Just days after an obituary for the word Artisanal appeared on this website, Artisanal's rest has been rudely interrupted via the very first sentence of Julia Moskin's trend piece on how artisanal food trucks are all the rage in Paris. And not just any old artisanal, mind you: They are Brooklyn-style food trucks, part of "a recent American culinary invasion that includes chefs at top restaurants; trendy menu items like cheesecake, bagels and bloody Marys; and notions like chalking the names of farmers on the walls of restaurants." Oh, unlucky Brooklyn, to have your name fouled as well, and in such short order! Even if it has been a long time coming, this international usage seems to imply that that shark has been truly jumped, peak saturation is at hand, Brooklyn is dead, long live...the Bronx?
As Moskin's story goes, Parisians who once considered American fare guache, tactless, and fatty, McDonald's-like portions of fast food for the population on the other side of the Atlantic, have adopted not only food trucks but also the descriptor "très Brooklyn" as a term to signify "a particularly cool combination of informality, creativity and quality." Imagine it chorused in the streets: "Oh, Jacques, you're looking très Brooklyn today in your fedora and skinny jeans!" "Merci, Cécile, shall we stand in this horrible line amongst a bunch of twentysomethings wearing skinny jeans and smoking profusely to await today's installment of carnitas-stuffed tacos handed to us from a disaffected youth clad in a black T-shirt?" "Mais OUI!"
Yep, over in good old fancy-pants beret-wearing knife-and-fork-eating Paris, people are flocking to taco and burger trucks, even though it had been said that the French would never eat on the street, or with their hands, or like gross Americans, non, non, non. And yet, they are—there are the "scarf-wearing hipsters" lining up outside trucks, waiting, even, to participate in the Brooklyn-esque food revival in France. Moskin writes, "It could have been Williamsburg, Brooklyn, or Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Los Angeles, but the truck was parked at the north end of the Canal St.-Martin on the Right Bank." IN FRANCE!
So this means Brooklyn is over, right? At least as far as we know it? And maybe Paris is, too? Yes, definitely Paris:
Many of the truck’s patrons are American expats, but even more are young Parisians enamored of the informality of New York-style noshing. “We see it on all the police shows on television,” said Sophie Juteau, who was among the first in line for Le Camion Qui Fume’s dinner shift. “Eating from the ice cream trucks, the hot-dog carts: that is, like, our dream.”
RIP, Brooklyn. RIP, Paris. RIP, RIP, RIP. We're all morte and standing in line to eat out of food trucks. When Marie Antoinette said "Let them eat cake" she had no idea it might be a cupcake handed out of the window of a truck. Liberté, égalité, fraternité!
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.