What the Truck? The Glue of our National Identity is The Chip Truck

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Ballygiblin chef Dusty Pettes said on Facebook today:

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If the Kingston area is called the 1000 Islands Region I think The Carleton Place area should be called The 658 Chip Wagons Region.

In Ontario, chip trucks are everywhere, yet their place in culinary history is a mystery. Over 63% of a chip stand’s sales are french fries, and if you’re asking for the nutritional breakdown, you’re not their core customer. Did you know chip trucks were illegal in Montreal until 2013?

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Montreal finally lifted its 65-year-old, prohibition-style ban on street food/chip trucks in 2013. The Montreal ban on food carts dates back to 1947, when the city banished its “chip” wagons on the grounds they spread litter, flouted traffic rules and unfairly competed with small businesses. Think of the job Creation and Additional Revenue it created in Quebec:

1. 400 new jobs for street vendors
2. 400 new licenses for street vendors
3. 400 new licenses for the push carts
3. A new Quebec government department: Office de la push carte de snack
5. 6 new companies to create “Le push cartes”
6 6. people to investigate how certain “push carte” vendors got the choice spots in Montreal after paying their extra 3%

What is our fascination with chip wagons and those sizzling golden crispy morsels that enfold the fluffy potato inside? Is it be lingering insatiability our Irish ancestors endured during the potato famine? Or perhaps, as Collingwood writer Ian Chadwick thinks, they are what gels our sense of Canadian nationhood.
“There is one single, unifying element that defines our Canadian culture in absolute terms,” writes Chadwick, “a skein that runs through the warp and weft of the Canadian psyche. It’s not our language, not our universal social programs. . . It’s not even the animosity we hold each other in — the bipolarization of English versus French, east versus west, everyone versus Ontario. No, — it’s the chip wagon.”

Chip trucks are “so ubiquitous, so familiar, that people just don’t see the historical aspects,” laments the Canadian culinary history expert. Honestly there has got to be some probably cultural funding for this somewhere.

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The pictures from Cravings Food Truck on Highway 7 where yet another Poutine was sampled. Sampling is all I can do now I swear. They have such a unique menu from Newfoundland Poutine, Schnitzel, Nordic Hot Dog, Vienna Burger, Gluten Free Fish Taco that it is worth a stop that’s for sure. Such nice people too! Someone had told me their Poutine Sauce had a kick to it. It’s actually reminiscent of the original french fry sauce I enjoyed as a teen in Quebec on my Patates Avec Sauce. It’s the real deal!

Cravings, 10451 Highway 7, Carleton Place K7C 0C4
TWITTER CRAVINGS FOOD TRUCK

Related reading:

In Memory of Mike Moldowan — The Man Behind the Fries

Flippin’ Sweet — School’s Out For The Summer at Law & Orders!

Treat Them Like Potato Kings — The Potato King

Buds Has the Spuds in Carleton Place!

Law & Orders — A Little Slice of Heaven on The Side of the Road

Where Can You Eat for $5 in Carleton Place on Victoria Day Weekend?

Update: Maryanne L. Oney has closed her chip truck and wishes to thank everyone who supported her. She said it was very hard to close it as I enjoyed it very much and the people who did show loved our food. Hugs to her.

From Kaladar to Carleton Place – The Spud Box is Open!

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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