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Challenging Elements


In the 1800s, renovated army-surplus wagons—chuck wagons—moved around Texas, Colorado and New Mexico, following hungry cattle-driving cowboys in need of beans, coffee, and sourdough biscuits. Some two hundred years later, what we’ve come to know as food trucks are still bringing people (fewer cowboys, more corporate workers) the mobile à la carte that they crave. In and around Boulder County, the selection of these moveable feasts is all-encompassing, ranging from waffles to sushi to BBQ. To help us out with April’s challenge, we turned to the locally-sourced Bumper Crop Food Truck to see how they’d make use of green tea.

From the moment we arrived at Gary Silverman and Dave Miller’s cherry red truck, it felt like we were meeting friends for lunch. They greeted us with iced green tea lemongrass tonics and welcomed us “aboard” as Gary finished up the main course. Yes, you read that right—multiple courses were prepared, each one utilizing green tea. As Gary said, they “wanted to do it right.”

Standing in the truck, we sipped our drinks and made easy conversation about food trucks and their place in the Colorado food scene. “It’s just so well received,” said Silverman. “Sometimes I think people go to restaurants and it’s everyday as usual—not very exciting. But this is just so much fun.”

Once everything was plated, we moved the fun outside to a picnic table in the early April sun. Lunch (which I’ll daydream about today over my tuna sandwich) was green tea brined pork that Gary sautéed with white onion in a Korean BBQ sauce. With just the right amount of tang, the tender strips of pork were matched perfectly with the green tea-infused basmati rice. The tea’s flavor wasn’t overpowering in the rice, but it did add a subtly fresh taste. I quickly pulled in the Napa cabbage salad as a compliment. Mixed with shredded cabbage, the colorful salad included hand-cut jalapeños, red pepper and carrots. To top it off, Gary dressed it in a tangy miso. After a second helping, we stopped to save room for dessert.

Gary’s wife, Kirsten (Bumper Crop’s very own pastry chef) made a cheesecake for us using green tea powder, and laid it in a zucchini bread crust with dried fruits. Creamy without being too heavy, it was the model of midday desserts.

So we’ve established that their food is delicious, but the reason why Bumper Crop is so dream-inducing is twofold. Experienced cooks in their own right, Miller and Silverman both believe in using all natural products in their menu items, and they’re committed to reaching for those ingredients from nearby farms. It’s part of why Bumper Crop has attracted so many devotees in the ten short months they’ve been around.

“We tend to like cooking with good products,” said Miller. “Good products don’t have to be over manipulated, and that allows them to pop.”

Track ’em down: bumpercropboulder.com

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