Street Food Malmö: Folkets Park, a square entirely devoted to food and fun all summer long, has just launched, and the people of Malmö couldn't be happier.
“We haven't had a food truck square in Malmö before, so this is very exciting,” says Felicia Fredriksson, head of operations at at Folkets Park.
The new Street Food Malmö square – complete with pink-painted pavement – is located at the Friisgatan entrance to Folkets Park in central Malmö.
“This past autumn we tested making Friisgatan a pedestrian street, and it was hugely appreciated,” Felicia tells The Local. “This isn't the main entrance to the park but many people still use it, so now we're giving it more life and making it a more integrated part of the park.”
The park, founded in 1891, is known as the world's oldest public recreation park(folkpark) and has long been a natural gathering place for the residents of Malmö. It's already home to several popular restaurants, swing and jazz nights, and a salsa club.
”Each summer we have concerts here, and we have a very active chess club,” Felicia grins. “But now we're reviving parts of the park which haven't been used as much.”
Malmö City is revamping the park with boules, skateboarding, and even a “Bicycle Safari” for children.
And from Wednesday to Sunday, 11am to 7pm until August 6, visitors will be able to indulge in a variety of hand-picked street food dishes while enjoying live music and games in the popular park.
Thirteen different hand-picked food trucks will operate at the square – “though not all at once, just five or six each day”, Felicia explains.
“We want to have something for everyone, but not have trucks which compete with each other or the other restaurants in the park and nearby.”
”I'm excited but nervous,” confesses Zainab, the Indian woman behind The Masala Box, one of the food trucks selected to serve the park. “There's so much to plan and do! It will be a great summer.”
Zainab and her husband opened their food truck in 2014, and also offer cooking courses and run a small restaurant. She wanted Indian food to be as accessible as Chinese food and pasta – on the go, in a box, anytime and anywhere. It was a hit.
“I didn't find what I wanted here so I created it,” she explains. She adds that's what people do in Malmö – and what makes it so unique. “The Malmö food scene is special because there is so much to choose from.”
The new street food square is proof. It features just a handful of Malmö's many trucks, yet visitors will find everything from "vegan soulfood" and African brunch dishes to Vietnamese waffles and asparagus wraps.
“Malmö's food scene reflects Malmö on the whole – and the diversity we have here,” Felicia says. “You can find food from all over the world.”
Kjell of Casseroll, where guests will find tasty stews and fresh-baked bread, says he has two goals with his food truck:
“The first is to make food that makes people feel good – no added ingredients, totally natural, and usually local and ecological. The second is to save the world in my own small way.”
For each meal bought at Casseroll, 5 kronor is donated to Oxfam, an international charity network which aims to end global poverty.
“It's absurd that we stuff our faces on unhealthy food while some people are starving. So when my customers buy a meal a child somewhere gets a meal, too,” Kjell explains.
And every truck has special offers for children as well as vegetarian options. Many have vegan and gluten-free alternatives as well.
“This initiative is very exciting,” exclaims Peter, behind the food truck Meal on Wheels. “There's a lot of potential, and from here it's just going to get better. Malmö food trucks aren't just about food – it's a culture.”
This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Malmö Tourism.