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Underground eateries

(article, Culinate staff)

A few years ago, we reported on the underground supper club, aka the roving restaurant. Now the trend of snacking sub rosa has morphed to include unlicensed food carts and farmers' markets. 

Dubbed "food raves," the events (centered in the Bay Area, as were the underground restaurants) feature hot dishes and fresh produce, as well as hundreds of eaters willing to support purveyors daunted by the start-up costs of legal small businesses. 

As the New York Times_ noted, "Amateur cooks around the country are pushing to have the right to sell unlicensed goods directly to consumers. So-called 'cottage food' laws that allow products considered nonhazardous, like pies and cookies, exist in 18 states, with five more considering similar legislation."