Aaawwww, xie xie (pronounced: she-ay she-ay)

The are two things that people in Taiwan do best. The first is shop–in one of their 5 billion shopping malls or streets on streets of night markets. The second is to eat. Like, A LOT! [Side note: As a public health nutrition major, one of the things constantly in discussion is the cause of obesity in the United States. We talk about the lack of physical activity and go in on portion sizes, but after spending time in Taiwan, I don’t think it’s the portions. I’ve been given portions sizes for each meal akin to what I would eat at Thanksgiving or xmas, and these folks are stick thin. I think our food quality must just be terrible with the hormones, steroids, and corn subsidies–but that’s a conversation for another day]/

I have eaten more different types of foods, and unknown foods in these last 3 weeks, than I probably have in my whole life. And food is CHEAP here. It makes no sense. Because I don’t want this to be the longest post in the world given my penchant for being wordy, I’m going to just list as many things as I can remember eating. Some of it pretty normal, some things odd, and others won’t even be named because I don’t know what I ate. Lot’s of food eaten on a stick or with toothpicks. But let me just say this, the Taiwanese love their textures–especially the squishy-gelatinous like texture that shows up in damn near everything! (pictures to follow)

  • BBQ squid on a stick
  • Lychee beer–so sweet
  • Lychee fruit
  • Fried mushrooms
  • Papaya milk–fresh papaya, ice, sugar, and milk
  • Bubble milk tea–I damn near drank my weight in bubble milk tea (maybe twice over)
  • Beef noodle soup–specialty in Taiwan that was EXCELLENT
  • melon tea
  • Fried pork rolls on a stick in Tamsui
  • Beer cream–this was weird, it was beer and then it had cream in it that was sweet
  • Durian fruit–yes it smells, but it tasted really creamy and good, I’d eat it again
  • Fried yam balls–awesome!
  • Noodle sandwich with mayo–this was just strange, literally noodles in a sub, topped with some mayo sauce and chopped spices
  • Pancake like things filled with either “butter” or sweet potato–butter is in quotes because every Taiwan student told us it was buter, but it tasted like custard
  • “local food”–what Peter called it, was a hunk of rice covered in some type of chopped meat and some sauce, it was ugly but it tasted great
  • shaved ice covered in mangos and condensed milk–like a snow ball, but better!
  • fresh mulberries–never had them before and they were super sour but good
  • Lots of sausages on a stick
  • Bun in a bun–not sure how to explain this, but it was a lot of dry food
  • Big fried chicken–they take a chicken and somehow flatten it out and fry it so that you’re holding a piece of fried chicken larger than your head–needless to say 6 of us couldn’t finish it
  • Some juice they scooped into a bag with a straw that had those jelly pieces in it
  • Tofu pudding–more like a sweet drink with tofu chunks in it. It was actually pretty good
  • LOTS OF PASTRIES!! There were bakeries on every street corner
  • LOTS OF STEAMED BUNS–from 7-eleven of course
  • LOTS OF MOCHI–interestingly they like to use red beans as a sweetener, so red beans are found in a lot of their deserts, such as mochi or the green tea moon pie like things they have
  • Some type of Chinese traditional breakfast–various veggies, crunchy things, eggs, and seaweed rolled inside of rice and then wrapped in seaweed. OK, this sounds a lot like sushi, but I promise it wasn’t
  • Seaweed and lots of seaweed flavored things (like cheetos for example)
  • Oyster omelette–local delicacy. strange texture but very good
  • Peter and James took us out to Italian food–six huge plates of pasta, a side of a steak, porkchop, and cheese burger, garlic bread, bruschetta, all you can eat soup and all you can drink tea–price: about $6 US per person ($168 NT/person)
  • Peter and James also took us to eat barbecue at a restaurant across from the Costco in Taichung (yes, an actual Costco). Not sure what all we ate there but it was great! We also drank Taiwan beer, which we found out is literally the same thing as Heineken–Hmmm….Taiwaneken
  • Japanese restaurant we were treated to by a bunch of Tulane alums from Taiwan =  a boat full of sashimi, some seafood on a half shell (no clue), fresh salad with seafood–basically just plate after plate of lots of seafood and other meats and veggies
  • Peking duck: Apparently Taiwan has better peking duck than China. Our professor treated us to this excellent meal of peking duck and again, plates and plates of food. It was insanely good!

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