Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Broccoli Vendors

Delicious broccoli-on-the-go for busy urbanites
  (+3)
(+3)
  [vote for,
against]

It’s lunch time in the city. You’re in a hurry and you’d like to grab something to eat on the run; but hot dogs and pretzels are so unhealthy! Isn’t there a better option?

There should be. It has occurred to me that a regular hot dog vending cart could be adapted for the preparation and sale of broccoli.

Imagine ordering a head of broccoli from a sidewalk broccoli cart. The vendor dips his tongs into the steaming vat and retrieves a bright-green, freshly-cooked broccoli. There is a wide variety of toppings to choose from, but my favorites are a light spritz of olive oil and a peppering of ground pepper.

The vendor wraps the stem in paper so you can hold it like an ice cream cone and eat your delicious broccoli as you walk down the street.

AO, May 08 2003

Bread and Butter Vendors http://www.halfbake..._20Butter_20Vendors
reminded me of this idea by [Saveloy] [krelnik, Oct 21 2004]

Marmite http://www.marmite....armite/marmite.html
[hippo, Oct 21 2004]

Marmite http://www.teacozy.com/stocklst.htm
I've been able to find Marmite in the US fairly easily. If you can't find it locally though, these people do it mail order. $10 for a small jar is a lot, but remember you don't need that much of it. [hippo, Oct 21 2004]

Food Quotes: Broccoli http://www.foodrefe...html/qbroccoli.html
"I'm President of the United States and I'm not going to eat any more broccoli." [-alx, Oct 21 2004]

French Laundry Reservations Saga http://www.vaneats....ervation.saga.part1
Appears to have some useful tips for getting notoriously hard-to-get reservations at this celebrated restaurant [snarfyguy, Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I like it. I would be a patron. I would hope that they carry cauliflower, and the broccoli hybrids broccoflower and broccolini, too.   

       Maybe you could call the franchise: G Bush Sr.'s
bristolz, May 08 2003
  

       I shall have nothing whatsoever to do with this evil broccoli propagation plan.
-alx, May 08 2003
  

       The really cruel thing about this idea is that it doesn't exist.
dijontoothpaste, May 08 2003
  

       I am going to go one further than -alx and will be challenging the licensing of these premises all the way to the highest court in the land, even if it bankrupts me.
my face your, May 08 2003
  

       I'm pleased to see I can count on at least one ally in the brutal Broccoli Wars that lie ahead of us.
-alx, May 08 2003
  

       Oh, please, we let hot dog vendors get away with murder.
What could be cooler than walking down the street with a steaming head of broccoli in one hand and a cup of dippin' cheese in the other?
Hilarious.
k_sra, May 08 2003
  

       Mmmm. [k_], dippin’ cheese. That’s good. The dip possibilities add a whole new dimension.
AO, May 08 2003
  

       With a large head of broccoli in hand, I pass [alx] and [mfy] as they protest; listen to their argument as to whether broccoli should be protected or banned; note that between them they have only produced 1 negative vote. I give them a green-flecked smile and move on.
lurch, May 08 2003
  

       I'd like to to see it deep-fried, with bearnaise dippin' sauce.
snarfyguy, May 08 2003
  

       Broccoli is patently the work of Satan. 'Nuff said.
saker, May 08 2003
  

       I decided not to vote on the basis that there are evidently enough broccoli munching sickos out there to make this a viable - if utterly reprehensible - business proposition.
my face your, May 08 2003
  

       This is the most wonderful and bakable (steamable?) idea I've heard in a while. One of my favorite quick lunches is to run over to the rice bowl place. For a few bucks you can get a big bowl of rice, broccoli, and a good sauce that takes great. The problem is getting there, standing in line, then having to sit down to eat it. Give me just the broccoli, cup of dipping sauce, and a napkin and you've saved me 20 minutes of life wasted.
Worldgineer, May 08 2003
  

       Would be a goldmine in China.
silverstormer, May 08 2003
  

       AO, had you been born several hundred hundred hundred years ago the Mayans would've built a temple in your honor.   

       Broccoliness is next to godliness.   

       Cheese sauce, Salsa Dip, Garlic Dip, Sweet and Sour Dip, Pizza Flavored Dip, Variety of Dressings, Tempura style Fried....
mahatma, May 08 2003
  

       The practical problem to be overcome would be ensuring the broccoli wasn't overcooked. This marvelous vegetable can be blanched to perfection in a matter of minutes, but the vendor would need to be on station for hours at a time. So he should have large quantities of raw broccoli (cauliflower, broccolini, etc.) and then flash steam them on an as-needed basis. This would take a little longer than a hot dog, but I'd be willing to wait a couple minutes for bright green broccoli instead of mushy, pasty gray-green broccoli.   

       Furthermore, the vendor could prominently display his cell phone number: 1-800-HOT-BROC for call ahead service. Glancing out the window of your high-rise downtown office, you [alx or mfy] could pick up your phone and give steaming hot fresh broccoli a try!
dijontoothpaste, May 08 2003
  

       A little impromptu HB focus grouping: How much would you pay for a freshly prepared head of broccoli?   

       I myself would be happy to pay $6-$7 (US) dollars (including sauce/dip).
dijontoothpaste, May 08 2003
  

       [dijon] would have to be in the 3-5 dollar range otherwise it wouldn' work from a cart..   

       regarding proper cooking.. Hey... isn't that what a cart is all about.. not getting the most healthiest best cooked food in the world.. but tastes awesome.. ?   

       Sure .. you don't want the broc too floppy..
mahatma, May 08 2003
  

       [dijontoothpaste] I have given steaming hot fresh broccoli a try. I don't intend to make the same mistake twice.   

       I can't believe how many broccoli-lovers there are on the bakery. I bet you all eat Marmite too.
-alx, May 08 2003
  

       Marmite! With broccoli! Excellent idea! [alx] you *are* a genius, a true visionary.
dijontoothpaste, May 08 2003
  

       I'm glad to see the other Broccoli-Satan connections made here.   

       Had a friend who spent years inrehab after being a brocoholic. It was difficult and painful for all of us around him during his widthdrawl.
timpestuous, May 08 2003
  

       Okay, this is silly. This is more a variation on a theme than a new idea. As a rule, if there's a market, someone will sell to it.   

       Let me go ahead and lay claim to carrot vendors, eggplant vendors, lettuce vendors, pea vendors, squash vendors, tomato vendors, pumpkin vendors, soy vendors and foodstuff vendors in general so we don't have to look at every unique combination. Please.
phoenix, May 08 2003
  

       So you're saying my pancake on a stick vendor idea doesn't deserve a new posting? I'm hurt.
Worldgineer, May 08 2003
  

       +1 excellent.
po, May 08 2003
  

       If I knew what the hell marmite is . . .   

       Ah, thanks [phoenix]. Does it taste like brewers yeast, perchance? I like that on popcorn.
bristolz, May 08 2003
  

       ([bris] see link)
Cheese sauce, Marmite and mustard on my broccoli, please.
hippo, May 08 2003
  

       [phoenix] If all I had said was “sell X on the street,” where X was broccoli or anything else, then it would not necessarily be a new idea.   

       But, I think one aspect of my idea makes it original, which is the observation that broccoli is especially well suited for street vending because it can be prepared in a hot dog cart, and because it can be held by the stem and eaten one-handed.
AO, May 08 2003
  

       Yeah, same with mine. Except maybe with a pancake making attachment.
Worldgineer, May 08 2003
  

       You want that supersized?
thumbwax, May 08 2003
  

       Pancake on a stick is/would be new. Eating broccoli with your fingers is not.
phoenix, May 08 2003
  

       I would argue that selling brocolli from hot-dog-like carts is new.
Worldgineer, May 08 2003
  

       Fair enough, but I could make the same arguement for carrots, eggplant, lettuce, peas, squash, tomatoes, pumpkins and soy. Do you want to see those posted as well?   

       "I think one aspect of my idea makes it original, which is the observation that carrots are especially well suited for street vending because they can be prepared in a hot dog cart, and because they can be held and eaten one-handed."   

       "I think one aspect of my idea makes it original, which is the observation that tomatoes are especially well suited for street vending because they can be prepared in a hot dog cart, and because they can be held and eaten one-handed."   

       "I think one aspect of my idea makes it original, which is the observation that eggplants are especially well suited for street vending because they can be prepared in a hot dog cart, and because they can be held and eaten one-handed."   

       "I think one aspect of my idea makes it original, which is the observation that lettuce is especially well suited for street vending because it can be prepared in a hot dog cart, and because it can be held and eaten one-handed."   

       That's all I've got to say about that.
phoenix, May 08 2003
  

       First mover advantage, [phoenix].
bristolz, May 08 2003
  

       Maybe brocolli wrapped in prosciutto but certainly not in beef jerky. You'd crush the brocolli trying to bite through the beef jerky.   

       Brocolli Parma. A little reggiano on there, too. Mmmm.   

       Asparagus wrapped in prosciutto and drizzled with olive oil is particularly tasty.
bristolz, May 08 2003
  

       //First mover advantage, [phoenix].//
Bread and Butter Vendors was the first mover (see link).
  

       Even though I do like broccoli, I gotta go with phoenix on this one. I would put this in the "consumer advice" category of "an X that also does Y". X=street vendor, Y=sells brocolli. Of course you *could* sell broccoli on a cart, in theory you could sell anything on a cart. The only real discussion to be had is whether theres a market for it. So where's the idea?
krelnik, May 08 2003
  

       To what Rods Tiger said, I would like add that the choice of broccoli was not arbitrary. I can’t explain it; but when I think of vegetables, and I try to imagine which one would be most convenient to eat while standing in the street, as well as being tasty and satisfying, and easy to cook, broccoli just jumps out at me (not literally).
AO, May 08 2003
  

       kudos to phoenix. It's reassuring to see that not everyone has lost their minds.
waugsqueke, May 08 2003
  

       //Bread and Butter Vendors was the first mover//   

       Did not mention cart. Was meant as replacement for burger joints (quote "You just go in..."). Are we now saying that the concept of served food has already been thought of?
Worldgineer, May 08 2003
  

       Maybe it's just because it is in such refreshing contrast to the shovelware making it to the bakery shelves lately or maybe it's that I can easily picture buying broccoli this way, whatever it is, I think the idea is novel and a good idea in the right spirit for this site. In general, I find good ideas that don't quite fit the criteria being quite more preferable to bad ideas that do.   

       Or, maybe, as [waugs] asserts, I have lost my mind.
bristolz, May 08 2003
  

       "I think one aspect of my idea makes it original, which is the observation that " . $veggies[$i++] . " are especially well suited for street vending because they can be prepared in a hot dog cart, and because they can be held and eaten one-handed." --[phoenix]   

       Somehow I find myself thinking of spam just now. Let's face it: everwhere but on this website, the acid test of an idea is whether it *works*. All this discussion of whether this idea is an Idea is semantic tedium. The only real point here is whether street vending steamed broccoli would be a successful venture and/or an appreciated service. Judging by the responses we've all been contributing, I'd say it would be despised by many, and dearly loved by many. There is no scientific way to know if this idea would really fly, but at the same time, you can't prove it wouldn't until you get a cart and some broccoli (and some marmite) and go try it.   

       Let me know at which street corner you're going to be, and I'll be there.
dijontoothpaste, May 08 2003
  

       Words fail me.
sufc, May 08 2003
  

       I'll take mine with hollandaise and dill, although I'd prefer not to eat it with my face....possible to chop'n'serve?
lintkeeper2, May 08 2003
  

       +. I'll take mine breaded and deep fried, or simply steamed with minced garlic and butter.   

       I'm also curious to know, [silverstomer], why this would be such a great idea in China? Having lived in Beijing, I do not recall seeing much broccoli anywhere except, perhaps, at TGI Friday's.
Guncrazy, May 08 2003
  

       <dana carvey>
She'd be the lady
I didn't know
  

       And my lady, she went downtown
She bought some broccoli
She brought it home
She's choppin' broccoli
  

       She's choppin' broccoli
Choppin' broccoli
She's choppin' broccoleh
Choppin' broccoleh
She's choppin' broccoleeeeh
She's choppin' broccoleeeeh
She chop UH
  

       Choppeh broccoleh-eh-eh-eh....
</dana carvey>
Cedar Park, May 09 2003
  

       Strangely enough, I'm pretty sure this idea is baked. In Japan I seem to remember it's posssible to buy tempura from street vendors, which would include prawns, carrots, courgettes, and yes, broccoli, all dipped in a light tempura batter and deep fried. My memory could be playing tricks on me though...
hippo, May 09 2003
  

       Perhaps silverstormer is speaking of Chinese broccoli [Guncrazy]. Whack a bit of oyster sauce on top, delish.   

       I don't know why, but I disagree with phoenix, for some reason a broccoli stand makes sense. You couldn't have a mere carrot stand, that would just be plain shite.
RoboBust, May 09 2003
  

       I think the possibilities for such "healthy fast-food" sorts of things are endless and largely unexplored. I like.
oatcake, May 09 2003
  

       over-cooking vegetables destroys the vitamins. funnily enough tomatoes are better for you, I seem to remember, cooked than raw.
po, May 12 2003
  

       [po] That's probably because they're evil....you have got to kill them first!
silverstormer, May 12 2003
  

       [Sophocrat]'s broccoloi/anchovy pasta sauce is really very good - we have it quite often. I can't remember where I first saw it though.
hippo, May 12 2003
  

       lycopene? is that what makes me howl at a full moon?
po, May 12 2003
  

       [bliss](on the 8th(not that 8th))//Cover it in batter// and fry it and you no longer have the healthy alternative to hot dogs that this idea is based on.   

       (then today)//can not find the energy to make this gourmand tid-bit themselves// So not the point of this idea.
Worldgineer, May 12 2003
  

       8th expects to explode upon the scene shortly.
po, May 12 2003
  

       [bliss] 1. I was saying that this idea is different from what's already out there in that what's already out there is fried and not a healthy alternative to hot dog street vendors.   

       2. I think this is the point where we should agree to disagree.
Worldgineer, May 12 2003
  

       I agree that you do.
Worldgineer, May 12 2003
  

       the paper cone (which is the icing on the cake as far as I am concerned) has hardly been mentioned. instead of paper, I would like a savoury version of the icecream wafer, so one could eat that too.   

       carbonated ketchup anyone?
po, May 12 2003
  

       [po] Hmm... sounds like a good idea, but can't imagine what would work. Nori or rice paper would be too sticky.
Worldgineer, May 12 2003
  

       Nan bread cone?
AO, May 12 2003
  

       That's so funny, [UB]. I tried [Sophocrat's] broccoli pasta recipe for dinner tonight, too! But I cooked it just as he described with standard spaghetti noodles, and found it far too bland for my taste. Even with massive additions of fresh garlic and black pepper. Wish I had thought to squirt on a little lemon and add some pimentoed olives. (Although the capers added a similar bright note, they were overwhelmed in my version.) Next time I'll use a different pasta and may not cook the broccoli quite so thoroughly.
jurist, May 15 2003
  

       Ah, the version of the recipe I use has a small amount of dried red chillies in it. I'll see if I can find the recipe today.
hippo, May 15 2003
  

       That sounds like a creation that would please both eye and tongue, pallette and palate. The pesto and red pepper were essential improvisations; pine nuts and avocados nice signature notes. Thanks for the tips. I'll try it your way next time.
jurist, May 15 2003
  

       OK, here we go. This is the recipe I use, from the River Cafe Cook Book (Rose Gray & Ruth Rogers) - an excellent book which I highly recommend. The River Cafe restaurant is excellent too. They were famously reviewed once as "the best Italian restaurant in Europe". I've eaten there several times (but not recently - it's about £130 for two people - ow!).

Broccoli con Acciughe

Serves 6 (but see below - adjust quantities if you're using this as a pasta sauce)

2lb broccoli, trimmed and cut lengthways
4tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves
2 small dried chillies, crumbled
12 whole salted anchovies, prepared by rinsing, removing bones (I usually cheat and use tinned, but I shouldn't)
Juice of 1 lemon

Briefly blanch the broccoli, drain well.
Heat the oil, fry the garlic until it begins to colour. Add the chilli, turn off the heat, add the anchovies and stir until the anchovies have dissolved.
Add the blanched broccoli and season with black pepper. Return to the heat and add a small amount of boiling water to release the anchovy and make a sauce. Stir and cook for 5- 10 minutes; the broccoli should be soft. Add the lemon juice.

--
They then suggest serving this on top of bruschetta (toasted Italian bread, rubbed with garlic, and sprinkled with salt and olive oil), but I usually partially liquidise it with a hand blender and serve it on pasta with parmesan.
hippo, May 15 2003
  

       Thanks, [hippo]. If it weren't going on 4AM and I hadn't just used up the last of the broccoli on my earlier experiment, I'd be in the kitchen making your bruschetta right now. Next time the Hippo's and Unabbubba' s are in the vicinity of California, let's all agree to meet for a dinner at the French Laundry in Yountville. I think we'll enjoy a lot more than the wine list.
jurist, May 15 2003
  

       Thank you all those who have published recipes. I will try a version tonight with whatever I can find in the fridge. I'm pretty sure I have some broc.   

       I love the stuff, and marmite as well, but then I am British.   

       I would buy it in the street too, as long as I can get a flake in it.
trigger, May 15 2003
  

       I use lemon zest rather than lemon juice because it's punchier tasting and especially because lemon juice often turns bright green vegetables grayish, for whatever reason.
bristolz, May 15 2003
  

       [Trigger] I'm British too. It's no excuse.
-alx, May 15 2003
  

       //Next time the Hippo's and Unabbubba' s are in the vicinity of California, let's all agree to meet for a dinner at the French Laundry in Yountville.//   

       Be sure to plan this *well* in advance.   

       (link)
snarfyguy, May 15 2003
  

       Sophocrat - tried your recipe over the weekend (almost exactly, but added juice of half a lemon at the end). Wow! Had to cook it again the next day too. Absolutely delish & so so healthy. Can see it becoming a regular fixture. Thank you.
sild, May 20 2003
  

       Try it with some flakes of dried red chilli next time (as in the recipe I posted above) - highly recommended...
hippo, May 20 2003
  

       I'm all for eating fresh broccoli on the streets except for one little catch that no one seemed to mention-- hot dogs and smoked sausages have a yummy, spicy, appetite-inducing aroma but cooked broccoli is downright smelly
tchaikovsky, Aug 18 2003
  

       If Monsanto can develop broccoli that has the smell, taste, texture and appearance of sausages, then and only then will I consider eating it.
my face your, Aug 18 2003
  

       Instead of the paper cone, maybe pita bread?
Tabbyclaw, Oct 12 2003
  

       Yum! And I was just thinking about posting an idea for corn on the cob, deep fried in batter and cheese.
jivetalkinrobot, Oct 13 2003
  

       Deep fried corn would scare me, but I've seen corn street vendors before. It was in Rome, and I have no idea why but it was the best corn on the cob I've ever had. Probably just psychological - because it was from a street vendor and with my love in Rome.
Worldgineer, Oct 13 2003
  

       Don't mind me. Just churning a good idea I haven't seen in a while.
Worldgineer, Mar 30 2005
  
      
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