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Gourmet

Food Truck Branding Basics

Every food truck operation is a brand, whether it’s a single taco truck parked on the side of the highway or part of a huge national brand.

The brand is essential for your food truck to survive, it defines everything your truck stands for; it differentiates it and allows all advertising and marketing messages to revolve around it.

Food Truck Branding Basics

Why is it important to have a strong brand?

If you don’t have a brand your food truck is merely an empty shell. You haven’t positioned yourself in the consumer’s mind. If you don’t activate a brand in the correct way you have an empty and meaningless promise sitting out there.

What are the key elements to developing a food truck brand?

Your food truck brand is about every aspect of your mobile business. You have to look at the experience your customers receive when they visit your truck, food, messaging, etc.

When you are branding, or redefining your brand, you have to understand who your primary and secondary audiences are and what the needs and wants of those audiences are.

What you have to find is differentiation.

How does a food truck differentiate itself?

It starts in your tagline. Does your tagline resonate with your market? If you are a pizza truck who promotes fresh products, your tagline must explain that. Does it say you don’t make your sauce from paste that has to be rehydrated in the store but from real tomatoes that have been picked.

What are some big mistakes made when branding?

The big one is a lack of a differentiating position. Sometimes mobile business owners go with the big campaign but haven’t really looked under the hood and looked at whether their campaign really connects with the primary and secondary market with which they want to resonate and don’t ask whether [their brand] is really showing what they want to stand for. They also don’t judge themselves critically.

How do you find out whether your food truck brand and your messaging connect with your primary and secondary markets?

A food truck must look at who is the audience and who is the direct competitive set. Then you do some research. Find out who has the most propensity to eat with you, break the sub groups down, men/women, young/old/middle aged, with kids/without kids, etc.

Then you define your audience. This is absolutely an art and a skill in the world of marketing and advertising. With this information your food truck brand can maximize your reach.

How can you reinforce your brand without overdoing it?

I don’t think you can overdo it ever. If you look at consumers today they are overwhelmed with messaging so if you’re not out there messaging often to your primary and secondary audiences, you’re not resonating with them and your brand will not thrive.

Why is consistency important within a brand?

If you fracture the message you confuse consumers because they don’t know what you stand for.

Become a recognizable fixture in the local mobile food community with careful branding design. Remember to keep your messaging on point with your food truck’s personality. Use your branding to put a positive face on your mobile business and advertise a taste of what customers can expect to enjoy.

Do you have any additional food truck branding basics you think we missed? We’d love to hear your thoughts. You can share them in the comment section below, Tweet us or share them on our Facebook page.

Every wonder what Asafoetida, Entrecôte or Puy Lentils were? Well, Mobile Cuisine wants to help you out. Beginning this afternoon, we have released our Gourmet Glossary for your use to help find those food related words, terms or phrases you might not be familiar with.

alphabet-soup

Feel free to browse through this glossary and if you happen to be looking for a word we don’t define…shoot us a message, let us know so we can update the glossary from all of our readers.

So what are you waiting for…get searching by clicking on the alphabetical page list to find those culinary terms you want to know more about.

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Food Letter AA Blanc: A French term meaning “in white” and identifying foods, usually meats, that aren’t browned during cooking.

Acetic Acid: The acid in vinegar that comes from a second fermentation of beer, wine or cider.

Acidulated Water: Water to which lemon juice or wine vinegar is added, used to stop peeled vegetables from discoloring.

Agar-Agar: A seaweed based vegetarian alternative to gelatin, used as a stabilizer or thickener.

Albumen: Egg white.

Allspice: A spice, berry used as a flavoring.

Almonds: A type of nut sweet and bitter, available blanched, whole, halved, flaked, chopped or ground, used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Amaretti: Small almond macaroon biscuits. used as a base for trifles and other desserts.

Amontillado: Spanish sherry, in the Montilla style, usually darker and older than a fino.

Anchovy: An oily fish, anchovy fillets often preserved in salt. Anchovy essence is also available. both used as flavurings.

Angelica: A herb, often candied used in dessert cooking. Can also be steamed and eaten as a vegetable.

Aperitif: An alcoholic drink, taken before the meal to stimulate the appetite.

Arbroath Smokie: Smoked haddock with the backbone still in. Serve grilled, poached, in kedgeree and soup.

Arrowroot: A fine white powder used for thickening sauces, similar to cornflower. Arrowroot, gives a clear gloss. It is best mixed with a little water before adding to liquids.

Artichoke: Globe artichoke the leaves and base (heart), are eaten. Jerusalem artichoke (of the sunflower family), the tubers that are eaten.

Asafoetida: A spice used in Roman, Indian and Middle Eastern cooking in very small amounts.

Aspic: A clear jelly made from the juices of cooked fish or meat, used to garnish or mold savory dishes.

Aubergine: An elongated oval, purple in color vegetable. Also known as eggplant

Au Gratin: A dish covered with a sauce or breadcrumbs or both, then browned under a grill or in the oven.

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Food Letter BBain-Marie: A shallow hot water bath into which another container is placed to cook. Used to distribute heat evenly and prevent scorching. Also used to keep food warm without boiling or over-cooking.

Baking Powder: A raising agent that reacts to produce carbon dioxide which expands during baking to ensure that cakes and breads rise.

Balsamic Vinegar: Dark brown vinegar from Italy, made from grape juice aged in wooden casks.

Banbury Cake: A oval flaky pastry filled with currants, lemon peel, and spices cake, from Oxfordshire.

Banger: Slang for a sausage.

Bannock: A large, round traditional Scottish cake of made from barley, wheat or oatmeal, varying according to region.

Bap: A light bread oval bread roll with a soft floury crust and light inner crumb.

Bara Brith: A traditional Wales fruit bread or cake.

Bard: To cover lean meat with strips of bacon to prevent it drying out whilst cooking.

Barbary Duck: Breed of duck not as fatty than common duck, requires more basting.

Basmati Rice: Indian long grain rice, with a characteristic flavor.

Bass: White fish with three types: sea, silver and striped.

Baste: To spoon over hot fat or liquid whilst cooking.

Bay boletes or boletus: A wild mushroom of the ‘cep’ family is often found in areas where conifers grow.

Bay Leaves: An evergreen shrub, with aromatic leaves. used as a herb both fresh and dried.

Béarnaise Sauce: Classic French sauce made from vinegar, white wine, black peppercorns, tarragon and shallot, finished with egg yolks and butter.

Béchamel Sauce: A flavored white sauce often used as a base for other sauces.

Beurre Manié: A paste of flour and softened butter, used to thicken soups and sauces.

Bisque: A creamy, rich soup, often made from shellfish.

Black Bream: A dark gray sea fish, served filleted, baked or stuffed.

Black Butter: Butter browned with added lemon juice and parsley, served with fish, like plaice or skate.

Black Pepper: Whole peppercorns of varying colors used as a seasoning.

Black Pudding: A large sausage made from pigs blood, suet and seasonings.

Blanch: To steep in boiling water to soften, whiten, clean or to make the skin easier to peel.

Blanquette: A stew or white meat dish cooked in white stock or water with flavorings, with a sauce made from the cooking stock.

Blind Bake: To bake a pastry case without a filling.

Bonito: Large a oily fish fish from the same family as tuna and mackerel.

Borlotti beans: Large, plump bean, pinkish brown in color with reddish brown streaks; often available dried,.

Bouquet Garni: A small bunch of herbs, usually parsley, thyme, bay leaf and marjoram, either in a muslin bag or tied together, removed before serving.

Bovril: A simple way to flavor boiling water to replace beef stock. Made from beef extract, use as a flavoring for soups. A teaspoon dissolved in cup of water makes a quick beefy drink.

Braise: To cook meat or vegetables slowly in steam in a covered pan.

Brazil Nut: A large nut with a hard shell and white kernel, can be eaten raw or used in cooking.

Brill: A fish of the flounder family.

Brisket: A cut of beef from the belly, used for slow roasting, casseroles, stews or mincing.

Brochette: Cubes of meat, chicken or fish and vegetables threaded on to a skewer and grilled.

Brownie: A firm, chewy cake, often made with chocolate and nuts, cut into squares.

Brown Sugar: Refined sugar with a thin coating of molasses, not to be confused with raw, unrefined sugar.

Buckwheat: A grain sometimes ground as flour.

Buttermilk: Cultured pasteurized milk, mildly acidic with a creamy flavor and thick consistency.

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Food Letter DDandelion: Wild and cultivated leaves used in salads.

Dariole: A small cylindrical mold.

Date: The stoned fruit of the palm tree.

Daube: A method of braising meat, vegetables or fish.

Dauphinoise: A slow baked dish containing cream and garlic.

Deglaze: To heat wine or other liquid with remaining cooking juices and sediment left in pan after roasting to make a sauce.

Deep Fry: To fry food by immersing it in hot oil or fat.

Demerara Sugar: Pale, mild raw cane sugar.

Devil: To add hot, sharp seasons to meat, fish or poultry before grilling or roasting.

Demi-glace Sauce: A rich brown sauce, made from a reduction of beef stock, basis for many classic sauces.

Descaling Fish To scrape scales from a fish.

Desiccated Coconut: Sweetened dried coconut shreds.

Dice: Small squares of food, technically smaller than a cube.

Dory or John Dory: A flat, sea fish, with white flesh, also known as St Peter’s fish.

Double Cream: Cream is 48% fat, withstands boiling, whips well and can be frozen. Called heavy cream in America

Dover Sole: A flat, sea fish, with white flesh.

Dredge: To sift flour or sugar evenly over food.

Dripping: The fat extracted from meat whilst roasting, or from rendering down animal fat.

Dropping Consistency: The consistency of a mixture when it reluctantly falls off the spoon.

Dry: Wine term meaning not sweet.

Dulse: A coarse but edible seaweed.

Dublin Bay Prawn: A small lobster, a saltwater crayfish. Also known as Norway lobster, langoustine or scampi.

Duxelles: A thick pâté of chopped mushrooms, onion and thyme. used as a stuffing or garnish.

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Eau de Framboise: Raspberry brandy.

Eggplant: American name for aubergine.

Eggwash: Beaten egg and milk, used to glaze pastry or bread.

Emulsify: To combine fats with vinegar or citric juice into a smooth, stable mixture.

Entrecôte: A sirloin beef fillet steak.

Escalope: A thin slice of meat, often fried in breadcrumbs.

Essence or extract: Concentrated aromatic extract from the such as almonds, vanilla, or coffee, used as a flavoring, also available in synthetic form.

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Fava Beans: Fresh or dried broad beans.

Fennel: There are two main uses for this aromatic plant as vegetable and as a herb.

Fenugreek: Aromatic seeds used as a flavoring.

Feta Cheese: A creamy white Greek cheese made from ewe’s and cow’s milk and kept in brine to give a salty flavor.

Fillet: A boned, lean cut of meat, fish or poultry.

Fiberts: See: Hazelnut

Filo Pastry: Very thin sheets of pastry east European and Middle Eastern dishes.

Fines Herbes: A mixture of chopped herbs.

Finnan Haddie: Smoked haddock, originally from the Scottish town of Findon.

Fish Kettle: An oblong or oval pan with a lid and an inner removable grid used for poaching fish.

Flaky Pastry: A pastry made of layers that become flakier when cooked.

Flambé: French term for flamed, food that is ignited with a small amount of liquor poured over, the burning alcohol envelops the dish in flames.

Flan: Open pie filled with a sweet or savory filling.

Florentine: A dish containing spinach, or a small biscuit.

Florets: Individual flower stems of the heads of vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.

Foie Gras: The liver of force fed geese or ducks

Fold: To mix ingredients whilst retaining air. Often to incorporate flour or sugar with beaten egg whites.

Fond: A flavored stock used for making a sauces and soups.

Fondant: A soft sweet icing. Sautéed potatoes crisped with a soft center.

Fool: A cold dessert made from whipped cream and fruit purée.

Forcemeat: A stuffing for meat, poultry or vegetables.

Frangipane: A almond flavored sweet pastry cream.

French Dressing: An oil and vinegar cold sauce used to dress salads. Also known as vinaigrette.

Fricassée: A white stew.

Fritter: Meat, fish, fruit or vegetable covered in batter or breadcrumbs and deep-fried.

Fromage Frais: Low-fat, fresh curd cheese

Fumet: A stock used for flavoring sauces, strong-flavored usually mushroom or fish flavored.

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Galangal: A member of the ginger family, used in a similar manner.

Gammon: Cured whole leg of pork, served hot.

Garam Masala: A mixture of spices used in Indian dishes.

Garlic: A pungent member of the onion family used as a flavouring.

Garlic Salt: A mixture of salt and ground dehydrated garlic powder.

Gelatin: A setting agent, derived from animals, available as a powder or a sheet. Used to make jellies, mousses, etc.

Glaze: To brush liquid over food to give it a glossy appearance.

Globe Artichoke: A vegetable the leaves and base (heart) of which are eaten.

Glucose: The natural sugar, found in fruit and other foods, which is easily absorbed by the body.

Gluten: The protein in flour which, gives the dough elasticity and strength.

Gorgonzola: An Italian cow’s milk cheese, pale in color with blue veining.

Gram Flour: A pale yellow, flour made from ground chickpeas.

Granadilla: A member of the passion fruit family, with an orange skin and sweet pulp.

Granità: A sorbet made from a slightly sweetened syrup flavoured with coffee or liqueur.

Gratin: A dish that is topped with cheese or breadcrumbs and grilled until golden and crispy.

Gravy: A sauce made from thickened meat juices, often with added stock or wine.

Griddle: A flat cast-iron pan used for breads and scones, or to cook meats. Can have a flat or ridged surface depending on it’s use.

Groundnut: the seed of a member of the pea family, can be roasted, salted and eaten whole or used in cooked dishes. It’s oil is used for cooking. Also known as a peanut.

Gruel: A thin cereal, usually oatmeal, cooked in milk or water.

Guinea fowl: A game bird, now domesticated, available year round.

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Haddock: White sea fish, with flaky flesh, also available smoked.

Haggis: A traditional Scottish dish of a sheep’s stomach stuffed with oatmeal, offal, suet and seasonings.

Hake: White sea fish.

Halibut: Flat sea fish with firm white flesh.

Hazelnut: A hard-shelled nut with an oval or round kernel, high in fibre. Also known as cob nut.

Heavy Cream: The American term for Double Cream

Herbes de Provence: A mixture of herbs.

Herring: An oil-rich sea fish, also smoked as kippers.

Hollandaise: An emulsion of egg yolks, vinegar and melted butter, also used as a basis other sauces.

Honey: Naturally sweet, syrupy liquid produced by bees.

Horn of Plenty: A woodland mushroom.

Horseradish: A root used to make a hot sauce.

Hot Water Crust Pastry: A heated pastry that can be can be molded to produce raised pies.

Hull: To remove the green stalk and cup (calix) from fruits such as strawberries, or the pods from peas or broad beans.

Hyssop: A herb used for flavoring.

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Ice Cream: A frozen dessert made from cream, or a mixture of cream, milk, sugar, and usually eggs. It can also be made from combination of milk products (usually cream combined with fresh, condensed or dry milk), a sweetening agent (sugar, honey, corn syrup or an artificial sweetener) and flavorings such as pieces of chocolate, nuts, fruit, etc. Ice cream contains air, the more the air the lighter it will be.

Icing Sugar: Granulated sugar that has been milled to produce a very fine powder.

Indian Taco: Originally known as Navajo Tacos, but since Indian tribes other than the Navajo Nation have also adopted these as their own, they obtained the universal name of Indian Taco. Indian Tacos are a combination of beans or ground beef, chopped lettuce, sliced tomato, shredded cheddar cheese, and an optional green chile sitting atop plate-sized rounds of crispy Navajo or Indian Fry Bread.

Infuse: To extract flavors from herbs, spices, tea or coffee using boiling water and allowing to stand or cool.

Irish Coffee: Black coffee with sugar and Irish whiskey, topped with fresh cream.

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