12/20/2011 03:48 EST | Updated 02/19/2012 05:12 EST

Vancouver invites public to guide street food selection

The City of Vancouver wants to know whether the public fancies falafel over fajitas, or crave caramelized bananas over cabbage rolls to help guide its street food vendor selections for 2012.

In a departure from years past, the city is asking the public to generate ideas for what should be cooked up.

Vision Vancouver Coun. Heather Deal said members of the public can weigh in on the city's new online Ideas Forum. Members of the public who qualify can also sit on the judging panel that will choose the city's new food carts.

"Three of those people will be chosen for the [judging] panel, plus we're now going to do a taste test," Deal said. "We're improving the system every year, we're improving the number of carts every year, and the food just keeps getting better."

A number of the new food trucks and carts will also be stationed outside of the downtown core.

"We're trying to spread the wealth, spread the joy, spread the food throughout the city," Deal said.

In April, the city announced 19 new food cart vendors, which were sourced by an internal city committee according to strict criteria that included measures of diversity, nutrition values and use of local ingredients. Almost 100 vendors applied.

In 2010, 17 food cart vendors were selected by lottery out of 800 who put their names in.

The ideas forum and voting on ideas closes on Jan. 22.