Monday, June 11, 2012

Taiwan: Food and other things

I spent a lot of the day today eating. This first picture is a shot of one of my most favorite dishes in the whole world: clams stir-fried with basil, garlic, and chili peppers. Taiwan is famous for many things, but chief among all things in Taiwan is food.

 This dish is called 五更腸旺. It's made out of pig's intestines, congealed cubes of duck's blood, and spices. To a western audience this might not sound like the most appetizing dish, but it's killer. A little spicy and super tasty.

This restaurant is famous for its goose. This is chopped goose breast heated. I say heated because a very common dish in Taiwan is chilled slices of goose meat. I prefer to eat meat warm, but the cold one is still pretty good. This dish is great. The goose meat is really soft and salty and the chef keeps a layer of fatty, crispy skin on each slice.

One of the great things about eating in Taiwan is the amount of fresh seafood that is always available. Sushi and sashimi is everywhere and it is relatively cheap compared with Japan and America. 

Slaone and I are compiling a list of new foods that she tried on this visit to Taiwan. She is not the most adventurous eater, but she is getting there. Besides, Taiwan's food is so good that she can't really help but eat most of what I give her to try.

This is 鹹鴨蛋苦瓜 Salty Duck's Egg with Bitter Melon. Again, this is a dish that the conservative eaters out there will not immediately gravitate toward, buy you can trust me that it's worth it to try this one.

This really is a typical restaurant in Taiwan. I love the convenience of getting some of the best food I've ever eaten right outside of my door. 

 I love me some 空心菜 Hollow-heart vegetables. 

 This is 蒜泥白肉 White Meat with Garlic Paste. Taiwanese sometimes refer to the fatty part of pork as "white meat" because it's very white in color.

 This is a different restaurant. This place serves very traditional Taiwanese cuisine called 古早味切仔麵 Traditional flavored Noodle House. It has a very basic menu, which usually means the food is super reliable and all things on the menu are done very well.

 This is 紅燒白肉 Braised White Meat that was taken out of the braising liquid and then deep-fried to make it crispy on the outside.

The name sake of the restaurant: 切仔麵.

Part of Shida Street Market. It's still early in the evening so it is not that crowded. In a couple of hours this place will be crazy busy.

Sloane got a little tired and wanted to ride in Devon's stroller. She is too big for it, but it still gets the job done in a pinch. 

More food!  This restaurant is called 牛老大, the Elder Cow. Many restaurants in Taiwan have a stand full of 小菜 "little dishes," which usually means sliced pieces of tofu jerky, seaweed, cucumber, tea-boiled eggs, and various other delights. 

I usually don't do a lot of shopping, but sometimes it is pretty hard to avoid this in Taiwan because it is everywhere. 

Steamed Dumplings at the Elder Cow.

A Beef Roll, which is slices of beef and sauces and spices rolled onto a Taiwanese style tortilla. 

The crowd is beginning to build. This is not considered one of Taiwan's biggest or most famous night markets, but it is one of my favorites. I like it for its laid-back character and good food.

3 shirts for about $15.

Another thing that is nice about Taiwan: getting glasses is really convenient and cheap. I don't wear glasses, but I am beginning to feel like is it harder and harder to see the TV, so I decided to get set up with a pair while I was here. Like all other aspects of healthcare: dental, medical, etc. this is something I recommend to every American traveling here. 

Even Sloane got in on the action. She is a sucker for Hello Kitty and these look pretty good on her, too. 

Visiting relatives in Sanchong, a suburb of Taipei.



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