from any and all traditions. The enjoyment of warm days and nights is universal.