American foodie salivates over local delicacies
By Seth Brown
December 23, 2011, 11:51 am TWN
I have lived and worked in Taiwan for over six years and when I think of Taiwan I think of good food and friendly people. In a country where the national language is not English, I would not have thought people would be so excited to communicate with me in English. Once they hear me speaking just a little Mandarin, they are ecstatic with excitement that a foreigner has taken the time to learn one of the native languages. The amazing part is how understanding the Taiwanese people are to my horrible pronunciation of the language and how determined they are to speak my own native language. This is all communicated with a genuine smile.
My favorite part about Taiwan, however, would have to be the food. Going out to the night market or just stopping by a noodle stand along the street always leaves my mouth watering in anticipation for the new and delicious foods that I discover. My particular love is the stinky tofu. It can be smelled from down the street and nothing can beat it with a little sour cabbage and some hot sauce. If you love fried foods though, don't just stop with the stinky tofu. There are also fried sweet potatoes, and with a little plum seasoning powder they are delicious. Fried mushrooms, taro, chicken breasts, and countless varieties of tofu, rice sausage, and squid are just a few of the other treats available.
It is not just the cooked foods that leave me in wonder of Taiwan, but also the fruits. Nowhere else have I encountered such a variety of fresh seasonal fruits. I thought I knew what a good strawberry was before I came to Taiwan. After one week in Taiwan, I was educated on what a good strawberry really was, but it doesn't stop there; mango, guava, papaya, lychee, wax apple (bell fruit), and sugar-apple (shijia) are all some of the best fruits that I have ever had. I'll warn you to be careful; they are highly addicting.