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The Taco TruckHow Mexican Street Food Is Transforming the American City$
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Robert Lemon

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780252042454

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252042454.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Engaging Taco Truck Space

Engaging Taco Truck Space

(p.1) Introduction Engaging Taco Truck Space
The Taco Truck

Robert Lemon

University of Illinois Press

This introduction places taco trucks within a historical context and presents geographical concepts that are used throughout the book. It briefly reviews Mexican street food origins, from the Aztec capital's cuisine to modern-day tacos in Los Angeles. It takes a close look at the advent of the taco truck in California and how taco trucks mirror Mexican immigration patterns across the nation. The chapter then discusses the ways taco trucks fit into contemporary geographic discourses related to landscape contestation, sociospatial practices, urban policy, city planning, food studies, and cultural landscape studies. It presents the friction of how taco trucks--as an expression of the informal economy--are emerging within rationally controlled cities, and that a community’s definition of “quality of life” most often determines a taco truck's place within a city.

Keywords:   taco trucks, street food, Mexican immigration, landscape contestation, sociospatial pratices, urban policy, city planning, food studies, cultural landscape, informal economy, quality of life

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