Saturday, June 28, 2008


AKA the Chicken Truck

I will post more about my family's visit to Europe, but I wanted to post a little something we experienced this morning as we visited my neighborhood Farmer's Market.

I've been in Brussels for over a year now, and I was shocked, appalled and shamed to realize the other day that I had yet to blog about the chicken truck. This is a terrible, terrible dereliction of duty on my part, because the chicken truck is the very centerpiece of my existence here, the source of all that is good, holy and true in Belgium.

Like many a sacramental object, the chicken truck's origins are mysterious. I don't know where it comes from or who owns it (although I believe it might be the Roi de Poulet, since that is what is often emblazoned on the side of the truck, and it would make sense that royalty was somehow involved, because the chicken truck, like many kings, rules by divine right).

My pity for those benighted souls among you who have yet to experience the chicken truck is as boundless as the sea. Allow me to enlighten you: It's a large tractor trailer that goes to pretty much every Belgian Market. The sides of the trailer roll up, and inside (cue the choir of angels) are three (sometimes four) greasy faced men attending, like the vestal virgins before the holy fires of Rome, to row upon row of rotisserie chicken. The birds are skewered and slowly rotating on the back wall of the chicken truck.

Now, pay attention, because this is the crucial part, as they rotate, the top bird's fat will drip onto the chickens below and so on, and so on. The chickens are thus thoroughly basted in delicious, mouth-watering chicken fat. That's not the end of it, though, because the chicken truck also sells potatoes. These spuds are placed in the bottom pan, BENEATH all of the chickens... That's right, the potatoes actually COOK in the scrumptious, delicately spiced chicken fat.
When this process has been described to some people they have responded with incomprehension and even revulsion: "Ew, you buy your chicken from a truck!" or worse yet, "Sounds greasy." These people are heretics and fools. They are ignorant cretins who know not of what they speak. The chicken truck's magical aroma will lure you across two city blocks and for the ten minutes it takes you to scarf down the chicken and potatoes you will experience the food of the gods.

As your teeth sink through the ever so slightly, spiced chicken skin, and meet the exquisitely tender, moist flesh of the bird you will float away on clouds of delight and joy. To eat at the Chicken Truck, my friends is to taste ambrosia, and to experience, for one brief moment, the immortality of Zeus, Thor and Ra himself.

NOTE: In an effort of full disclosure, I am borrowing this posting about the Chicken Truck from another girl who lives in Brussels. I chose to use her words as she described the Chicken Truck experience PERFECTLY! I could not have said it any better!

1 comment:

  1. ginnie Geater5:04 AM

    too funny!!! having experienced the chicken truck, i understand the decadence for which you describe!! i was about to write and express my congratulations for your most creative and inspired posting yet...and then you tell me it was borrowed from someone else!! :) i was really proud of all your analogies and serious recall of Greek mythology!! i thought Europe was really making a difference in your outlook and writings!! and then you burst my bubble...well, kudos to the great chicken truck author out there and to you Tippa for finally engaging us with your love of the great chicken truck!!! hope you and the fam are having a great time (and that they've too enjoyed the chicken and potatoes!)