With origins in Mexico, a dash of Americanizations and a kitchen on wheels, taco trucks are the perfect metaphor for California. They represent cheap and quality street food that has spread from Calexico to Yreka and beyond.
Anyone who loves an honest horchata, a good burrito and solid torta knows where to find these roving brigades of deliciousness.
This blog was started as a way for six Californians (and one honorary Californian) to explore this intersection and confluence of geography, culture, photography and, of course, tacos.
Cyrus Farivar is a freelance technology journalist based in
Oakland Bonn (Germany) — yes, that’s shockingly far from taco truck territory. When he’s not dragging friends to his favorite truck, El Ojo de Agua in Fruitvale (East Oakland), he’s probably out reporting for National Public Radio, The World (PRI), The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Economist, Wired and others. He speaks just enough Spanish to order – uno burrito de chorizo con todo y sin crema, para llevar, por favor — but for now, not much more than that. Email him at cyrus [at] californiatacotrucks [dot] com.
David Boyk is always willing to go on a jaunt to get some tacos de carnitas in Fruitvale, or, for that matter, basically anywhere else. He’s also recently discovered that tacos go surprisingly well when accompanied by other Fruitvale delights such as ice cream from Nieves Cinco de Mayo or beignets from Powder Face. A Ph.D. student in South Asian History at UC Berkeley, he makes his home in Oakland. Email him at davidboyk [at] gmail [dot] com.
Robert Breuer is a longtime Berkeley resident and recently retired professor of photography at Las Positas College in Livermore. While he’s a newcomer to the taco truck scene, we know he will bring a fresh eye and appetite to our intrepid crusade. Email him at robert [at] californiatacotrucks [dot] com.
Joshua Lurie-Terrell proudly has, for the last few years, reared himself and his family on a steady diet of truck-supplied tacos. A Sacramento resident and employee of state government, he is also the creator of YumTacos.com. Email him at typographica [at] gmail [dot] com.
Martin do Nascimento is a Brazil-born, Chicago (IL), Switzerland and Hartford (CT)-raised, taco truck aficionado. As Cyrus’ cousin, the two of them often get into hijinks usually involving the cooking or eating of tacos. A quadrilingual cook and explorer of all things culinary, Martin currently makes his home in Hartford. Email him at martin [at] californiatacotrucks [dot] com
Monica Tirado is a lifelong fan of the local chain, Chavez Market, but will admit that some trucks may come close to her favorite source for carne asada. A Castro Valley native, and a schoolteacher in Union City, Monica often kicks back with a Negra Modelo at her home in Berkeley. She is also our resident Spanish-speaker. Email her at monica.tirado [at] gmail [dot] com.
Alan Wiig is a doctoral student in geography at Temple University in Philadelphia. Born and raised in California’s Sierra foothills, when not eating tacos, Alan can be found either riding his fixed-gear bike, or fixing it. Email him at alanwiig [at] gmail [dot] com.