oyceter: Picture of temple mirrored (taiwan otp)
[personal profile] oyceter
I haven't forgotten the meme! Just got kind of busy the past few days. Also keeping the tag the same despite the change in months just so I can locate things more easily.

For [personal profile] rachelmanija, who asked about favorite foods in Taiwan.

This is very difficult! There are so many! To cheat, I will instead list categories and then talk about stuff in them.

Fruit. OMG I miss the fruit from Taiwan so much. Mangoes and lychees, obviously, but also the oranges, which are usually much sweeter than the ones here. I also miss wax apples (lian wu), which I don't think I've seen around Bay Area, as well as fresh dates (zhao zi). Actually, I just looked that up, and apparently they are called "Chinese dates" or "green jujubes"? I usually find dried dates and jujubes too sweet, but I love the fresh green ones, which are light and crunchy and somewhat honey flavored to me. The pineapple is usually a lot sweeter as well, yum. And of course I love how much fresh juice there is! There are a lot of places that will basically blend the fruit with a little water and maybe a little honey or fructose, so it tastes like the fruit... I like Jamba Juice every so often, but it annoys me so much that most of their things have sorbet in it, and that they are usually a blend of a ton of things.

Street food. So much good cheap food from street carts! I think my favorites are the little egg cakes, which are crispy on the outside and light and fluffy and moist on the inside (at least if the cart makes them right... sometimes they get too dry). They're bigger than the ones sold in Hong Kong, so there's more of the cake on the inside. I also love being able to get green onion pancakes in random places, as well as the green onion pancakes with egg (dan bing), especially when it's more of a roti texture (zhua bing). And of course there is the fried chicken, which comes in a giant slab or in pieces on a stick (I like this kind b/c I am too lazy to get all the meat off the bone on the giant slab), and how the fried chicken places will have other stuff that they sprinkle the flavoring over. My fav is the green beans. I also miss being able to get roast chestnuts on the street, as well as ling jiao and baked yams, and I forgot what it's called, but the candied fruit on a stick that is amazing. I feel like I am betraying the island when I say I am not the hugest fan of stinky tofu (I like it fine, I just don't really hunt it down) or the oyster pancake things (o ah mi jian), though I do like the noodles (o ah mi sua)! I am pretty sure I am missing a ton of other stuff I really love because there is just SO MUCH. I also miss the fact that it's actually pretty cheap there, as opposed to food trucks here, or stands at fairs.

Din Tai Fung. Okay, it seems kind of weird giving one restaurant its own category but it is the BEST PLACE EVER. I miss their Shanghainese soup dumplings, but also the little dessert ones with red bean paste and their chicken soup with noodles, and actually all their noodles, and the dumplings with finely chopped veggies and meat, and the really delicate fish dumplings. Everything is good! I still haven't found a place that does dumplings with skin quite so thin, and they basically do everything well, from the chewiness of the noodles to the thick richness of the red bean paste.

Bakeries. Taiwan isn't as big on chewy bread as the US is, but it is very big on random bakery concoctions. I just like wandering into random bakeries to see what they have. When I was a kid, I loved the cream-filled horns, and then there's pineapple bread, which does not actually contain pineapple and is only called so because of how it looks. I really love stuff like curry-filled naan and tuna fish and corn in a little roll, or ketchup and little sausages, and other little savory meal-like things you can get. I also loooooove the pastries in Taiwan, which are very influenced by the whole Japanese take on French pastries thing. I love the little cakes or mousses flavored with green tea or black sesame or mango, and I love the blend of the flavors, as well as how little and delicate they are. 15eme is still my favorite place, but I will go into pretty much any store to check out what they have, because all the places have such different cakes!

And I keep trying to come up with other categories and getting distracted. I went from noodles and beef noodle soup to ramen and the Japanese food in Taiwan, which is amazing, and then there is the seafood! A giant new modern fish market opened up a few years ago, and I have not gone, but by all reports, it is delicious. And then I went back to cold noodles with sesame sauce and cucumber and chicken and how the one from 7 Eleven is not that bad, and then I realized I had not even touched on convenience store food and random potato chip flavors and being able to get onigiri there.

Now I am very hungry and I am going to get some food...

Date: 2014-01-05 07:35 am (UTC)
februaryfour: (Default)
From: [personal profile] februaryfour
You make me hungry. *sad*

BTW where in the world are you? I ask, because Din Tai Fung is a worldwide thing. Some are better than others. Seattle is great, as is the one in Kuala Lumpur. Sydney had a GREAT Din Tai Fung too. (Don't bother with the one in Tokyo, unless they've changed for the better. SUPER expensive and the food isn't as good as the original.)

ETA: Oh duh, I can check your location. There are THREE Din Tai Fung branches in LA and one in Seattle. http://www.dintaifungusa.com/
Edited Date: 2014-01-05 07:38 am (UTC)

Date: 2014-01-05 07:11 pm (UTC)
februaryfour: (Default)
From: [personal profile] februaryfour
I'm really surprised they don't have one in SF! I thought SF would be the obvious first place to open one. >_

Date: 2014-01-05 09:50 am (UTC)
nou: The word "kake" in a white monospaced font on a black background (Default)
From: [personal profile] nou
A friend of mine has a campaign to bring Din Tai Fung to the UK. (Sadly, he has not yet succeeded in persuading them.)

Date: 2014-01-05 08:41 am (UTC)
tevere: Jihae, solemn with hint of smile (Default)
From: [personal profile] tevere

Date: 2014-01-05 10:35 am (UTC)
jiawen: (Default)
From: [personal profile] jiawen
My favorite place for soup dumplings is actually the breakfast food/xiaoye place in the Shida Night Market. Really good dumplings, really cheap, with huge vats of ginger, soy sauce, hot sauce & vinegar to choose from... And I could really go for some doujiang right now. And douhua always sounds good. Wow, getting so hungry...

Date: 2014-01-05 12:19 pm (UTC)
vi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] vi
*________*

Date: 2014-01-05 12:41 pm (UTC)
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
From: [personal profile] owlectomy
Oh, wow! I think I'm going to have to move Taiwan up on my list of places to visit. I might not even need to hunt around for vegetarian options, I'll just spend all my time eating fruit, tiny cakes, and green onion pancakes!

Date: 2014-01-05 04:39 pm (UTC)
skygiants: Honey from Ouran with his hands to his HORRIFIED CHEEKS (ZOMG!)
From: [personal profile] skygiants
I ALSO am hungry now. :O

Date: 2014-01-05 07:04 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
fooooood.
My mother has managed to find fresh jujube/daechu near us, but the next attempt will have to wait for summer....

Date: 2014-01-10 09:57 pm (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
*nods* The ones she bought a few months ago were green with a bit of red only on some of them, and we didn't peel them, either. Plums vary a lot--these were the length of my index finger, so 7.5 cm or so.

Date: 2014-01-05 07:05 pm (UTC)
kalmn: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kalmn
You're making me drool!

Date: 2014-01-05 08:17 pm (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
There's a vendor at our farmer's market that sells green jujubes when they're in season (fall). Now that I know you like them, I will pick some up for you this year!

Date: 2014-01-10 09:59 pm (UTC)
laurashapiro: a woman sits at a kitchen table reading a book, cup of tea in hand. Table has a sliced apple and teapot. A cat looks on. (Default)
From: [personal profile] laurashapiro
These are definitely more thumb-sized than plum-sized, and the skin is brown, so that jibes with what you've seen on the Internets. The vendor calls them "jujubes", though, so I assume they're the same thing.

Unrelatedly, I need to cancel tonight, as I have come down with a virus that you don't want. ): Email shortly.

Date: 2014-01-05 11:31 pm (UTC)
starlady: Remy from the movie Ratatouille sniffing herbs for a stew (cooking)
From: [personal profile] starlady
OMG, if I get to go to Taiwan this summer, I need to write all this down in hanzi.

Date: 2014-01-06 07:31 am (UTC)
rachelmanija: (Default)
From: [personal profile] rachelmanija
Arrrgh, so hungry now. Also craving egg cakes, wax apples, and fried chicken. Maybe I will gather some friends and go to Din Tai Fung, though!

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