BEST THINGS TO EAT IN TAIWAN – PART 1
The team here at Pedal Taiwan have provided you with info on everything from the beauty of Taiwan, to advice on cycling nutrition. But now it’s time for the really important stuff – food.
Food plays a massive role when you go away on holiday, and luckily of those of you who are planning to cycle in Taiwan, the cuisine here is world-class.
Taiwan has a booming food tourism industry, with people flooding in from all over Asia, just to sample some of Taiwan’s world famous culinary delights. Of course, there are far to many delicious morsels to cover them all, but here is a small selection of our favourites to whet your appetite.
If you’ve ever heard anyone talk about a Taiwanese hamburger, chances are this is what they meant. To describe it as such, however, is to do a massive disservice to one of Taiwan’s most delectable treats.
Gone is the greasy ground beef and stodgy bread bun, replaced in true Taiwanese style, with a tender slice of braised pork belly, pickled chinese cabbage, and sweet ground peanuts. Wrapped in a light steamed bun and topped with coriander, every magical bite has a symphony of salty, sweet and sour that simply cannot be beaten.
In Taipei’s most popular spots, queues start forming around 11am for this Taiwanese lunch favourite. In fact, this hearty soup based dish is so loved in Taiwan that they even hold a yearly Beef Noodle Festival!
Brought over from mainland China during the civil war, this dish is enjoyed all over the island, with variations incorporating seaweed or tofu. However you have it, the soy based broth matches the tender beef and soft noodles perfectly; a must try!!
Whilst it’s popularity around the world is growing, there are still many people who will never have come across this Taiwanese speciality. Let me assure you, after two weeks in Taiwan, you will be very familiar with bubble tea!
It’s more or less self-explanatory; Taiwanese iced tea (which is often oolong with milk) is served with small ‘bubbles’ of tea or fruit flavoured jelly. The jelly gives the drink a variety of texture and flavour, and makes it a perfect after dinner desert. Loved above all other drinks in Taiwan, don’t knock it ‘till you’ve tried it!
Ok, I know what you’re thinking, you’ve had fried chicken before. As with many things in Taiwan, I’m afraid it’s just not that simple.
Taiwanese fried chicken outlets have sprung up in China, Japan, South Korea and even the USA because of the popularity of their individual take on it. Much like usual, the chicken is marinated and then dipped in batter (usually containing an irresistible seaweed salt) and then fried to crispy heaven. Not content to rest there, however, some place then cover the chicken in a slightly sweet, sticky soy based sauce. I challenge anyone to find superior fried chicken anywhere else!
One of the few foods in the world that you will smell a long time before you ever manage to lay eyes on it. Stinky Tofu is a delicacy similar to blue cheese – the worse it smells, the better it tastes.
The tofu gets it’s highly distinctive aroma through a process of fermentation in brine containing milk, herbs and shrimp. Fried and served with light pickles, it certainly tastes far better than it smells. The best version can be had in Shenkeng district, but it’s possible to find in any of Taiwan’s hundreds of street food night markets….just follow your nose!
For more information on Taiwan, and how you can explore this magical country by bike, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or download our brochure here