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Will Peterborough ever get its own resident food truck?

  • The Miso Hungry ramen food truck came to Peterborough for the weekend as part of The Thing in the Spring. Staff photoS by Ben Conant

  • Kayla Hathaway, of Vermont, serves ramen out of the Miso Hungry ramen food truck that came to Peterborough for the weekend as part of The Thing in the Spring. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Co-owner Momo serves ramen out of the Miso Hungry ramen food truck came to Peterborough for the weekend as part of The Thing in the Spring. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Miso Hungry ramen food truck came to Peterborough for the weekend as part of The Thing in the Spring. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Miso Hungry ramen food truck came to Peterborough for the weekend as part of The Thing in the Spring. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Ben Wohlfarth, of Massachusetts, is handed a bowl of ramen noodles out of a food truck that came to Peterborough for the weekend as part of The Thing in the Spring.  Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

An 11-by-16 repurposed cargo trailer paneled with cedar shingles becomes Jordan Antonucci, his wife Momo, and two other employees’ workspace throughout the summer.

The group sells to-go ramen noodles out of a window in the trailer at festivals throughout the summer. The business on wheels called Miso Hungry served people throughout the music and arts festival The Thing in the Spring. They had sold out entirely by Saturday night.

Joan Huber, of Hancock, and Barbara Necol, of Peterborough, sat at tables outside of Toadstool Bookshops Friday, each with a bowl of ramen in hand.

When asked if they would like a food truck, or trucks, permanently stationed downtown or more frequently, they said “absolutely.”

“It brings people out on the street,” Huber said. “And there’s an energy when people are outside.”

Necol said food trucks also offer different types of cuisine that aren’t generally available in the Monadnock region. Miso Hungry was the only food truck on Friday afternoon, and the two women said it would also be nice to have a larger variety to choose from.

“It would be great to get a whole line of them,” Huber said gesturing toward the parking lot and waving her hand as if she were expanding the line of trucks beyond the one.

Police Chief Scott Guinard said food trucks have to be licensed under a town ordinance that governs hawkers and peddlers. He said the application fee costs $25 to complete, and that the town issued two this weekend.

Freedom of a rolling workspace

Antonucci said he and Momo met in Japan where they were both working as outdoors instructors. They didn’t speak the same language, but they spent time together and gradually they picked up bits and pieces of the other’s language. Not long after they could communicate with one another, they started dating.

Antonucci said they were always looking for ways to make money, and continue enjoying the outdoors, particularly skiing.

“Part of the outdoor industry, and really the ski industry, is trying to be outdoors all the time means that you don’t make much money,” Antonucci said. “So we always worked at restaurants at night.”

He said Momo typically worked in the back cooking, and he out on the floor.

Eventually, they decided to start their own place.

“Basically we said, ‘how do we ski all the time, how do we travel all the time?’”

And the concept of a traveling ramen-noodle truck was born.

Antonucci said Momo studied at a Japanese noodle shop, where she learned the basics. They tested different batches of broth for months before they settled on the final one.

Later, they sent a sampling of the broth they had settled on to a vendor out of New Jersey, and the company matched them with a unique noodle, which is made out of salt, water and different types of flour.

“It took us about five months to find a noodle, and then the soup and stuff we’ve been working on for about a year,” Antonucci said about the process.

That’s the base, and then they add “heaps and heaps of other stuff,” Antonucci said.

He said onions, garlic, spinach, carrots, and eggs, are just a few of the additives.

Asked if you can find a similar ramen anywhere else in the world, Antonucci said “impossible.”

“It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be the best ramen around, but Momo’s recipe is all made from scratch,” he said. “... There’s nothing else like it anywhere.”

And while one of the keys to success is in the recipe, he said part of what they offer is an experience.

“People are coming to us for an experience,” Antonucci said. “It’s not like, ‘oh shit, I have to eat.’ It’s not like a deli sandwich. It’s an experience.”

At lunch time, people ate their ramen on a built-in bar-like table on the front of the food truck. Some people sat on stools, but others stood and ate standing up. People eating outside and standing up is a scene familiar in Asia, but not all that common on the East Coast.

On Friday, a man walked up to Antonucci with a smile on his face and an empty ramen bowl in his hand. He said he had just made up a perfect joke for the noodle shop. “What do you call the naming and classification of Asian noodles?” the man asked.

There was a pause, and some blank stares exchanged.

Someone threw out an answer that didn’t make much sense.

“Ramenclature,” the man who told the joke said with a laugh.

He went on, “if you live in Taiwan, you have a type-A personality.”

The man admitted he hadn’t made the jokes up on the spot, and that he had lived in Asia for more than 10 years, in which he had some time to mull the jokes over.

It’s those type of interactions – the customers – that make the pulling long hours, and working in a hot trailer worthwhile, Antonucci said. That, and the freedom that comes with working in a rolling workspace. He estimates he is able to ski about 100 days out of the year.

“We’ve still held true to that, the reason we opened this up in the first place,” he said.