Why Taiwan

飲食文化

  • 日期:2016-04-08
飲食文化

Chinese cuisine goes back to ancient times and reached its present level of excellence through the accumulation of thousands of years of practical knowledge and experience in cookery. Emphasis is placed on the perfect combination of color, aroma, flavor, and appearance, through which even the most common ingredients are transformed into culinary tours de force. In Taiwan, cooking techniques from all areas of China have fused; the Taiwanese have not only mastered the traditional local Chinese specialties, but have also used traditional techniques to develop new culinary treats.

Traditional Chinese food can be found all over Taiwan, next to Taiwanese and Hakka-style dishes. This includes dishes from Fujian, Guangdong, Jiangzhe, Shanghai, Hunan, Sichuan, and Beijing.

Gourmet Cuisine

It is said that in any town, city, or village in the country, there is a snack shop within three steps and a large restaurant within five, making dining in Taiwan a matter of the utmost convenience. All of China's regional culinary styles are available, from those of Beijing, Tianjing, and Shandong of the north to those of Sichuan, Hunan, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, and Guangdong in the south. You can also find restaurants in Taiwan that serve the cuisines of other countries from all over the world, including the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and India, among others.

Taiwan also offers its own unique types of restaurants, such as "improved" hot pot (including medicinal hot pot), and local snacks that offer a native Taiwanese taste. If you would like to have a drink before or after your meal, there are plenty of bars, pubs, and beer houses to choose from.

  • Taiwanese Food: The emphasis in Taiwanese cooking is on light, natural flavors and freshness, and there is no pursuit of complex flavors. Another feature of Taiwanese cuisine is that tonic foods are prepared by using different types of medicinal ingredients for the various seasons of the year.
  • Cantonese Food: Cantonese cooking is known for its meticulous methods of preparation, whether fried, roasted, stir-fried, steamed, or boiled, and the vessels used to contain this food are known for their exquisite nature.
  • Hakka Food: Dried and pickled foods have an important position in the cuisine of the Hakka people. Flavors are relatively heavy, and this food features fried, spiced, well-done, salty, and fatty dishes.

Taiwanese Snacks

Snacking is deeply woven into the fabric of daily life in Taiwan. The plethora of snack foods available on the island opens a window on local culture. In fact, one of the quickest ways to experience the local flavor of Taiwan is to visit one of the island's many night markets, each with a tempting array of mouth-watering delicacies. At each market, visitors can sample a wide selection of snack foods made with locally sourced ingredients. Since Taiwan is an island surrounded by the sea, seafood is a major ingredient in night market foods, from oyster omelets and stir-fried cuttlefish to seafood congee, squid stew, and milkfish soup, all of it addictively fresh and tasty.

  • Pearl Milk Tea: Also known as "bubble milk tea," pearl milk tea originates from Taichung and is made of a mixture of black tea, milk, and tapioca pearls. The combination of fragrant tea and chewy tapioca has made this beverage popular not only in Taiwan but in other countries as well. In many Chinatowns across the world, you can find this refreshing beverage.
  • Oyster Omelet: Sea-fresh oysters are an important ingredient in this popular snack, available at just about every night market in Taiwan. The oysters are coated in potato starch and tapioca. Eggs and leafy vegetables are added to the mixture, which is skillet fried over a high flame. A sweet and sour sauce further adds to the addictively delicious taste.
  • Taiwanese Meatballs: Changhua and Hsinchu counties are the most famous places for Taiwanese meatballs. The meatballs are cooked in an outer wrapper made of tapioca powder, rice powder, potato starch, and water, while the filling includes pork, mushroom, bamboo shoots, and other ingredients. The chewy outer skin and fragrant filling make a perfectly delicious match.

Local Products

Taiwan has a wide variety of products which are uniquely its own.

  • Tea: There are many varieties of tea available in Taiwan; among these, Wenshan Baozhong Tea, Dongding Oolong (Wulong) Tea, Pekoe Oolong (Baihao Wulong) Tea, and Tie Guanyin Tea are the four most common teas.
  • Pineapple Cake: Pineapple is widely grown here in Taiwan, which is known for producing canned pineapple, pineapple drinks, and pineapple jams. Pineapple is also made into pineapple cake, with the pineapple's sweet and sour taste mingling with the loose, soft outer skin that seems to melt in your mouth.
  • Mochi: Mochi (sticky rice cake) was called "doushu" (bean rice cake) in early Taiwanese society but later became better known as "mochi" under the influence of the Japanese dessert "wagashi" during the Japanese colonial period. Perhaps the most famous mochi in Taiwan, Tseng's Mochi in Hualien, is made the traditional way, by hand-grinding the glutinous rice, pressing it dry, and then repeatedly kneading the dough into a dense soft texture that is chewy but not sticky. The fillings have a solid and rich taste that has made the cakes a local favorite and Hualien specialty. Hakka mochi has come into the spotlight in recent years in large part due to Tseng's Mochi.

For more information about food in Taiwan, please visit Tastes of Taiwan.

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