If you have ever looked into living in Taiwan, you have undoubtably stumbled upon praise of the local food. A common factor amongst all the praise would have been the night markets. This is the heart of the Taiwanese street food culture, they offer a diverse range of food for a cheap price. While having heavy influence from Japanese and Chinese cuisine, these foods are still authentic to Taiwan. Herbal, aggressively sweet and acutely umami flavors are centric to any local dish here. Regurdless of where it is, whether it be in a bustling night market or high-end restaurant. If you have plans of visiting this magnificent country and try its well renowned cuisine for yourself, here is what to expect and how to best prepare for it.
Best Food in Taiwan
Near abouts all Taiwanese cuisine is amazing and a must try. However, this can be difficult as it just might take your whole lifetime to do so. To accommodate for the limited time you may have available, here is a short list of foods you simply can’t go without trying:
Beef Noodle Soup:
It is a must try food while over in Taiwan. Considered the national dish, it will be different from similar culinary experience you might have had elsewhere. This dish is so integral to Taiwanese culture, that Taiwan hosts the Taipei International Beef Noodle Festival every year, where its consumed in gallons. If you want to taste the best, opting for a high demand restaurant can cost as much as $10,000 TWD. Or you can head down to you local joint and enjoy the dish for as little as $150 TWD.
Now this is a tough one, some people have love it while others even refuse to go in its vicinity. As the name may suggest, this isn’t the most pleasant smelling dish. The tofu is fermented in a brine consisting of Chinese herbs, dried shrimps, bamboo, mustard and many other odd ingredients. However, no Taiwanese experience is complete without trying this peculiar dish. However, be careful as a plesent expirience can’t be promised for everyone.
Unlike the traditional western pancakes, the scallion pancakes are a savory and flaky flatbread. Amongst the best traditional street vendors, you can see them spinning, flipping and puffing the pancakes so the end product you receive is a crispy yet fluffy pancake. You can choose to eat it on its own or with a variety of different toppings, either way you won’t be disappointed.
Hot pot is one of Taiwan’s most central culinary experience. So much so that each household tends to have having a dedicated hot pot burner. With close to 5000 restaurants dedicated to hot pot across the nation, it almost difficult to avoid them. Similar to Beef Noodles, the price and quality of hot pots can range quite drastically. From fastfood-esk eating houses to high-end restaurants you have wide variety to choose from.
A dessert option that you can find nationwide. A block of ice is shaved into ice flakes and soaked with a dose of condensed milk or ginger syrup. You can also choose and customized your plate with topping such as fresh fruit, red beans, mung beans, taro, tapioca balls, and grass jelly. It often a perfect way of finish off a meal, especially in the humid months of summer.
Another desert popular within Taiwan. This one is an homage to the pineapple growing history of Taiwan. These are palm-sized shortbread tarts stuffed with tangy pineapple. There is a tradition present of gifting these within family and friend, as pineapple traditionally symbolizes wealth, fortune, and prosperity. Even if you don’t try it here, it can be a perfect souvenir gift for your loved ones back home.
If you are eager to try the local Taiwanese cuisine and are planning a visit, you will be glad to know that this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what’s great about Taiwan. This is a truly incredible country, with some increadible sights, the culture trip does a great job of suggesting the best of them. From unforgettable sceneries in the countryside to an endless list of activities within the city. To truly experience the beauty of Taiwan, you will at least need around a month, which is made possible by the low cost of living. Daily expenses such as the food and travel spending will be considerably lower than the western standard. The largest expense you will face will be accommodation. If you are planning to stay for as long as a month, the best option will be to rent. If you want to browse the price of shared or private apartments in Taipei, My Room Abroad will help. It can simplify the search by district and type and allow pre-booking for your convenience. You can also find verified accommodation, which will be confirmed by My Room Abroad team to be trustworthy, minimizing the risk of a scam.
The food in Taiwan is truly out of this world, however this still can’t outshine the rest of its beauty. So, when you visit Taiwan, make sure to do so properly and experience it to the fullest. If you enjoyed this article, you can continue to read more about Taiwan at My Room Abroad Blogs.