Posted by: jyunbugspeaks | May 3, 2012

Jyunbugspeaks in Taiwan: Wonderful wacky foods of Taiwan.

Ok I’ve been in Taiwan for 8 days and I’ve managed to consume a lot of wacky, weird and ever so tasty foods. Here are some samples of what I got to eat and what I have to say about it. I hope that I managed to eat something that you might have not seen or tried in your adventures and want to come to Taiwan and give it a go. Mind you some of these foods are not your traditional Top 10 eats that you may have heard or read. That’s the point. I’m here to try the not so normal stuff, the WTF stuff or the hell no i’m not eating that shit stuff. Lets see what we have in store:

SQUID ON A STICK: Yeah it sounds unappetizing but it’s really not bad at all, very tasty with a hint of the charcoal that it’s grilled on. The lady who prepared this was quick as she was careful not to burn the tentacles and kept rotating the beast like a spinning rotisserie. Every so often brushing a liberal dose of sweet soya sauce dressing and gradually building a nice coating on it. Eating tip 101: don’t look at it, just open wide and you will enjoy a nice BBQ’d calamari…on a stick. Excellent 4/5.

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PIG’S BLOOD ON A STICK: Uh do you see a reoccurring theme with the snacks over here? Yes it’s another food on a stick. Taiwan is famous for their night markets and at these mad busy places they have rows and rows of food stalls that serve lots of cheap quick foods which are on a stick. There are two ways you can have this unique snack, BBQ’d or steamed. I had the latter which was the more brave way of eating as you can taste the…gulp, iron more in this version. Yup you can. Its slightly chewy with a peanut powder coating and does have a slight “blood” taste but it’s minimal. I can honestly say that it’s an acquired taste and leave it at that. Eating tip 101: get the BBQ’d version as its much tastier on the palette. Fair 2/5

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TAIWANESE CRUSHED ICE Let’s move away from the snacks on a stick to a more cool and refreshing option. With the temperatures soaring around the 30+ mark the best and only way to cool oneself is to dig into a famous treat called crushed ice. It comes in many forms, flavor combinations and styles but all are amazing and taste so fresh and can quickly cool you down in minutes. Its basically ice pulverized and then either fresh fruit purée is drizzled over the ice or liquid brown sugar and then either topped with fresh fruit, red bean, tapioca balls or iced sorbet or all of them! Our local guides refer to eating this as a coffee break and not so much as a dessert. Either way this unique dish is cool and hard to pass up on a hot day. I’ve had a mango crushed ice and a mixed fruit one as well. Both are excellent. Eating tip 101: get your crushed ice with whatever fruit is in season, it will make the tasting experience so much better. Amazing 5/5

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STINKY TOFU: This one is the thing I fear to eat the most. I heard about it and worse…I have smelt it everywhere at these night markets and boy it stinks real bad. Its worse than the garbage smell of Durian if you can believe that. I can’t really describe the foul stench this fermented tofu dish emits when deep fried. It is pungent, not unlike combing blue cheese with a sour rotting smell that will stick to your clothes and taste buds for awhile. Unbelievable. They say if you can eat this you can eat anything Taiwan can throw at you. So I did…and it appears it’s all bark and no bite. If you can get passed the smell and I say IF…the taste is not too bad. The tofu is crispy on the outside yet soft and quite edible on the inside. Combined with the Taiwanese kimchi to add a sour crunch it can be…ok. Again I can honestly say that for me, it is an acquired taste. My local guide Roger told me that I would get used to it if I can keep eating it. Ha! Nice but no thanks, once is good for me. You be the judge and try it if you can. Eating tip 101: try the steamed version, it is less stinky and better tasting (for me anyways). Hmm…an acquired taste 1/5

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TAIWANESE GIANT CHICKEN CUTLET Well finally something deep fried! You can never go wrong with stuff that’s been breaded with MORE THAN 11 herbs and spices and dunked in a hot deep fryer…mmmm pure heaven. This kicks KFC in the ass in every department! The crunch is fantastic, the chicken is super moist and the taste is outstanding. Less greasy than your average drumstick, this 8 inch behemoth has this amazing coating that can’t be beat. It’s secret ingredient could be nutmeg or cumin but I couldn’t pinpoint it. When asked, the proprietor would not divulge this information. Could be that she didn’t understand a word I was saying. Regardless this treat is a must for anyone visiting Taipei. Eating tip 101: eat it right away. Congealed grease does not look good and tastes even worse. Awesome…me like! 5/5

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…AND NOW FOR SOMETHING STRANGE…

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Philly Cheese steak anyone? Yup in Taiwan…okay 3/5…

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…or pizza on a cone? Yum 4/5!

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Ireland’s best with sour cream and onion lol. Great 3.5/5!

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