A Sad Farewell to Taiwanese Food

I still haven’t quite worked up the nerve to stick my camera in unsuspecting strangers’ face to get those beautiful up-close-and-pesonal shots. Nor, as you will see later, have I figured out how to take pictures that do justice to the Banyan tree. Food is a different story though. Tiny, docile little objects, waiting for me to devour them, first photographically, then esophagally. Here we come:

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Good old peas and carrots! A little bit of this on top of my bowl of rice just about makes my day.

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Nor will I ever turn down peanuts and anchovies. I have wondered a lot recently why it is that I’m not losing weight. On riding days, I must burn four or five thousad calories, if not more, and yet my body seems not to have changed a bit. The answer must lie in the peanuts. At something like eight calories a piece, a spoonful provides an easy fifty and an afternoon snack may well top three or four hundred. Hallelujah!

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Deep-fried taro cake. Taro is an interesting root crop. Even when boiled thoroughly it tends to retain a sort of crumbly texture, such that I’m never quite convinced it’s fully cooked. On the other hand, it’s sweeter than potatoes and makes a nice pastry filling when mashed together with sugar. I had never encountered it deep-fried until this cake, which definitely blew me away. I suppose the oil soaked in between all the littly crumbly bits, and the slightly salty sauce drew out the taro’s inherent sweetness.

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While not technically Taiwanese food, I’ll most likely be saying goodbye to homemade oatmeal with roasted peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, since I’ll also be giving up most of my cooking when I return to the mainland. The passion fruit on top was not a good choice. Maybe something about sour and rich/fatty not going together? Whatever the reason, don’t try it.

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“Do you mind if I take a picture?” – “Of the bread, not of me.”

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Boss didn’t think it was funny when I asked him if this was goat brain.

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Black peanuts. Taste the same.

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I had actually been trying to take a picture of the sugar can juice press to the right, but this lovely lady jumped into center stage and posed for an awkward five seconds until I realized what she was up to. People sure treat you different when you have a fancy camera in your hands.

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Homemade kabocha squash. Step one: sautee with julienned ginger. Step two: add some water and steam. I do love how simple some Taiwanese dishes are.

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Ah yes, my old friend hotpot.

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This kind lady advised me as to the best star fruit, the cut it up for me and obligingly served it to me on my own plate. Yet another succesful plastic-free pit stop.

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The top a lot of the fruit here with plum salt.

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Another homemade specialty: Guabao, also known around the house as the “Taiwan Burger” or “Taiwan Sandwhich.” I’ve also dubbed it the “sandwhich which is not a sandwhich.” I don’t know how to say “x looks like y” or “x reminds me of y,” so often the best I can do is call something an “x that isn’t an x.” This is how I explained to the family what a bag Carob we saw in an organic store contained (chocolate that isn’t chocolate) and also how I refer to a certain fruit whose name constantly eludes me (the green-colored apple that isn’t an apple).

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Veg dumplings – not easy to find!


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“Hand Make Life Flower Bean Rot” = Peanut tofu! The name notwithstanding, this was honestly amazing. A little sturdier than most other tofu, so not quite so gross to handle. Infused with a light peanut flavor, served chilled. I generally don’t like tofu desserts, but I could eat this one over and over.

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Thanks but no thanks.

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Japanese “mountain medicine” purple yam pancakes. Huge disappointment; may have been food dye.

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I’m still working out the kinks of the new website stuff. I’ll figure out how to rotate photos for the next one.

Oh, by the way, welcome to my new website! I bought a real domain so I can host my own stuff and do more with the layout. Anyone who wants to be deputized as an offical sprucer-upper/publicist, please email me!

Only one more full day in Taiwan and the trip begins again. Cantonese food, here I come!

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One Response to A Sad Farewell to Taiwanese Food

  1. mingyulee says:

    사진 죽이네!!!!!! 바로 그거야!!!
    가까이 가까이!!!! more closer~~ closer~~ better!!!