Netflix’s Street Food: Asia Combines Food and Culture

As I was trying to find a new show on Netflix to watch, nothing initially caught my eye. I usually enjoy watching cooking shows so I decided to watch Netflix popular baking competition show Nailed It. The show was a major disappointment. I couldn’t make it past the first episode so I took matters into my own hands and started browsing for shows strictly food-related. That’s when I discovered Street Food: Asia. I knew I was going to like it. Not only is the show about food but it also explores different cultures.

The show dives into specific street food vendors and offers a glimpse of their daily lives. Viewers learn what it really means to be a street food vendor. They see the kind of hardships the vendors face to grow their street business. In addition, the show has segments focused on how the food is prepared, cooked and sold. 

 There’s a long, interesting history behind why countries around the world began selling food on the sides of busy streets. The first signs of food being distributed on the streets were in ancient Greece where fried fish were being sold. Street food was also common in ancient Rome and China as a means of survival for poor, urban residents who did not have ovens or areas to cook. Now street food has become a way of life for some people across the globe. It is cheaper than going to a restaurant and customers don’t have to wait, they can just grab their food and go.

Although the show is new to me, it first aired in April 2019. The show’s first season revolves around Street Food across nine countries in Asia: Thailand, Japan, India, Indonesia, Taiwan, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines. Each country has its own episodes.

One of the most memorable parts of the show was hearing one of the street vendors discuss how the food is often perceived as unhealthy. On the contrary, many street food vendors are attracted to the business due to their passion for cooking delicious, high quality food.