What’s in a name? Everything, especially when you’re in Taiwan.
By Audra Roslani
In Taiwan, street-food takes centre stage in daily life and if you want to know where to find the best in a certain type of cuisine, look no further than the names of the food which usually incorporate the various cities and towns associated or known for the best in these specific local specialties.
Shenkeng Stinky Tofu
Located to the south east area of Taipei, Shenkeng is regarded as the ‘tofu capital’ of the world as you’ll find everything from tofu ice cream to the infamous fermented sticky tofu here, said to be the best thanks to the particularly pure water of the township suited for the production of bean curd.
This meatball made from pork, mushrooms, bamboo shoots is wrapped in sweet potato flour dough and is served with a sweet and savoury sauce. Also known as Ba-wan, it can be served steamed or deep fried.
Hsinchu Rice Flour Noodles
For silky soft rice noodles, there’s none better than that found in Hsinchu! Thanks to favourable natural conditions, ‘The Windy City’ dries the noodles to a perfect firm, al dente texture. Just make sure you know the difference between your ‘Shuifen’ (water rice noodles) and ‘Cuifen’ (steamed rice noodles)!
Madou Bowl Pudding
A bowl of salty rice pudding is a must if you’re visiting Madou district. What’s unique is that one year old rice is selected then soaked, before grinding it into a paste. While usually mixed with a savoury meat filling, some stores offer vegetarian options for a delightful chewy bite!
Not only is Hualien a picturesque city, it s also know for its delicious glutinous rice cakes (Mochi) which is mostly made from sweet potato, red rice, and also the pristine waters of the area. Traditionally, the Mochi was only available during festivals and before the local men went out to fish but now it is available in a wide range of flavours, making it the perfect souvenir choice!
Pictures: Travel in Taiwan/Mark Caltonhill