GeekDad Goes to Taiwan: Good Eats

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image: Jonathan Liuimage: Jonathan Liu

image: Jonathan Liu

A big part of any trip to Taiwan is the food. Things just seem to taste better when you buy them from a little streetside cart late at night. Near our apartment are any number of little shops where we can buy yummy eats, and because of the exchange rate (~33RMB to 1USD), most of the time you can get a really good meal for about what you’d spend on your large soft drink at a typical fast food joint.
After the jump, a sampler of the foods we’ve enjoyed so far.

Image: Jonathan LiuImage: Jonathan Liu

Image: Jonathan Liu

My daughter loves fruit, and lychees are no exception. These are a type of lychee that are especially large, and still green when ripe. This is the first thing we ate when we arrived in Taipei.

image: Jonathan Liuimage: Jonathan Liu

image: Jonathan Liu

Breakfast: Shaobin youtiao (sort of a fried breadstick wrapped in a sesame flatbread), scrambled egg in flatbread, and my daughter’s favorite: xiao long bao, little meat-and-veggie buns, sort of the Chinese equivalent of a bierock.

image: Jonathan Liuimage: Jonathan Liu

image: Jonathan Liu

Dessert: shaved ice, topped with chopped watermelon, mango, kiwi, strawberries, and ice cream (as well as other sprinklings of goodies).

image: Jonathan Liuimage: Jonathan Liu

image: Jonathan Liu

Su bin: flaky pastries with savory and sweet fillings. Savory: Daikon radish. Sweet: black sesame paste.

image: Jonathan Liuimage: Jonathan Liu

image: Jonathan Liu

A Taiwanese delicacy: bah wan. Meat wrapped in a glutinous rice flour. It’s removed and drained, then snipped open with shears and topped with various sauces and cilantro. Delicious!

image: Jonathan Liuimage: Jonathan Liu

image: Jonathan Liu

A vegan lunch at the home of some Buddhists. Clockwise from bottom left: taro root balls, meatless kidneys (my mom tells me they tasted just like real kidneys), a vegetable stir-fry, meatless pork chops (these tasted remarkably like pork chops and are made with mushroom stems), bamboo shoots and not-chicken.

image: Jonathan Liuimage: Jonathan Liu

image: Jonathan Liu

At Jiaosi on the east coast, a local specialty: ice cream with peanuts. The peanuts in question are in the form of a big block of peanut candy (pictured here), which they shave with what looks like a woodworking plane. Then they put the shavings on a sort of tortilla, top it with ice cream and cilantro, and wrap the whole thing up like a burrito. It was all right but I didn’t care for the cilantro-ice cream combination.

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