Discover the delightful tastes of Taiwan cuisine
Taiwan has a diverse cuisine, influenced manly by its geographical location. Because they live on a crowded island, they had to look aside from the farmlands for sources of protein. As a result, seafood dominates their dishes, in many ways. They use many different varieties of fish including, large fish such as tuna and grouper, to sardines and even small fish, the size of a thumbnail. They use Crustaceans, squid and cuttlefish as well. Pork, rice, soy and chicken are also very common ingredients.
Beef is far less common and some Taiwanese still refuse to eat it. This is manly because of a traditional reluctance to slaughtering precious cattle needed for agriculture, and an emotional attachment to such beasts of labour.
The Taiwanese takes their food up very seriously, their dishes are always very colourful and interesting, it is rather a piece of art than just an ordinary dish. Their cuisine relies on an abundant array of seasonings for flavour, such as Soy sauce, black beans, rice wine, sesame oil, peanuts, pickled radishes, chili peppers, basil and parsley. The usage of the many different spices and seasonings, results in dishes, with interesting combinations and layers, with delicious tastes, that are simple in format but complex in experience.
Suncakes are very popular, a popular Taiwanese desert originally from the city of Taichung. It is made of flaky pastry, filled with different varieties of sweets. They are usually in beautiful packaging, meant to be given as gifts or souvenirs. They are available from most pastry stores and even on trains passing through the Taichung area.
Sushi is probably the most popular traditional Taiwanese dish. Unfortunately it has become one of the world's most expensive foods, largely because only the very freshest fish can be used safely. For those who do not know, sushi is bite-sized servings of cooked sticky rice, served cold, flavoured with sweet rice vinegar and grated green horseradish, or wasabi, and garnished with strips of raw or sometimes cooked fish, other seafood, cooked egg or vegetables it is then rolled into a layer of nori (seaweed). Unlike many other Japanese foods, it's okay to eat sushi with your hands. Generally sushi is eaten by turning the piece sea-side down and dipping it into some soy sauce and then eating it upside down.