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Published June 23rd 2013
Don't miss The Bus for this fine food
The Queue for La Chiva's South American Street Food
The latest Fork on the Road food truck festival brought out some new starters as thousands of people braved chilly weather to Walk Together to Adelaide's Rymill Park and celebrate our multiculturalism and welcome people of diverse backgrounds.
The Premier and Community Leaders Walk Together
I'd heard of the La Chiva (The Bus) food truck previously, and the description of its South American fusion street food was tantalising to my taste buds:
Chivita de Chorizo - Andean style chorizo made with free range South Australian pork, cooked slow "sous vide" style and finished on the grill with local olive oil. Served on "pan blandito" and topped with fresh grilled cheese, our salsa criolla and guasacaca sauce.
La Chiva Menu Includes a Vegetarian & Gluten Free Option
Having little culinary knowledge I needed to Google "sous vide" to discover that it means slow cooking in an airtight bag, resulting in juicier and more tender meat. Pan blandito translates simply to soft bread.
There are two menu options, the Chivita de Chorizo (optionally with gluten free bread), and the vegetarian Veggie Arepa - 100% white corn (GF) hand made cake topped with grilled cheese, salsa criolla and guasacaca sauce. Both are served with yuca (cassava chips) and a drink for $14.
As I usually struggle to eat much more than a burger, I ordered just a chivita de chorizo ($9 without chips and drink). It took around 10 minutes to prepare, while waiting I listened to Welcome to Australia organiser Brad Chilcott and other speakers talk about welcoming people of other cultures into our community - very appropriate when I was about to eat South Amercan food.
The friendly chef served me a colourful open topped burger presented on a sturdy cardboard tray, with napkins thoughtfully provided too. I declined his offer of chilli, but in retrospect should have tried that too.
The buns were lightly toasted, and the presentation enabled me to see everything before tucking in - grilled corn off the cob, red and green capsicum, lettuce, a splash of light brown sauce, sitting over a thick meat patty and grilled cheese.
As I expected, it was a struggle to fit the burger in my mouth with its top on. There is something to be said for using a knife and fork, but it's a common problem these days with fancy burgers. Despite that, my first bite was delicious!
The pork was very tender and quite lightly spiced. The grilled cheese looked a little like haloumi but was neither as salty nor as chewy. The crisp capsicum and corn were little bursts of flavour to supplement the mild taste of the meat and cheese, and the whole combination was delicious!
I found the fresh soft roll to be quite filling given the good amount of meat and cheese, and was only just able to finish the lot. Personally I was glad I hadn't ordered the chips as I wouldn't have been able to eat them, but most people have a larger appetite than me.
Would I have the chivita de chorizo again? Definitely! La Chiva's entry to the food truck scene in Adelaide is most welcome, and I'm keen to see if they broaden their menu even further in the future. While their website didn't work when I tried it, you can keep up with their news on Facebook.
If I had one regret, it was that the chivita de chorizo didn't leave me enough appetite to try any of the other fantastic food at Fork on the Road. But organiser Joe Noone assured me that I won't have to wait long for another - he is already looking at venues for the July Fork.
I have only had the Spanish type chorizos and from your photos and description, the Latin American chorizos are quite different. Havenever tried a Latin American chorizo before. Would you describe it as being similar to what one would taste in a pork sausage?
Sounds like another delicious addition to our food truck arsenal. I read this article and thought it was written by a female, then I scrolled up to look and it was you Dave Walsh. I never think of men as having small appetites, but there you go, I'm always learning! ;)