Every country is different in that it has its own form of street food, but street food is also a unifying factor in and of itself. Anywhere you go, you can find street food vendors shilling out the local preferred cuisine. In the United States, this comes in the form of trucks serving barbecued meats, burgers, and sometimes even international foods. In many European countries, street food refers to food found in markets and food served late at night, typically pizza and kebabs. But street food’s history doesn’t come from the United States, England, or any modern nation at all.

Street food, believe it or not, is actually an ancient food. It comes from ancient Greece, to be exact. Way back then, Greek street food consisted of bits of fried fish that were sold from street vendors at all times of day. It’s customer base encompassed mainly the lower classes living within the confines of Rome. The lower classes favored street food because their own homes didn’t come equipped with any means to prepare hot food for their families and themselves. So, no ovens and no hearths meant residents would take to the streets and purchase fried fish from vendors.

Ancient Greece isn’t the only place where street food historically took root, though. In ancient China, the wealthier classes also partook in the consumption of street food along with the nation’s poor. Those who had servants would send their staff out into the streets to purchase street food and bring them back to the house for their employers to feast upon. Despite these two examples, street food was typically a characteristic of any urbanized area. Examples of street food and their vendors can be found throughout really almost any ancient urban civilization.

Besides the lack of a functioning kitchen in the home, street food was also a popular choice of the working class because it was convenient, filling, and cheap - much like fast food today. Working people would purchase street food on their way home from work, as the demands of a working lifestyle afforded very little time for home life chores such as shopping for food, cooking, and cleaning up after it. Because of the nature of street food, a customer didn’t even have to go out of their way to enter a restaurant establishment to make their purchase. It was the ultimate convenience.

The same convenience and fair pricing is what makes street food popular still today. India is a massive hub of street food culture. Most of which is sold from pushcart vendors, making street food a big industry in the country. But street food has evolved far beyond regional culinary delights. Now, the array of street food you can buy almost anywhere at any time offers an array of international cuisines that pays homage to each nation’s cultural street food roots.

Author's Bio: 

Spice up your tongue with traditional Icelandic food and delicious Icelandic street food in Reykjavik, Iceland at 101 Reykjavik Street Food Restaurant. Also chicken noodle soup, lobster soup, beef noodle soup,lamb meat soup, vegetable noodle soup, traditional Icelandic fish stew, Icelandic fish and chips, etc...