For part 2 I've decided to explore a bit of the night market scene in Taipei. These places are wildly popular with the locals. The food is inexpensive and plentiful. Maybe not a 10 on the flavor scale but you can pick and choose from a vast selection of hawkers touting their specialties with unwavering zeal- that's the beauty of Asia.
Look how the sausage is bigger than her forearm, and someone just ordered four! You can see the sticky rice 'sausage' in the foreground.
[ 臭豆腐 ] Stinky Tofu. You can smell it for days. Actually quite nasty for the nostrils but a lot easier on the buds. Nothing to go Lady Gaga over. This plate had deep fried pieces with that all-too-common generic sauce. After a few days in 'wan I felt the wafts of stink just about everywhere.
It's an island. Crabs and fish 'n such although it seemed squid reigned supreme as either the favorite or the most abundant thing out of the sea.
[ 蚵仔煎 ] The famous oyster omelet. A national favorite for sure. Eggs, tapioca starch batter, oysters and greens pan fried in lard. This puppy was goopy and slimy. Not exactly my cup o' tea. Probably didn't hit up the best place, although it was filled with locals. I wanted to love it but I just, I just don't know.
[ 烤雞屁股 ] Grilled Chicken butt skewer. It's basically pure fat encased inside charred skin. Not the best piece of ass I've had but I try not to live with regrets.
So my 5 nights in Taiwan certainly didn't mean I tried everything, but I got a pretty good idea about the eating culture. Like all Asian countries, the people are extremely (overly?) proud of their food. I just wasn't feeling the love. Maybe it needs to grow on me, although my buddy Sheeze [ Taipei resident for over a 15 months ] told me he's recently loving life after a switch to Muesli for lunch everyday. What does that tell you about the food culture? I'm just saying.
In comparison with Southeast Asian cuisine (which may be an unfair comparison) I found a lot more fried dishes (especially griddle fried) and a lot less veggies. Probably explains the spare tire some of the locals sport. I'm also not a fan of these bland sauces they pour over almost every dish to 'enhance it'? I mean, drizzle me but don't drown me. I think overall the food was good enough, but nothing really smacked me in the mouth and said: "You'll think of me later."
Big ups to my host Sheeze, a.k.a. burger connoisseur. While the eats may not have always been world class, I definitely have some global memories. Much thanks for that.