The rise in popularity of "street food" means the term is in danger of losing its authenticity. Not so when it comes to Newcastle catering trioLa Tia Veneno.
The name translates to "the poisonous aunt" in Spanish and is, owner Jason Osorio says, "the affectionate name given to the female food vendors in the barrios of Lima".
"We are inspired by the hustle of these women as well as their enterprising and guerrilla style," he said.
Osorio was born in Lima, Peru. He moved to Newcastle five years ago and has been running Latin events and selling Peruvian street food from his El Cholo food truck.
Hannah Furmage is a visual artist who has made tacos in a food stand on the streets of Oaxaca, Mexico, and also in the kitchen of a Peruvian restaurant in Sydney.
Mirza, or "Mama Mirza", is Osorio's mother and a Peruvian matriarch.
"Mama Mirza contributes generations of rich culinary history," Osorio explained.
"All of the recipes come from Mirza and we try to honour and pay respect to the traditions and ancestry of all Peruvian grandmothers and mothers.
"La Tia Veneno is a natural manifestation of our combined passions and backgrounds in Peruvian and South American street food."
The idea started when the Osorios started making and selling tamales from their home in Islington. They now cater at events and make food to order.
"Everything is made from scratch, we don't take short cuts," Osorio said.
"Our food tastes like tradition. Food is culture and tells a story of the homeland. We don't just cook but educate people on Peruvian food, and share our different stories via food."
"The food tells the story of the history of Peru, blending indigenous Inca ingredients - corn, potatoes and the native aji chilli - with immigrant cuisines from Europe, Africa and Asia."
Peruvian food is, he says, "all about big, bold flavours that wake you up and slap you across the face".
Classic Peruvian street food dishes dominate La Tia Veneno's menu, including lomo saltado (Peruvian beef stir-fry); ceviche (fresh white fish cooked in lime juice); causa rellena (layered mash potato and meats); pan con chicharron (pork sandwich); papa rellena (Peruvian fried stuffed potatoes); and chicken, pork or vegetarian tamales.
Tamales are one of the most popular items on La Tia Veneno's menu. They are wrapped in either corn husks or banana leaves and then boiled or steamed.
Osorio said tamales were "ingrained" in Latino heritage and tradition.
"Most countries in Latin America have their version of a tamal and most are convinced that their version is the best," he continued.
"Hannah [Furmage] became enchanted with tamales while living in a Hispanic neighbourhood in East Los Angeles. She lived above a tamaleria and would wash dishes in exchange for tamales."
You can place your order via La Tia Veneno's Facebook page, Instagram (@latia_veneno) or by phoning 0450 028 287.
As for the future, Osorio is "keeping it street".
"We strongly believe that street food should be enjoyed in the streets. It is political, egalitarian and inclusive."
Keep an eye out for La Tia Veneno's next laneway pop-up on Hunter Street in Newcastle (opposite the Cambridge Hotel) over the coming weeks.
N THE NEWS:
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: