This is one of Herbert's masterpieces, as the man from the Main-Kinzig district of Hessen has called his company ("Herberts Meisterstück"). "It all started with the 'Kinzigtaler' - fried strips of gammon with white cabbage and a dollop of herb dip on a rye bun," explains Kai. With its big market umbrellas and little beer garden tables, the square where his food truck stands looks very inviting. Even the old hands of the weekly market often pop by for a chat or a bite to eat. Sold from his adorable French box van, Kai Herbert calls his delicacies 'Hessian tapas'. From a ham hock burger to pork tartar on bread and even 'grüne Sosse' [a local herb sauce] served in a jar - all of Hessen's cuisine is here. The homemade quiches are a homage to the little food truck that made Kai Herbert's professional dreams come true. And some of them even have a touch of Hessen, such as his apple and black pudding quiche.
"Herberts Meisterstück" is a family affair, staffed by mum Moni, son Kai and his friend Ale. "My mum cooks everything herself, with a great deal of love," says her son, proudly. And there is something else that is important to the family: "We set great store by making sure that everything is regional and comes from small producers. That includes fresh herbs from our own garden and meat from free range animals in the Vorspessart region." Their love of Hessen, food and ultimately meat runs through their veins: Kai's father worked at a butcher's shop in Langenselbold for 34 years and Kai himself is a qualified meat salesman. Taking new routes with the food truck? "Absolutely," confirms Kai Herbert, "and I have a real affinity with this market here in Hanau. I used to eat a sausage here at lunchtime while I was doing my training." Now, at the feet of the Brothers Grimm, he serves Aunt Erna's pea soup and Grandpa Karl's sausage goulash. They are his relatives' favourite recipes - "Herberts Meisterstück" is family tradition through and through. As is the Hessen Hot Dog, with a spicy, peppery beef sausage at its heart. The 'Selbolder Riese', which Kai Herbert has made by a butcher in Vogelsberg, is based on his father's recipe.
Street food is so much more than just burgers, as Street Food Friday in Hessen's main city of Frankfurt proves. Described by the organisers as "the most beautiful, largest and most scrumptious food truck event on Planet Earth", it is held on the buttercup meadow by the "pond" at Frankfurt's Jahrhunderthalle. More than 40 food trucks, drinks stands and entertainment surprises get the weekend off to an exhilarating start on four dates in summer. The prospect of poke bowls, arepas, falafel wraps, crispy pork and barbecued ice creams would make anyone's mouth water. It is the perfect place for food lovers - as are the many other street food festivals in Hessen's smaller and larger towns. Events like these are the perfect opportunity to take a short break in Marburg, Fulda or Rüdesheim. Go on a tour of discovery with your belly full of delicious treats, or explore these exciting towns on an empty stomach, so as to enjoy the food truck delicacies. You will be spoiled for choice...
For Kai Herbert, working in the food truck is a real treat - both on the road and at Hanau's weekly market. His guests love his down-to-earth manner and welcoming atmosphere. His food truck may exude a rustic charm, but it's not short of a touch of elegance- as reflected by the gold-edged plates used to serve the food. They are not just for show: "We also have real cutlery and serve our soups in enamel cups." Even at events, the food truck uses no plastic and makes sustainability a top priority. A few days a year, the food truck and its regional super food can be found at Hessenpark in Neu-Anspach. When Kai fires up his grill, all the guests at the open-air museum easily find their way to him - and not only thanks to the scent... of cheese.