When Rachel Musquiz took up an interest in yoga, she never expected it to lead to a food truck.
Curcuma is a vegan, paleo and gluten-free food truck that takes a lot of its inspiration from Ayurveda, the sister discipline to yoga that places an emphasis on healthy eating. Musquiz said she wanted to establish a stronger presence for the practice in Austin.
“When I first moved back to Austin, there weren’t a lot of healthy vegan options, so that’s what encouraged me to start Curcuma,” Musquiz said.
Curcuma is the Latin word for turmeric, a suitable name for a food truck whose menu is based largely on the root.
“Turmeric is this amazing, incredible, magical herb,” Musquiz said. “It’s related to ginger, it’s anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and does a lot of other awesome stuff for your body, so I wanted it to be the star of the menu.”
Musquiz said a challenge for her is to stay true to the healthy food she wants to serve while also making the menu approachable for people who aren’t as familiar with Ayurveda and superfoods.
“I want people to look at the menu and recognize something enough to try it,” Musquiz said. “Then hopefully they’ll notice how the food makes them feel and want to keep incorporating it into their routine.”
While she wants her business to garner a healthy following in Austin, Musquiz said her main intention is to encourage people to become more conscious of what’s in their diet.
The main draw of Curcuma’s menu is the golden mylk, which is a beverage made from house coconut milk, turmeric and a combination of other superfood spices. The beverage can be served warm or iced, depending on personal preference and the unpredictable Texas weather. It has a very mild sweet flavor, courtesy of the coconut milk and dates inside, and it is surprisingly refreshing for a creamy drink.
Another interest drink item is the black lemonade, which is fresh-squeezed lemonade sweetened with Texas-grown sugar cane and mixed with organic activated charcoal. Musquiz said the charcoal is included as a means of pulling toxins out of the body instead of letting them be absorbed. The lemonade has a nice balance of tartness and mild sweetness as well.
The food is just as fresh as the drinks. The high point of the menu is the spirulina pesto zoodle bowl. This dish features a mixture of spiraled zucchini, spinach, sliced radish and a homemade pesto sauce. It’s served cold and resembles salad more than a noodle dish, but the flavor delivered by the pesto sauce makes this dish shine in a way that cold vegan dishes usually don’t. The black cumin seeds also add a nice bit of saltiness to the bowl.
Another major part of the menu is the sweet potato toast, which is basically just sliced and toasted pieces of sweet potatoes. It’s plenty good, especially when topped with the spicy avocado mash, but customers shouldn’t anticipate it actually tasting or feeling like toast. It’s an interesting way to serve sweet potatoes, which are usually soft instead of crisp.
Curcuma does a fine job of making healthy food approachable. The flavors will not always be what is expected from the names of menu items, but they will surprise palates in a positive way. The food is filling, the ingredients fresh and the prices fair. I can’t prove that any of the incorporated superfoods actually do what they claim to, but it won’t hurt us Austinites to take a break from the barbecue and eat healthy every once in a while.