We have been in Taipei for four weeks now. There is certainly plenty to talk about, but today I’m going to just talk about the food!
We are staying with Mags’s aunt and uncle. Gugu (aunt in Chinese) is an amazing chef making different things for every dinner.
Most of the dinners that Gugu makes include soup, meat, seafood, veggies, tofu, and rice.
We even cooked dinner one night. It is pretty rare for us to cook since we left San Francisco. We could probably count the number of times on two hands. Cooking at home in Taipei made me wonder at how Gugu whips up amazing multi-course meals on a nightly basis in seemingly no time. There’s just two burners and a toaster oven in the kitchen, with room for one person to cook. I assume this kitchen layout is typical in Taipei, where space is at a premium.
Aside from the amazing food at home, we’ve had some adventures at the night markets and restaurants.
The food at the night markets here reminds me of food you will find being sold to “foodies” in American cities. Basically, people combine together things you wouldn’t normally think of, and see what sticks. Like the wasabi hot dog that I had. And the ice cream spring roll pictured below, which was absolutely delicious, by the way.
At another night market, with cousins Shinzi and Cloey, we had pig’s blood and rice pudding on a stick, coated in peanuts. It wasn’t bad, but as far as I can tell one would mostly buy it for the novelty of it. That is certainly one thing you won’t find in San Francisco.
Here, chopsticks rule the day, as you might expect. We have only used a fork twice since arriving a month ago, and both times it was at a nice restaurant. Chopsticks tend to be very practical for Taiwanese food, because it is usually all cut up during the cooking process.
One other thing to note is that shops are ubiquitous here. It isn’t like most places in the states which have designated industrial, commercial, and residential zones. Here, everything is mixed together and there are shops small and large everywhere. On our block there is a tofu factory where you can buy large sheets of tofu. There’s also small bakeries and pastry shops here. Taiwanese people love their dessert pastries.
In short, our taste buds and bellies have been treated well once again as we travel! And with two more months in Taiwan, I am sure we’ll continue to be amazed by Gugu’s cooking, the restaurants, and the night market street food!
For the full album of this portion of our trip, click here. We miss you all!