Food truck fare is synonymous with fast and easy foods like burgers and tacos. But asparagus?
Pasco’s Food Truck Friday event is teaming with the Washington Asparagus Commission to promote the green spears grown within 60 miles of the city.
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Specially-designed items using asparagus will be featured by each food truck at the weekly lunchtime event from May 6-27. There will even be a contest to determine the best of those offerings, with yours truly as one of the judges.
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No, this isn’t a grand plot by your parents to finally trick you into eating your greens.
Rather, asparagus advocates and officials with the Pasco Specialty Kitchen, which organizes Food Truck Friday, said it’s all about supporting local business, from the field to the food truck.
“Our goal for this nontraditional promotion is three-fold,” said Gary Larsen, the commission’s chairman. “Increase awareness of local asparagus, educate consumers about asparagus in general and ultimately, increase sales and support of our product in local grocery stores.”
By making domestic, locally-grown product available through Food Truck Friday, we hope it will make consumers think twice about why buying local is vital.
Marilou Shea, director, Pasco Specialty Kitchen
As much as 32,000 acres of asparagus were grown in Washington at the crop’s peak in the 1980s, said Marilou Shea, the specialty kitchen’s director. Now, only about 5,000 acres of the vegetable are grown in the state, all within that 60 miles of Pasco. It’s also one of the first crops harvested in the region each year, with spears being cut from the ground in April.
The decline in acreage is partially the result of imported asparagus from Mexico and Peru dominating the market, officials said.
“By making domestic, locally-grown product available through Food Truck Friday, we hope it will make consumers think twice about why buying local is vital,” Shea told the Herald.
As much as 32,000Acres of asparagus grown in Washington at the crop’s peak in the 1980s
About 5,000Acres grown in the state today, all within that 60 miles of Pasco
Educational brochures, recipes and free samples of asparagus also will be available at the weekly food gathering, in addition to the inventive food items crafted by food truck vendors using fresh or pickled asparagus and the contest at the end of the month.
And in case you haven’t been yet, Food Truck Friday is from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Fridays at Pasco’s Farmers Market on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Columbia Street.
Vendors offer a $4.95 lunch special alongside the rest of their menus.